Stepping out . . . more than one billion times
The University of Wollongong this week celebrated walking more than one billion steps as part of its involvement in the Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) – marking UOW as the most active university in the world.
The GCC is a workplace health and wellbeing initiative which encourages workers around the world to sustain a healthy lifestyle over a 16-week program by measuring the amount of steps taken per day.
Although the recommended daily step average is 10,000 steps per day the average office worker only takes 3,500 which increases the risk of serious health issues such as diabetes and heart disease.
The University entered 114 teams comprising of just under 800 staff and students which measured their steps each day from May to September. By the end of the 16 week program TeamUOW averaged 12,878 steps per day with 94% of participants averaging over 7,500 steps per day and 78% averaging 10,000 steps per day.
While the GCC is not a race, the University was ranked the most active participating university in the world and the 4th highest ranked organisation in Australia.
The GCC celebration was held alongside the launch of the start of Safe Work Australia Week 2012 with the Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) Awards presentation.
The theme of this year’s Safe Work Week, “Safety begins with S but starts with You”, is a reminder that anyone can be a safety leader in their workplace. Safety leaders within the University were acknowledged with the presentation of the University’s WHS Awards, which aim to recognise and promote health and safety initiatives of staff and students at UOW (see award winners below).
2012 Workplace Health and Safety Award recipients
1. The Best Solution for a Workplace Hazard award recognises excellence in developing and implementing a solution to an identified health and safety issue.
The recipients of this year’s award for Best Solution for a Workplace Hazard are Mark Aikman, Pino Genua, Mark Stephenson, and Peter Sparkowski, from Facilities Management Division.
The team from the Facilities Management Division have developed a safe system of work with regards to the risk from falls when working on University roofs. This has included undertaking a risk assessment for each roof and having a permit system for access. The new system will make it easier for contractors and staff to access roofs with information regarding the hazards and the required risk controls available before work begins.
Highly Commended was awarded to Sandra Jones, Lyn Phillipson, Karen Larsen-Truong, Lance Barrie, Joshua Beard and Jessica Iannella, from the Centre for Health Initiatives, for their innovative approach to raising awareness at the University on preventing the spread of influenza and other communicable diseases.
2. The Best Team Contribution to Improving Health and Safety award recognises the excellence of a team that has undertaken a health and safety initiative or contributed to positive safety outcomes for their work area.
The recipients of this year’s award for Best Team Contribution to Improving Health and Safety are Linda Deitch, Katie Cicero, Clare Atkinson and Tanya Levchenko, from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI).
The team at IMHRI have developed an innovative and best practice training program for the management of biological spills in the laboratory. The program incorporates a high quality movie which is a fantastic resource for other laboratories at UOW as well as other institutions.
3. The Safety Leadership Award recognises a person that has implemented initiatives to establish improve, and maintain best practice in health and safety at the University.
The recipient of the Safety Leadership Award for 2012 is Sandra Chapman, from the Faculty of Science.
Sandra has demonstrated a passion for further improving health and safety while at the University. Recently Sandra embarked on improving the University’s system of work for the management of hydrofluoric acid which included consultation with other users apart from her own School. The new procedures incorporate a best practice approach which will be consistently applied for all users of this high risk chemical at UOW.
Highly Commended was awarded to Wayne Ireland from the Faculty of Engineering, for the implementation of a faculty safety database and safe purchasing procedures; and Fay Dawes from the Faculty of Science, for her management of safety requirements for the Dixon research group laboratories.