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CHEMICAL RISK ASSESSMENT WORKSHEET

The questions in this worksheet are designed to prompt you to think about the risks you face when using
chemicals and whether you believe the current controls will adequately protect you. You should not proceed
with the use of a product if you believe it is unsafe.
There are two elements to the risk assessment. You will need an MSDS for the product (obtained from Chem
Alert or from the supplier) and you will need to consider circumstances of use in your area.
For further information, refer to section 5 of OSH’s guide to “Making the Workplace Safe”

SECTION 1: SUMMARY (from MSDS)

Chemical/Product Name: Name of the chemical, don’t specify the concentration

Manufacturer/Supplier: Manufacturer’s name


Storage location/Room No: Chemical Bldg/Room/Lab No for intended use: Building and room
storage eg 205:147 that the chemical will be used in
Is a current MSDS available?
Yes No Name of Assessor: Your name
(You must obtain one)
Is the chemical classified as Hazardous Name of Supervisor: Your project
Yes No
according to the MSDS? supervisors name
DG number between 2
Dangerous Goods Class (if applicable): Assessment date: Today’s date
and 9 or NA

SECTION 2: USE
Task Description( including any storage or disposal requirements): Simple description of chemical use
and disposal eg Standard and specific disposal requirements (not “whatever the State
requires”)
Conc. (%):
Concentration or
purity. Use the Duration of use:
Qty (inc. units): mL, g, Frequency of use: Once,
concentrated form of Length of use in the
L, Kg etc daily, weekly etc
the chemical not the project
dilute solution that
you will be making up
NOTE: Substances that are not classified as a Hazardous Substance or Dangerous Good require no further
assessment. Important note

SECTION 3: HOW CAN EXPOSURE OCCUR? Consult the MSDS

Dermal (skin): Eyes: Inhalation: Ingestion: Injection:


(eg - Solid; Aerosol; (eg - Dust; Aerosol; (eg – Vapour from (eg – Dust; (eg - Pressure;
Liquid) Liquid) liquid; Aerosol; Aerosols; Liquid; Sharp objects;
Gas; Dust) Personal Hygiene) Open wounds)
Who is potentially exposed? Consider anyone who might have access to the work
(e.g. Students, Lab Staff, Researchers) area

SECTION 4: POTENTIAL HEALTH EFFECTS (from MSDS) Consult the MSDS

Acute (immediate) Effects Chronic (delayed) Effects


Eye and Skin Irritant/ Corrosion Sensitising Agent (skin/ inhalation)
Central Nervous System
Carcinogenic

Asphyxiant (inhalation) Liver/ Kidney Disease


Respiratory Tract Irritant
Brain/ Nerve Disease

Toxic by Skin Exposure Respiratory Disease

Toxic by Ingestion Reproductive System Disease

Other (specify): Other (specify):      


SECTION 5: RISK RANKING WITH EXISTING CONTROLS IN PLACE

Consequence
Likelihood

Insignificant Minor Moderate Major Catastrophic


eg. No eg. First aid eg Medical eg Long term eg. Kill or
injuries needed attention + injury or permanently
several days illness maim
off work
Almost Certain
MEDIUM HIGH EXTREME EXTREME EXTREME
Event is expected to occur
in most circumstances
Likely
MEDIUM MEDIUM HIGH EXTREME EXTREME
Event could occur some
time/annually
Possible
Event could occur, but LOW MEDIUM HIGH HIGH EXTREME
rarely - once every 1-10
yrs
Unlikely
Even may occur but LOW LOW MEDIUM HIGH HIGH
probably never will – once
every 10 -100 yrs
Rare
Event expected to occur LOW LOW LOW MEDIUM HIGH
only in exceptional
circumstances.

This is based on the Control Measures listed in Section 6 and 7 being in place

So, the questions are:

What could be the consequences? Consequences range from Insignificant to Catastrophic


– choose one
What is the likelihood of that happening? Likelihood ranges from Rare to Almost Certain –
choose one
What is the risk rating from the table Where the Consequences and Likelihood intersect is
above? the Risk Rating

Actions:

Extreme Risk: Stop the work until the risk is reduced. Immediate action required.
High Risk: Reduce risk urgently. Senior management attention required.
Moderate Risk: Reduce risk as a priority. Management responsibility must be specified.
Low Risk: Reduce risk. Manage by routine procedures.

SECTION 6: REQUIRED CONTROL MEASURES TO REDUCE RISK


Note: Controls must be considered in the order below. The next level down may only be considered when all
practicable measures have been taken at the higher level. Many risks will be managed via a combination of
controls.

Control Examples Intention to apply

Eliminate materials or elements of the process that carry


1. Elimination
significant risk.

2. Substitution Substitute a safer chemical or safer process.

3. Isolation Barriers, enclosures, remote operation.

4. Engineering Local exhaust ventilation, dilution ventilation.

Supervision, use of safe work procedures, housekeeping,


5. Administrative organisation of work to limit contact, standards, training,
signage.

6. PPE Face shields, safety glasses, goggles, gloves, aprons,

Section 7: SPECIFIC ACTIONS TO REDUCE RISK


Explain what specifics will be carried out for each of the controls you nominated in Section 6. For example, “All
transfer and use of the chemical to be carried out in a fume cupboard”.

1. Elimination: This is here to prompt you to look at the way you will carry out the experiment and
whether you can do it in a safer manner.

2. Substitution: Cannot change the chemical and usually cannot change the process. This is here to
prompt you to look at the way you will carry out the experiment and whether you can do it in a
safer manner.

3. Isolation: Besides the examples listed above, in Section 6, this can also include working in areas
specially designated for specific tasks or chemicals. Fumecupboards can be used as a form of
Isolation

4. Engineering: This means types of ventilation – fumecupboards, fumehoods, extraction systems


etc

5. Administrative: This includes supervision and the written methods and procedures used in
handling chemicals

6. PPE: This is what you will be required to wear when handling the specific chemical. Take into
account the amount, concentration, state and location (eg fumecupboard) of chemical use ie is an
air-line respirator really necessary or does that just relate to a large chemical spill. When listing
gloves, facemasks and respirators specify the type eg Latex gloves. Trousers, long sleeves or lab
coats and fully enclosed footwear are always part of your PPE.

If after the implementation of all of the above controls, the risks of using the assessed chemical remain
unacceptable (based on the risk matrix, section 5), expert advice must be obtained before proceeding.

Upon completion of this form, please keep a copy Send an electronic copy to the Technical
Staff so that any revisions and corrections can be easily made and forward Send OSH the
revised and updated copy original to OSH.
Any queries should be directed to OSH Ext. 4900.