Laboratory, Workshop and Chemical Stores Safety Inspection Checklist

  • When looking for hazards you should consider the interaction between the:
    - work environment
    - plant, equipment or substances
    - work practices
    - individuals involved

  • Workplace inspections are a way of identifying hazards in the workplace. Inspections also provide a system to monitor whether the risks associated with the hazards are adequately controlled. All sections must conduct a thorough workplace inspection at least once a year. Workplaces that include laboratories, workshops or other hazardous work areas should conduct them more regularly. Inspections are a mandatory requirement under the Workplace Health and Safety Act, 1995. Workplace inspections require a systematic approach so as to identify all hazards. Think about splitting the workplace into sections or functional units (such as a room) and talk to staff and students in the area.

For assistance with completing the form contact the Office of Technical Services on your campus.

  • Step 1:
    Advise Head of Element/School about the inspection so that they may inform staff in their area of the upcoming inspection.

    Step 2:
    Complete inspection findings below.
    (Some items may not be applicable to your area, in which case tick N/A against the relevant items ).

  • If the space provided in the Comments and/or Action columns is insufficient please add additional referenced documentation in Section 9 or as an attachment.

  • Step 3: Decide on a course of action to deal with any problems that have been identified
    - Prioritise your actions (This may involve completing Risk Assessments to determine priorities)
    - Record priority in the Comments/Priority column
    - Undertake action and record completion of action by inserting a completion date in the Comments/Priority column

  • Step 4: Save copy of Audit and forward a copy to the team leader


A Laboratory Procedures (general)

  • Is the ban on eating, drinking and smoking in laboratories enforced?

  • Is the ban on mouth pipetting enforced?

  • Are laboratory coats/gowns worn?

  • Is exposure to noise minimised?

  • Are emergency exits left open and clear of obstructions?

  • Is the area left tidy?

  • Is the area large enough for the work being done?

  • Are student bags located out of accessways?

B Safety Information

  • Is there a register or inventory of chemicals?

  • Are MSDS available for all chemicals?

  • Are chemical containers of the correct type?

C General Laboratory Storage

  • Is there segregation of incompatible classes of chemicals?

  • Are poisons, drugs, carcinogens, corrosives, etc stored separately and where necessary in locked cabinets?

  • Are cabinets used for storage of large quantity chemicals?

  • Are all chemical stocks kept to a minimum (ie no excessive storage of stocks)?

  • Are all storage surfaces compatible with chemicals stored or covered with protective coating?

  • Are all containers on open shelves less than 5kg or 5L in size?

  • Are all containers in cabinets less than 25L in size?

  • For shelves over 1.5m high are all glass containers less than 1kg or 1L?

  • Is there no more than one 250 L flammable liquid cabinet per 150m2 of floor space?

  • Is flammable liquid storage well away from exits, heat and ignition sources?

  • Are all storage refrigerators spark proof?

D Chemical Store (not a laboratory/workshop)

  • Are all chemicals stored according to compatibility and or license requirements?

  • Are all storage refrigerators spark proof?

  • Are cabinets used for storage of large quantity chemicals?

  • Is there security/restricted access to storage areas?

  • Are chemicals stored in completely separate storage rooms from gas cylinders?

  • Is fire protection available?

  • Is ventilation sufficient to prevent the buildup of offensive/dangerous odours?

  • Is there appropriate secondary containment to prevent the spread of major spills?

E Prevention

  • Is there appropriate ventilation for the types of chemicals in use (eg general exhaust, local exhaust, dust extraction, fume cupboards, glove boxes, etc)?

  • Is monitoring carried out where there is the possibility of exceeding chemical exposure limits?

  • Has the need for personal protective equipment been assessed?

  • Have the following PPE items been provided?

  • (Consider correct selection, location, information & warning signs & maintenance.)

  • - Coats/overalls

  • - Eye protection

  • - Gloves

  • - Safety footwear

  • - Respirators etc

  • - Helmets

  • - Hearing protection

  • Are procedures, absorbents and neutralising agents available in the event of a spill?

F Hazardous Waste Disposal

  • Are there approved methods of disposal for all chemicals?

  • Are there sufficient and appropriate waste disposal containers?

G Training

  • Are staff and students aware of procedures in place for the use of high risk chemicals (ie flammable, explosives, cytotoxins, poisons, HF, carcinogens, etc)?

  • Are staff/students familiar with spill cleanup requirements for their chemicals?

  • Are staff trained for the use of PPE used in their area?


A In a Storage Facility

  • If in storage, are cylinders segregated by hazard, with different hazard classes separated?

  • Are gas storage areas secured and separated from other chemical storage?

  • Are gas cylinders securely restrained and supply valves closed if not in use?

  • Is a cylinder trolley available for transporting cylinders?

  • Are cryogenics appropriately stored?

B In Laboratories, workshops, etc

  • Is the number of cylinders inside rooms kept to a minimum?

  • Are all gas cylinders in labs connected for use (ie no laboratory storage)?

  • Are gas cylinders securely restrained and supply valves closed if not in use?

  • Are cryogenics appropriately stored?

  • Are fuel gas services installed to required standards (AG601 & AS1596)?

