Occupational health and safety


Broken Max Min Thermometer

Broken Max Min Thermometer: We have some max min mercury thermometers here, and yesterday one of them was broken by a cleaner. The broken thermometer gives off an overpowering odour, it was extremely strong and resulted in the evacuation of an office as we couldn’t initially identify where the smell was coming from. It smells like something is burning and the office is still very smelly today as some of the liquid spilled onto the carpet.

Calcium Carbide

Calcium Carbide: My teachers are wondering whether there are any restrictions on us storing and using Calcium carbide for pracs here at school? They apparently used to do some wonderful pracs with it in the past, which they have not done for many years, however I am concerned about the safety of these pracs.

Animal skeleton

Animal skeleton: One of our teachers can get a sheep skeleton from someone. The sheep died in a field and the bones are now devoid of any flesh. The teacher wants to know if there is a way in which the skeleton can be cleaned/sterilised so it can be used in the classroom to show the structure of the long bones and the spine etc. I know that we are not allowed to use anything not sourced from a reputable supplier (because of possible disease, fungus and pathogens it may be carrying) but the teacher would like to know if there is something that can be done so she can use it.

Use of lead in schools

Use of lead in schools: Use of lead and lead salts in schools: Is lead (solid, lead shot, salts) allowed to be used in Years 7 to 10? Are lead salts banned in some jurisdictions?

On your List of Recommended Chemicals for Science in Australian Schools, you say that lead nitrate can be used in Years 7–12. They are classed as 'high risk' substances with uncertain or unpredictable risk levels in Education QLD’s guidelines. I don’t, therefore, understand why lead and lead salts are included on your list?


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