Our department observes essential health and safety requirements that apply to all our staff and students.

Safety objectives and plan

We aim to have a zero harm workplace by establishing a culture of safety. We achieve this by regularly improving and changing the workplace so that our health and safety teaching and practice:

  • Meets or exceeds our own culture, policies and rules
    Meets or exceeds the health and safety standards required by The University of Auckland
  • Meets or exceeds the standards required by the HSNO exempt lab regulations
  • Meets or exceeds the health and safety requirements of our accrediting professional institutions (IChemE and Engineering NZ)
  • Incorporates the suggestions made by our Industry Advisory Board

General safety guidelines

General safety

  • At all times, explicitly follow the instructions in your laboratory manual, those given in lectures and by your laboratory supervisor(s)
  • For specific safety issues relating to any particular laboratory experiment please refer to your lab book, and/or lecturers and laboratory supervisor

Dress code

The following must be worn in order for you be allowed to do laboratory work in the department:

  • Closed shoes - no open-toed footwear of any kind or bare feet
  • Safety glasses - normal spectacles are not acceptable
  • Laboratory coat

If you do not have closed shoes, safety glasses and a lab coat, you will be denied access to the laboratory. You will then need to arrange another time (if spaces are available) to do the lab.

Remember: Doing laboratory work is a course requirement - you cannot complete a course without completing the laboratories.

Laboratory use and safety

Guidelines to laboratory use and access

The following documents provide information and guidelines related to the use of laboratories for research in the department. Everyone who is using our laboratories need to be familiar with the guide for laboratory use requirements.

After-hours access

Access to the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering laboratories after-hours is generally not encouraged. You do, however, have permissions as long as you follow the guidelines in the relevant document.

Safe Methods of Use (SMOU)

Laboratory safety requires that all users follow certain Safe Methods of Use (SMOU). The following are general SMOUs applicable to all laboratories in the department.

X-ray safety

Laboratory safety requires that all users of x-ray equipment understand the risks involved when using x-ray beams. The following x-ray safety presentation and quiz have been provided to help you understand these risks.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

All chemicals used in a laboratory must have MSDS safety sheets. These should be kept in the laboratory. These are normally provided by the supplier at the time of purchase. Generic MSDS for many chemicals can be downloaded using the CHEMWEB Gold database.

Hazards and Operability Studies (HAZOPS)

All new postgraduate and Part IV research experiments must have a HAZOP conducted and documented to the satisfaction of the student's supervisor. This also applies when existing experiments are modified. For current experiments, a mini HAZOP is required and should be properly documented. In all cases, the review needs to reflect the complexity of your experiment.

To assist those who have forgotten the details of a formal HAZOP, the following documents may be useful, or you can get advice from Professors Rob Kirkpatrick or Brent Young.

Safety forms

You need to use the following safety forms, which are in line with our department's Safety Policy.

Department safety committee

All staff of the department are involved in safety and ensuring a safe working environment. Any current safety issues are brought up at the department staff meetings for discussion, following which a safety taskforce helps to facilitate any action required.

Safety taskforce members:

  • Professor Brent Young (Head of Department)
  • Peter Buchanan (CTO)
  • Dr Kaveh Shahbaz (PDF rep)
  • Professor Mark Taylor
  • Yangtao Song (CEE)
  • Dr Saeid Baroutian
  • Adjunct Professor Rob Kirkpatrick
  • Bob Anderson (SCS)
  • Sanelle Van Wyk (Postgraduate representative)
  • Cecilia Lourdes (Group Services)