Occupational health and safety


Acetone and polystyrene foam

Acetone and polystyrene foam: Is it suitable and safe in a primary school to conduct the activity in which a foam cup is “dissolved” in acetone? Is this a demonstration of a physical change where the foam is just disintegrated and the gas is released? My concerns are both obviously for the acetone use in an open classroom with primary school students and also if there is anything gaseous/toxic released during the disintegration process.

safety showers & eye washes

Safety showers & eye washes: We are a very small regional school. We are after a SOP & risk assessment for safety showers and eye washes to use as a guide to write our own. We would like to extend the flushing of the showers out to a month or once per term.

Also, our safety shower does not deliver 70L /min we have tested it and it is around 40L / min. The water lines around town into the school will not allow us to get this water flow. Where do we stand with this and can we write something in our risk assessment or SOP to cover this?

Disposing of wire gauze mats with ceramic centres

Disposing of wire gauze mats with ceramic centres: I have some of these and have checked with the supplier in relation to the possiblity of containing Tremolite. I have obtained a report from the supplier stating that their mats do not contain Tremolite but at this time there are no accredited NATA procedure to test for Tremolite by scanning electron mirosope.

Consequently we would like to dispose of ours and was wondering what the best way is ?

I have bagged them and placed them in the chem store. I hope that you can offer some advice.


Phenanthroline: My Chemistry teacher would like to use Phenanthroline for senior chemistry EEI’s. The MSDS lists this chemical as Acute hazard category 1, and Acute toxicity oral category 3. Could you tell me if this chemical is ok to use in schools?


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