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The hazards involved in any research or experimental work should be identified and assessed before the work commences. If this does not occur then the University and the persons organising or controlling the work are exposed to action under the OHS legislation for not ensuring a safe system of work. This requirement includes not only scientific work but all research or experimental activities that are potentially hazardous.
In general the identification of hazards associated with the proposed research or experimental work is not difficult or time-consuming. Similarly the assessment of risk consists of asking whether there is any likelihood of injury, illness or disease associated with each of the potentially hazardous situations identified in the hazard identification process.
If assistance is needed in carrying the hazard identification or risk assessment process then bring this to the attention of your supervisor who will be able to direct you to further assistance from within the faculty/institute or elsewhere in the University. The individual Work Safety Assessment forms below also include a list of relevant contacts.
If there are no hazards identified or those identified are not relevant to your particular work then a Work Safety Assessment need not be completed. However a note should be made that hazard identification has occurred: the Work Safety Assessment Overview form below can be used for this purpose.
More details can be found in the Research OHS Risk Assessment Standard (41 KB).
If hazards are identified then the Work Safety Assessment Overview form must be completed together with the relevant hazard specific forms. Under the OHS legislation, you are required to implement control measures to eliminate the risk of injury, or if that is not reasonably practicable, to reduce the risk so far as is reasonably practicable. The Work Safety Assessment forms will assist you in doing this.