Safe Work Procedures & Risk Assessment

Risk assessment (RA) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) must be established for all hazardous tasks.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments must be completed for all tasks involving the use of hazardous chemicals and/or dangerous goods in accordance with the University WHS Risk Management Program.

The risk assessment process for tasks involving hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods will include the following steps:

  • reviewing the SDS for the substances involved to identify the nature and severity of potential health effects and/or the potential for dangerous reactions, fire, explosion etc.
  • considering the proposed work process including the work environment (eg. space, ventilation), quantities of the substances used, the practical experience of the person carrying out the work and the number of people affected by the work.
  • identifying the possible routes of exposure; the likelihood of exposure; the likelihood of a dangerous reaction, fire, explosion occurring during the work process; and the associated risk factors.
  • where necessary, implement additional risk controls to reduce the risk of exposure or incident.

Download Risk Assessment Form.

Safe Work Procedure

Procedures for frequently performed or medium or higher risk tasks involving hazardous chemicals and or dangerous goods must be established. These procedures must be based on the outcome of a completed risk assessment and are referred to as the Safe Work Procedure (SWP) for that task.

SWP should provide a best practice approach to undertaking a task and are an ideal way to provide consistent training to new staff and students. For specific tasks, all procedures for risk assessment must be followed in the safe work procedures, staff, students and others are required to obtain sufficient training from their supervisors before conducting procedures independently. The training records should be kept locally with the supervisor and the trainees.

The SWP must be documented and communicated within the workgroup and it should be available to all those undertaking the task and be regularly (annually) reviewed.

The University Safe Work Procedure template is available; some commonly used SWPs are listed below.

Safe Work Procedures