Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering


The information on this page contains essential elements that apply to everyone in the department. The requirements that are in place have been established to ensure your safety and that of other people around you.

Safety objectives

To have a zero harm workplace by establishing a culture of safety.

We will do this by improving and changing the workplace so that our health and safety teaching and practice:

  • Meets or exceeds our own culture, policies and rules.
  • Meets or exceeds the health and safety standards required by The University of Auckland.
  • Meets or exceeds the standards required by the HSNO exempt lab regulations.
  • Meets or exceeds the health and safety requirements of our accrediting professional institutions (IChemE and IPENZ).
  • Incorporates the suggestions made by our Industry Advisory Board.

Guide to laboratory use

The following documents provide information and guidelines related to the use of laboratories for research in the department.

All users of laboratories need to be familiar with the guide for laboratory use requirements.

Guide to laboratory use
(84.1 kB, PDF)

Safety Plan

This safety plan documents the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department's objectives and list the agreed short, medium and long term goals.

Safety Plan of Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering
Please note that this plan is currently under revision (67.2 kB, PDF)

General safety guidelines

General safety

  • At all times, explicitly follow the instructions in your laboratory manual, those given in lectures and the instructions of your laboratory supervisor(s).
  • For specific safety issues relating to any particular laboratory experiment please refer to your lab book, and/or lecturers and laboratory supervisor.

Dress code

The following must be worn in order for you be allowed to do laboratory work in the department:

  • Closed shoes - no jandals, sandals, strap shoes of any kind or bare feet.
  • Safety glasses - normal spectacles are not acceptable.
  • Laboratory coat

If you do not have closed shoes, safety glasses and a lab coat, you will be denied access to the laboratory. You will then need to rearrange another time (if spaces are available) to do the lab.

Remember: Doing laboratory work is a course requirement - you cannot complete a course without completing the laboratories.

Safe Methods Of Use (SMOU)

Laboratory safety requires that all users follow certain Safe Methods of Use (SMOU). The following are general SMOUs applicable to all laboratories in the department.

SMOU - Hydrofluoric Acid
(32.8 kB, PDF)

X-ray safety

Laboratory safety requires that all users of x-ray equipment understand the risks involved when using x-ray beams.  The following x-ray safety presentation and quiz have been provided to help you understand these risks.

X-ray training quiz
(56.8 kB, MSWORD)

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

All chemicals used in a laboratory must have MSDS safety sheets. These should be kept in the laboratory. These are normally provided by the supplier at the time of purchase. Generic MSDS for many chemicals can be downloaded using the CHEMWEB Gold database.

Instructions for Accessing FFX Gold.pdf
Instructions for Accessing FFX Gold for MSDS (571.2 kB, PDF)

HAZOPS (Hazard and Operability Studies)

All new postgraduate and year 4 research experiments must have a HAZOP conducted and documented to the satisfaction of the student's supervisor. This also applies when existing experiments are modified.

For current experiments a mini HAZOP is required and should be properly documented.

In all cases the review needs to reflect the complexity of the experiments.

To assist those who have forgotten the details of a formal HAZOP, the following documents may be useful, and Dr R Kirkpatrick (Room 401.814) and Professor B Young (Room 401.809) are also available to assist.

HAZOPS - what is involved
(15.5 kB, PDF)

After hours access to the department laboratories

Access to the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering laboratories after hours is generally not encouraged, however details for access can be found in the following document below.

Safety forms

The following are safety forms to be used in line with the department's Safety Policy.

Guide to using C & M safety forms
  Signees File
Laboratory Authorisation
To ensure that anyone using the lab has the required authorisations. The form requires a brief description of the proposed work and signing of a declaration to say users have discussed the intended use and safety issues with their supervisor/host. 1. User
2. Supervisor
3. Lab Manager
4. Person in Charge
HAZOP Cover page
This form is attached to the HAZOP (or operating procedure/ risk assessment as the case may be) and acts as a Permit to Work. It contains a declaration by the Lab User to follow the work process as detailed and to get prior approval for any modifications or changes in procedure. An additional HAZOP may be required if any one of the signees calls for it. Supervisor must approve HAZOP before any work is put in progress. 1. User
2. Supervisor
(in green folder)
Unattended Experiment
To be completed for any work carried out unattended regardless of whether it is in or out of normal working hours. 1. User
2. Supervisor
3. Competent person to deem safe
4. CTO
1. PiC
2. Notice posted on experiment
Incident Report
Used to report any safety related incident, including near misses. It is not intended in any way to apportion blame for the incident. 1. Supervisor Department Manager

Department Safety Committee

All staff of the department are involved in safety and ensuring a safe working environment.

Any current safety issues are brought up at the department staff meetings for discussion following which a safety taskforce helps to facilitate any action required.

Safety taskforce members:

  • Professor Brent Young (Head of Department) 
  • Peter Buchanan as CTO
  • Dr Kaveh Shahbaz (PDF rep)
  • Professor Mark Taylor
  • Yangtao Song (CEE)
  • Dr Saeid Baroutian
  • Adjunct Professor Rob Kirkpatrick
  • Bob Anderson (SCS)
  • Sanelle Van Wyk (Postgraduate rep)
  • Cecilia Lourdes (Group Services)