Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit provides knowledge and understanding of the hazards presented by chemical substances and biological agents, how to work with these materials safely and the consequences of failing to do so. The legislative requirements for management of hazardous substances and biological agents in Australia are introduced. Students search and locate information concerning safety in the handling and storing of chemical substances and biological agents, and interpret this safety literature. Students also evaluate accident reports, assess exposure to hazardous substances in a workplace, and conduct risk assessments on exposure to chemical substances and biological agents.

6 points

Students are able to (1) gain an understanding of occupational hygiene and chemical safety; (2) understand the fundamentals of working safely with biological agents; (3) learn the legislative requirements for handling and storing hazardous chemical substances and biological agents in WA; (4) access and interpret information concerning the hazards of using and storing hazardous chemical substances; (5) learn how to assess exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace; (6) learn how to conduct a risk assessment for using hazardous substances and apply controls and mitigate these risks; and (7) learn how to conduct workplace inspections to identify hazardous situations.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a two-hour final examination; (2) communication activities; and (3) a laboratory component. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Allan McKinley
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Graduate Diploma in Work Health and Safety (52330).
ATAR Chemistry
or WACE Chemistry 3A/3B
or TEE Chemistry
or CHEM1003 Introductory Chemistry or equivalent
CHEM3309 Chemistry in the Workplace
or SCIE2231 Nanotechnology
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs: 4 x 3 hours

Archer, R. et al. WHS: a management guide, 4th edn: Cengage Learning 2015

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.