Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Annual school chemical audits

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

The annual school chemical audit aims to assess a school's chemical management system and its operation.

The audit will indicate areas within the school's chemical management system that require attention in order to improve the level of safety for personnel and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. The focus of the audit is the practical implementation of chemical safety across UWA, and improvement of the chemical management system.

Audit aims

The general aim of the audit process is to develop and maintain a culture where chemicals are safely used and managed, by ensuring that:

  • chemical management systems are in place and documented
  • training and induction is carried out and documented
  • chemical inventories are current
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are current and available
  • chemicals are appropriately stored and segregated
  • emergency response procedures are in place
  • waste management and disposal protocols are in place
  • a system for risk assessment is in use
  • personnel are aware of their responsibilities in the chemical management system.

The audit will also provide an opportunity for specific feedback to Safety and Health to allow improvement of the University chemical management system.

Audit procedure

The school chemical audit is divided into the following sections

  1. Chemical management structure
    Identification of the chemical management structure in the area being audited. Every chemical storage area in the section should be covered by identifing all groups storing and/or using chemicals (teaching, research, workshops). Each group should have a supervisor and a person who is responsible for chemical stock control.
  2. Chemical management system
    The system by which chemical registers, manifests and MSDS are stored and maintained. Safety and Health recommend the use of Chem Alert 2 for managment of chemicals.
  3. Procedures and protocols
    Waste, emergency, after hours, and so on.
  4. Training and induction
  5. Chemical risk assessment system
  6. Physical inspection of chemical storage areas:
    • register/manifest and MSDS available
    • chemicals (including wastes) appropriately labelled
    • chemicals stored appropriately and segregated (no fume cupboard storage, storage above 1.5m, cabinets used)
    • emergency response information available – spill kit
    • after hours contact information clearly available (on wall near exit and hand basin)
    • risk assessments documented and available
    • general tidiness
    • access ChemAlert safety information and MSDS.