CHM321 Laboratory Management Issues (8)

This subject covers aspects of communication, health and safety that are of importance to science graduates. Topics include scientific communication with an emphasis on report writing and presentation of written/oral submissions, statutory regulations governing health and safety, laboratory design and accreditation, hazard monitoring and waste minimisation and chemical disposal.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CHM321. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to list the minimum steps to develop a Health and Safety audit;
  • Be familiar with the manner by which chemicals may pose a hazard;
  • Be aware of the different measurements of toxicity;
  • Be able to monitor various hazards;
  • Be able to implement waste minimisation programs and understand the problems associated with waste disposal;
  • Be able to understand the reading process and have developed critical reading skills;
  • Be able to communicate effectively in speech situations such as addressing a meeting or seminar;
  • Be able to be competent in a number of basic writing techniques (for example, paragraph and sentence structure, punctuation, spelling and appropriate referencing) and be able to employ these techniques with confidence;
  • Be able to write a literature review;
  • Be able to effectively report the results of scientific experiments.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Unit 1 Recognition and anticipation of laboratory hazards
  • In order to prepare a safe working environment, it is necessary to be able to identify and assess the potential hazards of the workplace;
  • Unit 2 Hazards of toxic materials
  • A superficial look at human anatomy and physiology in an attempt to understand the toxicology of various hazardous materials;
  • Unit 3 Monitoring hazards
  • Methods used to monitor hazards such as dust, gases, noise, light, radiation and microbiological sources are investigated;
  • Unit 4 Waste minimisation and disposal
  • Management of waste has become a major expense in the laboratory, methods of reducing waste and subsequent safe disposal has become mandatory;
  • Unit 5 Communication
  • Speaking, reading and writing from a scientific and industrial point of view. Use of jargon and development of time management with regard to presentation of data.
  • Unit 6 Scientific Literature Review
  • Learn to critically analyse data from various sources and compile a concise and readable review.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of CHM321 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Oral presentation
Laboratory reports
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.

The nature of this subject requires students to access a working laboratory. In particular, students need to become familiar with the hazards associated with a chemistry laboratory where a range of complex projects and analyses are being undertaken, the process of undertaking risk assessments and laboratory audits and the equipment used for monitoring the working environment. Students will be required to undertake assessment of the safety of the laboratory and the effectiveness of safety equipment, consider aspects of chemical storage, design and undertake experiments to assess factors influencing the operation of key safety equipment and report on the outcomes.

The skills developed by the laboratory component of this subject relate to the following Chemistry Threshold Learning Outcomes:
3.2 Formulating hypotheses, proposals and predictions and designing and undertaking experiments in a safe and responsible manner.
3.3 Applying recognised methods and appropriate practical techniques and tools and being able to adapt these techniques when necessary.
3.4 Collecting, recording and interpreting data and incorporating qualitative and quantitative evidence into scientifically defensible arguments.
4.2 Appropriately documenting the essential details of procedures undertaken, key observations, results and conclusions.
5.2 Demonstrating a capacity for working responsibly and safely.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.