SOMS Health and Safety

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This is not the Official Health and Safety Page, which is located at this link -

This page contains links to various unofficial Health & Safety resources that can be easily edited and posted.

No Content or Information contained within this Wiki is endorsed by the School or University.

SOMS Health & Safety Officer: Blathnaid Farrell Wallace Wurth room G13 T: +61 (2) 9385 9750 E:



  • As we are a Medical School, we take a special interest in setting a good example of Health & Safety (H&S) practices.
  • All Australian work places have a legal requirement under the new Work Health and Safety Act that came into force 1st January 2012.
  • The School has a H&S committee with members that represent and are located in all work areas of the School (find your local rep).
  • We also have a H&S officer that you can contact at any time for further information or help (Blathnaid Farrell, Wallace Wurth room G13).

Health and Safety in Teaching

The Faculty provides regular training and support for new teachers through an Induction Day. This training day includes a very brief introduction to Health and Safety in Teaching (this material is currently being updated for online access).

Links: Health and Safety in Teaching

Laboratory Clearance Certificate

  • The Laboratory Manager is responsible for ensuring that the laboratory has been left in a safe state prior to the contractors entering the laboratory.
  • To ensure the University‚Äôs duty of care extends to builders and maintenance personnel who may have to perform maintenance tasks in laboratories and to ensure that risks in such laboratories are effectively controlled prior to maintenance work commencing.

Biological and Chemical Waste

Beginning 2010 there are new procedures for disposing of Biological and Chemical Waste.

  • SoMS Information training 16 February 2010
  • Anastasia Korlimbinis will issue keys and waste bins
    • can only be issued following induction.
    • Principal Investigator, location of both key and transport bins should be identified and recorded by Anastasia Korlimbinis.
  • Lance Islip is responsible for the facility
    • Lance Islip - OH & S Coordinator, OHS and Workers Compensation Unit T: +61 2 9385 8225 F: +61 2 9385 7920 E:

More? UNSW Laboratory Hazardous Waste Disposal | SOMS OHS Biological and Chemical Waste

Laboratory Gowns

Beginning 2010 there will be a new system of laboratory gown (PPE) washing commencing. When the system commences more information will be added here.

Do not put old white lab coats (that button at the front) into the new system, they will not be returned.

Laboratory Glassware Washing

2010 information to be added.

Research Laboratory H&S

How is your laboratory going with H&S requirements? The table below shows graphically progress in several key H&S areas required by your research lab.

  • Biological Register
  • Chemical Register
  • S8 Drug Register
  • Safe Work Procedures (SWPs)
  • Risk Assessments

Safe Work Procedure

The School is currently looking into an online electronic format for Safe Work Procedures (SWPs) and Risk Assessments. One possibility is too generate separate pages for each document here.

Online Risk Assessment

UNSW is currently implementing a new Online Risk Assessment reporting procedure through MyUNSW.

This will allow........

Shown below is a flow diagram of how to complete the form online (or link to a detailed tutorial page). Online Risk Assessment Tutorial

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are a set of standardised safety information prepared for each of the chemicals used within the laboratory. This term replaces Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

Each research laboratory is required to keep either a hardcopy or electronic copy of these SDS's available within the laboratory. There is currently no coordinated international standard and different countries may have different requirements.

UNSW subscribes to the ChemAlert system which allows searching and printing of chemical SDS and risk assessment (RA) data sheets. Note that when initially preparing your laboratory chemical register use the "batch" option to select multiple SDS.

Before carrying out any new research technique, researchers and students should be taken through the location and use of SDSs.

  • the risks and hazards involved with specific chemicals.
  • the correct storage, handling, labeling and disposal of each chemical.
  • ideally they should keep an electronic copy or link to each of these MSDS's for their own reference.

Note that while information found on internet chemical pages may be very similar, international sites may not conform to current Australian Safe Work Australia.

Links: Safe Work Australia | Chem Alert (login and Firefox or IE browser required) | PDF - Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances NOHSC: 1008 (2004)

Universal Precautions

  • When dealing with biological materials, in particular human specimens, are a set of precautions designed to prevent transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and other blood borne pathogens when providing first aid or health care. These precautions should also be used when carrying out basic research on these tissues.
  • Universal precautions involve the use of protective barriers (PPE, personal protective equipment) such as gloves, gowns, aprons, masks, or protective eyewear, which can reduce the risk of exposure of the health care worker's skin or mucous membranes to potentially infective materials. In addition, under universal precautions, it is recommended that all health care workers take precautions to prevent injuries caused by needles, scalpels, and other sharp instruments or devices.

Links: CDC Universal Precautions for Prevention of Transmission of HIV and Other Bloodborne Infections

Building Asbestos

Note that the Wallace Wurth building contain Asbestos in some of its construction. Walls possibly containing this material are clearly identified with an adhesive label. Building work should not be carried out on this material without notifying the room occupants and all PPE precautions used.

Links: WorkCover - Asbestos

External Links


Australian Government

Other Links

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