Chemical safety

Identifying chemical hazards

All chemicals are now classified using a system of statements and symbols, known as the Global Harmonized System (GHS) symbols. This system provides a basis for communicating chemical hazard information to users, to help them clearly recognise the hazardous properties of the substances they use.

In addition to the GHS symbols, there are also a series of hazard and precautionary statements. These give more specific information on what the hazards are and how to handle the chemical.

Safety Data Sheets

More information about a chemical is supplied in the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). These are supplied with the chemical when purchased but can also be downloaded from the manufacturer's website or requested by contacting the supplier.

A copy of the SDS should be avalable in each laboratory or workshop where the chemical is used and stored, either as a physical or electronic copy, and everyone working in the area should know how this information can be found.

The SDS also gives useful details on:

  • first aid measures
  • additional PPE information
  • the compounds to avoid mixing your chemical with

Use this information to properly analyse the risks in your chemical risk assessment.

Using chemicals

All chemicals used at the University must be covered by a chemical risk assessment and stored securely at all times.

Before using chemicals, an assessment must be carried out. This is in line with the University's hazardous chemical management policy.

Students must have received training in appropriate handling techniques and emergency measures from their local supervisor.

Edit this page