The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences places a high value on the health and safety of staff, students and visitors. As part of our ongoing efforts to create safe workplaces the Faculty and University have committed funds for the disposal of legacy chemicals within our facilities.
In the near future the UWA Chemical Safety Officer, Dr Laurton McGurk will be carrying out safety visits of the Faculty laboratories and affiliated areas starting with the QEIIMC site and then rolling out to all Faculty areas including at other medical or health department sites.
The aim of these inspections is to identify and tag items that, in the opinion of the Chemical Safety Officer, should be disposed of. Discussion with the relevant lab manager will be undertaken in order to finalise the items for disposal.
In view of the upcoming changes to health and safety legislation we urge anyone with older reagents which do not carry Globally Harmonised System (GHS) compliant labels to take advantage of this opportunity to dispose of them without costs. WorkSafe WA has advised that such items will need to be disposed of when Western Australia implements the GHS.
We also need to update our ChemAlert holdings annually. By law an item must be catalogued under the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for its product number and supplier. This is not possible for legacy chemicals and is another reason supporting their urgent disposal.
As tenants within hospitals or medical sites we are obliged to provide an accurate risk profile of our undertakings. The large number of undocumented sites and chemicals makes this challenging but the Chemical Safety Officer, together with the Faculty Safety and Health Consultant Mr Brett Tizard, will assist you with advice and training to achieve this outcome.
Inspections will commence in mid-October with a view to develop a systematic schedule and plan for the safe management and disposal of the tagged chemicals by the end of November.
Dr Laurton McGurk and/or Mr Brett Tizard will communicate with lab managers to arrange individual lab visits. Should you have any enquiries please contact Laurton or Brett. They will make every effort to minimise disruptions to your work and to your area.