School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

Chemical safety training

Further information

Before commencing work in a chemical laboratory it is essential that all staff and students have completed chemical safety training and have demonstrated the necessary competency to work unsupervised.

The School operates a variety of Chemical Laboratories within the Chemical and Process Engineering, Materials, Mineral Processing and Petroleum, Fuels and Energy disciplines.

These facilities are used for teaching and research and the occupants will extend over a wide level of expertise, therefore, it is essential that safe and compliant procedures are followed at all times.


Chemical Safety Training is provided by the individual's supervisor or delegated person with the appropriate knowledge and experience.  The training must include general safe operating procedures for the laboratory, emphasising safe handling and storage of chemical substances and compliance with legislation.  The trainee will receive a copy of the Chemical Laboratory Safety Procedures handbook and be required to complete the Chemical Laboratory Training Record that will be held on file.

All students and staff working unsupervised are required to receive task specific instruction and training from their supervisor to carry out the allocated task safely. Where significant risks are identified, a written Safety Assessment must be completed and submitted to the School Safety Committee for approval.

Chemical Laboratory Training Records must be completed and filed in the Chemical Training Record file F5 that is located in the School Administrative Office 2.01.

Chemical ordering guidelines

The School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering is currently developing new procedures and guidelines for purchasing and handling hazardous substances.  These developments are in line with imminent changes to national Occupational Health and Safety legislation and elevated risk in SMCE as the result of increased activity in the Chemical and Process Engineering, and Petroleum, Fuels and Energy areas.

Tools have been developed to assist researchers purchasing hazardous substances to easily identify requirements and obligations to ensure that they are permitted to bring particular substances into the School and that there are provisions in place to handle and store these substances correctly and safely.  The following tools are available:

Chemical Ordering Process Map

A flowsheet that maps the chemical ordering process for both hazardous and non-hazardous substances.  This is primarily based on the use of ChemAlert, but also accommodates manufacturer’s MSDS outside of ChemAlert.  Additional function information is provided to assist the user at every level of the process to easily obtain meaningful and accurate external information (via web links) to progress to the next function.  Following this map ensures both legal and safety compliance.

Chemical Storage and Handling Quick Reference Guide

This guide is based on Dangerous Goods Class segregations and not only provides a useful independent guide to the separation of incompatible substances, but also provides an external reference guide to the Chemical Ordering Process Map. 

This guide provides information in four important areas:

  • Dangerous Goods Class
  • Storage and Segregation
  • Handling and Transport
  • Maximum Storage Quantity

Dangerous Goods Segregation Chart

This is a useful reference guide that identifies the storage and separation distances of major groups of substances that are incompatible or will react violently when coming into contact with each other.  This guide will also assist users to identify the correct Dangerous Goods Class diamond label to display on containers.


School of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering

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Last updated:
Wednesday, 8 February, 2012 2:53 PM