EHS Manual

This Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Manual has been prepared by the School of Physics EHS Committee and is intended as a guide for your own personal safety, the safety and well-being of all staff and students in the Physics School and the protection of the environment.


The Management System for Safety and the Environment is the University’s pro-active approach to managing the issues of environment and safety. It is aimed at prevention and the setting of standards to improve environmental and safety performance. The Management System provides a formal framework to identify and manage all environmental and safety risks. This booklet is intended to help you avoid environmental and safety risks. Incident prevention must be your aim at all times. The effects of accidents may be disastrous not only to you but also to your colleagues and the environment. It is therefore important that you read the advice given here at the start of your work in the laboratories.

The booklet is quite short and you will find recommendations relevant to your own special type of work. Advice given in other sections will suggest further safety precautions. You should also seek information in the

University of Melbourne Occupational Health and Safety Manual The University of Melbourne Home Page under Risk Management Office in Financial Operations University of Melbourne Management Systems (for Safety and the Environment)

Incident prevention is mainly common sense, tidiness and forethought, but safety in the laboratory does require constant vigilance and care. Remember that taking chances is not fair to others around you and that a little planning and thought can save a great deal of trouble and regret.

Always seek expert advice when in doubt about the safety of a practice.

Evacuation Procedures

Evacuation Plan

Bldg 192 Emergency Evacuation Plan

School of Physics Evacuation Map

Bldg 192 Emergency Evacuation Diagrams

Evacuation Procedures

Masson Road

Swanston Street

Tin Alley Corner

Emergency Exit Diagrams 


Level 1 Ground Floor

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7

Level 8


Floor Wardens

Floor Wardens

Information to Wardens

Cyclic Events Checklist

Cyclic Events are processes/tasks that occur at regularly scheduled times.

Cyclic Events Checklist 2020

School of Physics Safety Team

Our Safety Team

OHS Act (1985)

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (1985) provides a framework for the prevention of occupation injury and disease. Employers are required to provide and maintain a working environment that is safe and without risks to health. Employees are required to take care of their own health and safety and the health and safety of any other person.

The act encourages employers and employees to resolve health and safety issues in a spirit of co-operation. A “health and safety issue” may include any hazard or potential hazard, or any procedural issue relating to health and safety. The act provides for the establishment of health and safety committees. It is for the parties in the individual workplace to agree on the composition, role and function of these committees.

Environmental Policy

Guiding Value

The University of Melbourne, in its role as an international teaching and research based University offering undergraduate and postgraduate education, is committed to embracing environmental management goals within University activities. These goals will extend to providing community leadership on environmental issues through quality research and education programs and to the provision of expert advice on environmental matters of public interest.

Academic Programs

The University recognises its role in educating future leaders who will be in a position to make decisions enhancing Australia’s environmental sustainability. As the University plays a part in moulding environmental values, Faculty Deans will be responsible for ensuring that programs are made available to enable students and staff to be aware of and to actively support environmental education programs and research.

Environmental Impact

Reduction Programs and quantitative targets will be established to minimise pollution and to meet principal environmental challenges including improved efficiency of resource use, minimising waste generation and reducing discharges to the environment from University activities.

Management and Reporting

The University is committed to developing and sustaining a fully documented Environmental Management System (EMS) in compliance with ISO 14001. This system will provide the framework to comply with legislative requirements, contractual obligations and the measurement of continual improvement targets and outcomes. The University aspires to be an exemplary model for other institutions. The Vice-Chancellor will report to Council on environmental performance at least twice yearly, and will provide an annual environmental report available to the public.

Communication and Involvement

The involvement of regulatory authorities, suppliers, contractors, academic colleagues, students and community groups will be sought in documenting and achieving environmental objectives and targets. The University supports the promotion of environmental awareness within the wider community.


The Vice-Chancellor is accountable for communication of this policy and for compliance with its undertakings. A Senior Executive Officer of the University will ensure effective implementation, management and monitoring of the environmental management system and its subsequent outcomes. Heads of budget divisions will provide necessary support for environmental plans within their areas.

The University will provide for staff and students of the University community a process for identifying and managing environmental risks associated with their activities.

EHS Policy

The University recognises its obligation to take all reasonable precautions to provide and maintain so far as is practicable, an environment that is safe and without risks to health for employees, students and visitors.

1 The absence or minimisation of risk also includes occupational health in the prevention of accidental exposure to agents which may cause occupational diseases. Thus ergonomics, industrial hygiene, toxicology, biological safety and radiation safety are all part of the University’s safety management programs.

