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Responsibility of ownership and use of chemicals

30 Jan 2024

Colleagues are reminded of their duty of care when using chemicals – full guidance available

The University has a duty of care when handling chemicals and it is essential that the correct protocol is followed at all times when dealing with such material as there are risks associated with the mishandling of them.

Owning or working with chemicals carry responsibilities, not only when using such products but also when storing and disposing of them. It is not just the University’s duty of care, but your duty of care if you are an owner or user of these chemicals.

Limiting their access to the public and to other members of the University outside your lab group (including students, colleagues such as cleaning staff and others) will reduce risk of injury. Each laboratory team has its own protocols on how to store and dispose of chemicals. Following the correct protocol will help ensure that there are no adverse effects resulting from mishandling of chemicals.

Should there be any incident when handling chemicals or waste, please refer to our Standard Operation Procedure (UM/SOP/RC004) in the Compliance and Risk website. This will inform you on what steps to take if an ‘adverse event’ occurs and you want to report it.

Support and guidance

Full guidance can be found at:

To report any non-compliance adverse events or incidents, use the online reporting form. You will not be penalised for reporting an incident and you will be helping to make the University a safer place.

If you have any questions or require any assistance, please contact the Regulatory Compliance Team at:

For questions on a particular chemical risk assessment, please contact your School Safety Advisor.