  • Is gas use confined to areas with good local exhaust systems?


A General Biological Safety

  • Are high risk specimens isolated (ie appropriate containment laboratories)?

  • Are safe work practices in place for lab techniques (including minimisation of aerosols)?

  • Are cleaning procedures established for normal cleaning and emergency spills?

  • Are autoclave/procedures available for disinfection?

  • Are staff aware of decontamination procedures?

  • Are sharps bins and biohazardous waste procedures established & implemented?

  • Is all research approved (where required) by the appropriate agency/ethics committee?

  • Is specialised personal protective equipment available for use by staff/students?

  • Have all staff/students been provided with information on appropriate vaccinations?

  • Are centrifuges in good order & clean?

  • Are biohazard cabinets provided where required?

B Laminar Flow Cabinets

  • Have all laminar flow cabinets been certified within the last 12 months?

  • Are procedures for appropriate use of cabinets posted?

  • Do the cabinets look clean and tidy (ie routine cleaning performed regularly)?


A Ionizing Radiation Hazards

  • Is there a current radiation licence for the work (radioactive substance or irradiating apparatus)?

  • Has a Radiation Safety Officer been appointed?

  • Do all operators have appropriate training?

  • Are there approved safe working rules?

  • Is appropriate monitoring equipment available?

  • Is appropriate monitoring equipment calibrated?

  • Is appropriate personal dosimetry available?

  • Where required, is approved shielding installed?

  • Is access to radiation hazard areas restricted?

  • Are there warning signs for radiation hazards?

  • Are "sealed" radiation sources maintained in good order?

  • Are "unsealed" radiation sources correctly stored?

  • Are work surfaces impervious?

  • Is personal protective equipment available?

  • Are there appropriate waste disposal procedures?

  • Is X-ray equipment tested & maintained?

  • Is there a current possession/transport/storage license?

B Non-ionizing Radiation Hazards

  • Are workers protected from exposure to UV equipment?

  • Have workers been trained in UV transilluminator safety?

  • - Is appropriate eye protection available?

  • - Do the laboratory gloves provide UV protection?

  • - Are UV sources fitted with protective shields?

  • Are germicidal lamps interlocked to prevent exposure?

  • Is access to Class 3b or Class 4 lasers controlled?

  • - Are appropriate laser safety procedures in place?

  • - Are laser warning signs displayed?

  • - Are protective interlocks effective?

  • - Is eye protection provided?

  • - Are eye examinations provided in accordance with AS/NZ Standard 2221:1?

  • - Has a Laser Safety Officer been appointed?

  • Is access to NMR magnets controlled?

  • - Are warning signs posted?

  • - Is the 0.5 mT line appropriately marked?

  • Are arc-welding operators provided with helmets (with filter lens), fire resistant gauntlet gloves, apron, boots, spats, skull cap and boilermakers coverall or bib, brace & shirt?


A Basic Safety

  • Are machines built in accordance with relevant Australian Standards?

  • Are safe operating instructions/warning signs clearly visible?

  • Are machines guarded/protected to prevent contact, entanglement or damage?

  • Have preventative maintenance arrangements been made (if required)?

  • Is there an electrical isolation switch on all machines?

B Miscellaneous

  • Are machines appropriate for the area of use (ie explosive proof, etc)?

  • Are lighting levels sufficient for operators to run equipment safely?

  • Are residual current detectors in use for portable equipment?

  • Are separate bays provided for welding and grinding?

  • Are aisles marked and of sufficient width?

  • Are hand tools inspected regularly for physical damage?

  • Are spray booths inspected annually?

  • Is the floor clear of waste, oil & water?


  • Are all imitation drugs and medicines adequately labeled as such?

  • Is there a system in place to ensure that there is no diagnostic use of the equipment and stores?


A Signs/Information

  • Are hazard posters effectively posted at lab entrances?

  • Are emergency and evacuation procedures prominently displayed?

  • Are staff aware of nominated first aiders?

  • Have emergency numbers been posted on each phone?

  • Is special signage for radiation, biological or other hazards prominently posted?

B Safety Equipment

  • Are safety showers and eye wash facilities functional?

  • Are safety showers free of obstructions?

  • Have Self Contained Breathing Apparatus been recertified within the last 12 months?

  • Are all fire extinguishers and safety blankets within the certification or use by date?

C Fume Cupboards

  • Are electrical services located outside the chamber?

  • Are emergency switches clearly identified for gas and water supply?

  • Has the cupboard been inspected and certified within the last 12 months?

  • Are restrictions posted near fume cupboards (< 2.5 L of flammables, no H3ClO4, etc)?

  • Are fume cupboards appropriate for the type of hazard (ie radiation, biological, etc)?

D Electrical Safety

  • Are double adaptors & piggyback plugs banned?

  • Are multi-outlet boards mounted clear of benches & floors?

  • Is there a periodic check of equipment and extension leads; ie Are appliances & leads tagged?

E Heat Hazards

  • Is all heating equipment clear of combustibles?

  • Are ovens, furnaces & kilns provided with flues?

  • Is suitable protective equipment available for use with equipment; ie Gloves, face shields, etc?

Aditional Comment and/or Actions

  • Insert Addition Comments and or Actions here.

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