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 new UniSAfe system. Users will be able to login using their UniSA Staff or Student login credentials.

The new UniSAfe system will incorporate assessment and approvals for biological and radiation process with the chemical process risk assessments, where required. Hence the chemical risk assessment module will be known as the BCR (Biological/ Chemical/ Radiation) module. The BCR Module can be selected via the Workspaces menu. Further information and User Guides are available at Safety & Wellbeing UniSAfe - Safety Management System

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 Please access the forms from this page and do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.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.

MyOSH Chemical Risk Assessment System

From Monday 4th March, the Myosh chemical process risk assessment system will not allow any new records to be created and  all new chemical risk assessments must be completed in the new UniSAfe system [N.B. All non-approved ‘existing’ chemical risk assessments in Myosh will remain in Myosh and be accessible whilst they progress to the approved stage]. Existing chemical risk assessments that are still in draft or requiring approval can still be accessed in the  online Chemical Risk Assessment system.

All existing approved Myosh chemical risk assessments will be accessible in UniSAfe from the 4th March. Users will be able to search the Summary field in the UniSAfe system for the last 4 digits of their chemical risk assessment number (i.e. CRA #002828, searching for 2828 will display [2828] in the summary field).

Due dates (i.e. expiry dates) of current approved chemical risk assessments in Myosh will also be imported across into the new UniSAfe system and should trigger email notifications to the risk assessors in a similar fashion as to what happens in the current Myosh system. 

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