Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Chemical Safety Committee

The Chemical Safety Committee (CSC) oversees chemicals management and handling at CSU, including monitoring compliance.

The roles and responsibilities of the CSC include:

  • Recommending measures for maintenance and improvement of chemical safety and environmental risk management
  • Reviewing and advising on chemical safety issues during planning, construction, commissioning of new or refurbished facilities
  • Auditing new and existing facilities with regard to documentation, acquisition, handling, storage, use, disposal
  • Data management (through access to Chemwatch), including safety data sheets (SDS)  and chemical inventory (GoldFX)
  • Reviewing chemical incident reports and making recommendations for improvements
  • Reporting on compliance to the University Council through the DVC-Research, development and Industry

What is considered chemicals handling?

‘Chemicals handling’ is not just the actual use of a product – it includes assessment of risk before deciding to use a particular chemical, purchase and movement of chemicals, storage and use of properly labelled chemicals, safe handling procedures and finally, disposal of chemicals.

What is a chemical?

It’s important to be aware that ‘chemicals’ in this context includes not only laboratory and research chemicals but any chemicals used across the university’s operations; teaching and laboratories, research, veterinary, dental and pharmaceutical products, agricultural and wine making chemicals, cleaning, printing, garden and grounds maintenance – the list goes on.

What is a hazardous chemical?

‘Hazardous chemicals are substances, mixtures and articles that can pose a significant risk to health and safety if not managed correctly. They may have health hazards, physical hazards or both. Examples of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects include toxic chemicals, chemicals that cause skin damage, carcinogens Safe Work Australia

Hazardous chemicals are classified according to defined criteria under the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

CSU, like all employers, has obligations under Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation to control and manage workplace hazards, including those associated with chemicals.

What can you do to ensure you are using chemicals safely (and what resources are available)?

  • Everyone who uses or handles chemical should complete the ELMO: chemical safety@csu module
  • Before purchasing a chemical, consider the risk associated with its use – is it the best choice; what precautions will be necessary – personal protective equipment (PPE), safe handling and storage procedures; how and where should it be sourced?
  • Conduct a risk assessment  - the faculty of science has resources and templates external sources of information include Safe Work Australia; and and the state equivalents, such as Work Safe NSW
  • Ask the Chemical Safety Committee

Chemical Waste Disposal

To obtain quote, acceptance and scheduling, fax the completed Chemical Waste Manifest to 02 9833 4588.