Chemicals and Nanomaterials

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 Please access the forms from this page and do not store a local copy to avoid using outdated forms.

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 safey 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 WHS 01 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:

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

Nanomaterials

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. Nanoparticluate 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.