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Safe@Work Newsletter - 2022 Issue 1

In this issue:
  • Personal heaters in office spaces
  • Flu vaccinations
  • Mould
  • Updating emergency contact details
  • Chem Alert training
  • Recipe for hearty Winter vegetable soup

Use of personal heaters in office spaces

As we head in to Winter, the WHS Unit have been receiving a number of enquiries around the use of personal heating devices in office spaces.
In buildings without air-conditioning, the use of portable heaters is permitted in office areas. However, if you are in an air-conditioned building, the use of a portable heater can interfere with the operation of the air-conditioning. 

For example, if a person has a heater on in their area, this causes the thermostat in that area indicate the space is hot and so the air-conditioning will cool the building. For this reason the use of portable heaters in air-conditioned areas needs to be properly assessed to ensure that the use of the heater will not impact others. 

For further information and guidance, please visit the Heater use in office areas page prepared by FMD and the WHS Unit. 

Flu vaccination

Annual influenza vaccine should occur anytime from April onward to be protected for the peak flu season, which is generally June to September. The highest level of protection occurs in the first 3 to 4 months following vaccination.

With the NSW Government announcing free flu vaccinations from June 1st 2022 to the 30th June 2022, UOW will transition to the free NSW Health program, and will continue to encourage UOW staff and their families to book into either the Campus Pharmacy, a local pharmacy or your GP to access the 2022 influenza vaccination. Pharmacies can now administer flu vaccines to children aged five years old, reduced from 10 years, making it easier for families to be vaccinated together.


Due to the amount of rain we have had lately, mould is becoming more prevalent. 
Mould in the workplace can be a serious health and safety hazard that could be putting you at risk.
Mould is a naturally occurring substance that can grow both indoors and outdoors, and when left uncontrolled can lead to potentially serious health concerns.

Workers who are sensitive to mould exposure should avoid mould affected areas at their workplace and notify the WHS Unit by logging a SafetyNet Report and FMD by logging a BEIMS request or contacting the FM Service Centre as soon as practicable to enable the appropriate action to be taken to mitigate the risk of mould exposure to workers, visitors and others at the workplace.

For more information on mould, including prevention and cleaning of mould growth, please visit the NSW SafeWork website.

SafeWork - Mould at work

Updating emergency contact details

Accidents happen in the workplace and it’s important for employers to know who to contact in case of an emergency. Therefore staff should maintain their emergency contact details in Unified.

To update or add emergency contact details, select the "Me" tab from your homepage in Unified and from the Quick Actions list, select "Family and Emergency Contacts" to add or update existing contacts. 

This information will remain confidential and will only be provided to those who have a legitimate business need to access the information, such as in a health or safety emergency.

Chem Alert training 

ChemAlert is the University's online chemical management system used to register hazardous chemicals that are stored, handled or transported at all UOW facilities. Key features of the system include:

  • stock inventory module
  • register of hazardous chemicals
  • a safety data sheet library 
  • chemical labels
Staff can register for the free monthly ChemAlert Basics Overview webinar via the link as well as refer to the UOW Chemalert User Guide.
Contact Us

Hearty Winter vegetable soup

Try this warming, nutritious and delicious cool weather soup this Winter.
12 Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 shortcut rindless bacon rashers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, trimmed, chopped
  • 1/2 (600g) cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 litre beef liquid stock (or vegetable for a vegetarian option)
  • 1 cup dried mini penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and bacon. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until bacon is golden. Add zucchini, carrot, celery and cauliflower. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until vegetables start to brown.

2. Add tomato, stock and 2 cups cold water. Cover. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are just tender. Add pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in basil. Serve.
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