To meet its obligations and to ensure legislative compliance, the University has developed a safety management program, using the principles of quality and risk management which aims to:

  1. observe and implement relevant statutory requirements;
  2. promote workplace safety by education, information, instruction and training;
  3. ensure that adequate instruction is given to employees in safe working procedures and that they are informed of any hazard to their health which is known to be associated with work, including off-campus activities in which they are engaged;
  4. ensure that situations or work practices which are unsafe or harmful are reported immediately to the supervisor of the employee or student, so that corrective action can be taken;
  5. encourage each person in the University to regard accident prevention as an individual responsibility;
  6. require the head of each academic and administrative department to apply relevant Policies and Procedures of the University, as published in the Environment Health and Safety Manual, to the specific needs of the Department, including where students or staff are located at another site in consultation with staff of the Risk Management Office and local staff;
  7. establish procedures to check Environment Health and Safety (EHS) standards in any other location or country that staff or students may be working;
  8. require that every hazardous incident in the University is reported and, where appropriate investigated, and ensure any action necessary to reduce further risk is implemented;
  9. establish procedures to minimise the risk of harmful effects of fire, explosion, radiation, biological hazards and chemical release and ensure these procedures are regularly monitored;
  10. maintain (in the workplace) proper control of harmful substances (i.e. chemicals, radiation, fire hazards, biological hazards etc.), air pollution and noise;
  11. establish procedures for the evacuation of buildings in the event of fire, explosion or other emergencies and ensure those procedures are appropriately tested;
  12. ensure that machines and equipment are maintained in a safe condition and that necessary personal protective devices are available in the workplace;
  13. provide adequate occupational health services and monitoring programs;
  14. maintain proper control over the storage, use and disposal of hazardous substances and dangerous goods;
  15. post clearly visible signs and notices as required;
  16. ensure that adequate professionally trained staff are available to co-ordinate and supervise the University’s safety management program.



Safety is the concern of all employees and, in addition, certain groups within the University community have specific responsibilities.The following staff are responsible for occupational health and safety in accordance with the requirements set out in Section 2.3 of the University of Melbourne Environment Health and Safety Manual (‘the EHS Manual’) as amended from time to time.

* Senior Executive Managers, Deans and Heads of Academic and Administrative Departments; * Managers and Section Heads; * Academic Staff; * Supervisors (any person who controls or directs others); * Staff with special safety duties such as building emergency controllers, radiation safety officers, biological safety officers, emergency team members, elected health and safety representatives.

And, in addition to the requirements of section 2.3 of the Manual, these staff:

  1. are required, in association with appropriate personnel and the Risk Management Office, to formulate and promulgate specific safety rules for activities conducted within areas under their control;
  2. are responsible for reporting to the Vice-Chancellor any aspects under their control which cannot meet safety requirements within the resources provided.


All employees are to comply with the EHS Manual generally and in accordance with section 2.3 of that Manual. And, in addition employees:

  1. must take all reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their conduct at the workplace;
  2. must no wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety or welfare and must co-operate with the University in relation to actions taken by the University to comply with occupational health and safety legislation;
  3. must not wilfully place at risk the health or safety of any person in the workplace.


All students are to comply with the EHS Manual generally, and in particular, in accordance with paragraph 2.4 of that Manual. In addition students:

  1. are responsible for adopting safe work and study practices;
  2. must not wilfully place at risk the health or safety of any person at the University;
  3. must not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety or welfare at the University and are responsible for adopting safe work and study practices.


All contractors are required to undergo appropriate induction training. Contractors must adhere to all contractual requirements of the University in relation to occupational health and safety in addition to the University’s occupational health and safety requirements specified in the EHS Manual.


Contractor Risk Control Form


Visitors are required to comply with all instructions given by authorised University staff for the protection of their health and safety whilst on University premises.


The School of Physics will facilitate consultation in decisions in relation to matters the University has, or should have, control over, which affect health and safety. Consultation will be undertaken in making decisions about the following health and safety matters:

  • proposed changes that may affect health and safety, including changes to the workplace, plant, substances or
    other things and the conduct of works
  • making decisions about procedures to resolving health and safety issues, consultation arrangements, monitor health and workplace conditions and provide training and information
  • hazard identification
  • risk assessment
  • risk control
  • making decisions about the adequacy of facilities for welfare
  • determining the membership of any health and safety committee

Please refer the following document for the complete requirements: consultation requirement

Emergency Procedures

The emergency procedure manuals are basically the same except for the first page.

Please change the first page of your emergency procedure manual as events make it necessary.

