Chemicals and Nanomaterials

Chemical Risk Assessments

For any process using hazardous chemicals, a risk assessment must be undertaken and recorded prior to the commencement of the chemical process. All chemical risk assessments shall be completed using the online Chemical Risk Assessment system.

Users will be able to login using their UniSA Staff or Student login.

Please watch the training videos below for instruction in completing your chemical process risk assessment.

N.B. Each training video runs for no longer than 8 minutes.

1. Logging In and the My Activities tab

2. Navigating Menus and View Management

3. How to complete Risk Assessment Form - Section 2

4. How to complete Risk Assessment Form - Section 3

5. How to complete Risk Assessment Form - section 4

6a. Navigating workflows - Supervisor Approval

6b. Navigating workflows - Executive Dean/Director Approval

6c. Navigating workflows - Chair UCASC Approval

7. How to record training for individual risk assessments

8. How to 'clone' (i.e. copy) an approved risk assessment

Risk management

Hazardous chemicals are encountered in many activities throughout all parts of the university, especially laboratory environments and workshops. Thousands of chemicals are in use across all research, teaching and facilities management functions. 

Many hazardous chemicals are found in small quantities in offices and kitchens or purchased as 'consumer products' from supermarkets, etc. that are used in quantities and in a way that is consistent with household use. These products may be used in accordance with the safety instructions on the label without a requirement to undertake a formal risk assessment or enter the chemical material into GoldFFX. The Safety Data Sheet for the product should be referenced if there are concerns that the chemical may be of higher risk. You do not need to enter such minor chemical usage in your workplace WHS01 Hazard Register.

For workplaces with extensive chemical usage, hazardous chemicals should be listed as a hazard category in your WHS 01 Hazard Register. Typical controls for managing the risks of hazardous chemicals are:

Please note: The aforementioned forms are updated frequently. Please access the forms from this page and do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.

The use of certain hazardous chemicals or of engineered nanomaterials requires approval from the University Chemical Advisory Safety Committee.


Nanoscale materials are of significant scientific interest because some material properties can change at this scale. Such changes are challenging our understanding of hazards and our ability to anticipate, recognise, evaluate and control potential health, safety and environmental risks. Nanoparticulate forms of some materials show unusually high reactivity, especially for fire, explosion and in catalytic reactions.

Even though information regarding the adverse effects caused by nanomaterials, particle measurement and control effectiveness is still evolving. Control processes for chemicals have also been found to be effective for carbon nanotubes and other engineered nanomaterials. The emphasis is on minimising exposure especially if nanoparticles are generated in the form of fine powders, dusts or vapours.