Institute of Teaching and Learning

Professional Development for Teaching and Learning

Topic 11: Health and safety issues

You are responsible for health and safety issues in the lab. A key responsibility of a demonstrator is to be the primary contact person for students when an incident happen. The role of a demonstrator is to then make a judgement whether or not to contact and involve security (phone "222"), contact a first aider or other emergency services or to handle the incident "in house" (e.g. to clean up a minor spill of chemical).

Demonstrators need to be familiar with Emergency Evacuation Procedures and direct students to vacate the building in an orderly and efficient manner, paying attention to any further instructions from emergency wardens. The lab technician also has responsibilities in these matters and should be on hand at all times to help in the event of an incident.

As part of your prac talk you are required to alert students to specific risks/hazards in the activities to be carried out. "Hazard Report Forms" are available from the technical support staff and must be filled out for any incident, near miss or identified possible hazard. The completed form is submitted to the Laboratory Manager and ultimately forwarded to the Occupational Health and Safety Manager of the University.

Make sure you know how to identify and operate the safety features of the laboratory such as fire hydrants, fire blankets, safety showers, eyewashes, emergency services isolators and that you know the location of the first aid kit and who is the nearest first-aider.

Remember students will be looking to you to respond calmly and decisively in the event of an incident.

As part of a new policy at Deakin you will be required to read out an emergency student statement in your first class for the semester. This will also be read out in the first lecture of every unit. It is the responsibility of the unit chair or technician to provide a copy for you.

You may also be required to do an Occupational health and safety training session and quiz.

 Activity: Safety in your lab

Go to the lab in which you'll be teaching. Find out where and how to work each of the safety features - e.g., fire blanket and extinguisher, gas shutoff valves, safety showers, eye wash stations, biological waste and sharps disposals.


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25th November 2010