X-Ray Optics Lab Emergency Procedures

AstroPhysics Emergency Procedures

Scholten Atom Optics Lab Emergency Procedures

CXS Emergency Procedures

EWS Emergency procedures

Optics_220207 Emergency Procedures

Library Emergency Procedures

Raman Lab Emergency Procedures

Lec demo RB Emergency Procedures

QCV Emergency Procedures

TPP Emergency Procedures

Part 1 Lab Emergency Procedures

Admin Area Emergency Procedures



  1. As soon as you start working in the School make certain that you know the location of the fire extinguishers and any other safety equipment and procedures ( shower hoses, break-glass alarms, escape routes) in the area where you work and also in other areas of the Department.
  2. If a fire occurs, rescue any person in immediate danger (if it is safe to do so), isolate the fire, close doors, alert other people in the immediate vicinity, turn off all gas and electricity to the bench or fume hood, contact the floor warden. Then use an appropriate fire extinguisher on the fire.
  3. If the fire is not being brought under control, sound the fire alarm and evacuate the area immediately. Break-glass alarms are located near the staircases on each floor of both buildings. Contact the Building Emergency Controller and report details of the fire.

Discretion is essential in deciding whether you can deal with an outbreak yourself or whether the fire brigade should be summoned. Portable fire-fighting equipment is not intended to cope with extensive fires and it is important that you do not put yourself and others at risk. The brigade would rather be called unnecessarily than arrive too late.

Several kinds of fire-fighting equipment may be found in laboratories. It is the duty of everyone to know where this equipment is located, the type of fire for which each one may be used and how to operate them. Whenever fire-fighting equipment has been used an immediate report should be made to the Safety Officer so that it may be recharged or replaced.


Extinguisher Type of fire Effective range
CARBON DIOXIDE electrical, solvents, chemicals 2 metres – 3 metres
DRY CHEMICAL metal fires, solvent or electrical fires immediate proximity only
FOAM </oil, paint, wood, cloth fires
NOT suitable for electrical firestd>
<10 metres/td>
PRESSURISED WATER </paper, wood, cloth fires
NOT suitable for electrical firestd>
<10 metres -15 metres/td>
HOSE REELS </paper, wood, cloth fires
NOT suitable for electrical firestd>
<3 metres -15 metres/td>
BLANKETS </A blanket of fireproof material will often effectively smother a fire and prevent its spreadtd>



Although most bomb threats are hoaxes aimed at causing disruption to the normal day to day routine of an organisation, they must be taken seriously. The most common form of threat is by telephone, warning that a bomb has been placed in a building.

If you receive such a call remain calm and try to obtain as much information as possible about the caller and the location of the bomb. Do not hang up after the caller has finished. Using another phone call Security on 44322 or after hours on 46666. The Security Officer will advise if a building evacuation is necessary. If the caller indicates that the bomb will go off in the immediate future the affected area should be evacuated using the building evacuation procedures.

Reporting of Incidents and Hazards


Details of all incidents involving injury (even minor injury) including the case and action taken, must be recorded as soon as possible. This must be reported on an S3 form, available from the School Safety officer or the EHSM manual on the WEB.

Every occurrence that can be classed as an incident potential to cause personal injury or have an environmental impact, e.g. cases of sudden illness, fire, flood, explosion, liberation of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, should be reported without delay to the Safety Officer or Environmental Representative. Research students should also inform their supervisor. Undergraduate students should report all incidents to the academic staff member in charge of the teaching laboratory.

Under the Incident Notification Regulation 1997, employers MUST ring the Victorian WorkCover Authority to notify any incident at a workplace or equipment site resulting or having the potential to cause a serious injury. In such cases the supervisor should immediately phone the Manager, RMO on 8344 4006 to report the incident. If the incident occurs outside of normal working hours, the supervisor should contact WorkCare direct on 0407 833 306 and report details or ask Security (46666) to make the notification. The Supervisor should send a completed S3 Incident Report form to the RMO within 24 hours.

Incident reporting is necessary to enable proper statistics to be kept, so that unsuspected hazards can be identified and eliminated. A hazard register will be kept and procedures to minimise risks will be determined through discussion at EHS Committee and with individual laboratories.

Failure to notify injury or damage to property could result in loss of insurance benefits.


Once a hazard, or potential hazard is recognised, it should be reported to the Safety Officer or the Workplace Occupational Health and Safety Representative. Consideration should be given to immediate corrective action or if time allows remedial action should be determined by the School EHS Committee If the hazard is considered beyond the School’s resources, maintenance should be notified, giving details of the location and nature of the hazard.

For serious hazards it is desirable that the Safety Manager at the Risk Management Office be notified. This can be done via EHS Incident Reporting.

If the issue has not been resolved satisfactorily further course of action can be taken as outlined in the OHS Issue Resolution Procedure.

Laboratory & Workshop Safety

More Information…