Safe methods of use - essential protocols

These protocols have been developed to ensure the safety of staff and students when working in the lab, with chemicals and using blast shields.

Laboratory and workshop safe methods of use

Laboratory work practices
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Laboratory Management
(94.3 kB, PDF)

Class specific safe methods of use

  • Laboratory personnel must consult Safety Data Sheets (SDS or MSDS) when they are using a chemical for the first time or they are uncertain about a chemical's properties.
  • Where there is a specific enquiry about a class of chemical, the appropriate Safe Method of Use should be consulted. The Safe Method of Use will provide more detail on mandatory requirements for any recommendations on incompatibilities, storage, and disposal for each class of chemical. In many cases a representative list of chemicals in each class are also supplied.
  • Safe methods of use for highly hazardous compounds or procedures are also available.
  • Laboratory personnel must have access to and follow the University General Laboratory Safe Method of Use.

Please note: the word 'shall' denotes a mandatory requirement and 'should' denotes a recommendation.

Safe methods of use exist for the following categories of chemicals:


  • flammable liquids
  • Gases
  • reactive solids
  • oxidisers
  • organic peroxides
  • compounds with acute toxicity
  • compounds with chronic toxicity
  • corrosive compounds
  • chemicals with unknown properties
  • formaldehyde.
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(75.2 kB, PDF)
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(37.1 kB, PDF)

Highly hazardous compounds safe method of use

Phenol safe method of use
(26.4 kB, PDF)

Blast shields

The following safe methods of use are to be followed when using protective barriers (blast shields or fume hoods) for potentially explosive reactions.