Workplace Health & Safety (WHS)

Workplace Health & Safety (WHS) for students and staff is of utmost priority at the School of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications. Please read below for more information.

Click HERE to access the central UNSW Health & Safety Website.

Report all emergencies - 9385 6666

  • State your name
  • Location of the incident, Building/Floor & Room No.
  • What the emergency is: fire, bomb, gas, chemical etc

Stay calm and advise others

  • Security
  • Your Work Mates
  • Your Supervisor
  • Other Students

First aid officers

Phil Allen, Room 347, 9385 4504
Roy Zeng, Room G15, 9385 5507
Olivia Huang, Room 103, 9385 4001
Emilio Saliba, Room 103, 0407 891 368
India Forbes, Room LGQ07, 9385 1084

Location of nearest first aid box

  • First Floor: School Office room 103.

Chief and Deputy Chief Wardens

  • Zhenyu Liu: Room G15, Phone 55508
  • Roy Zeng: Room G15, Phone 55507

Emergency evacuation procedures What should you do if the alarm sounds while you are in the Electrical Engineering Building?

  1. On hearing the alarm sounding as : beeep beeep beeep beeep
  2. Prepare to evacuate and follow instructions from any Public Announcements or Emergency Team members. Save files, turn off equipment and remain calm.
  3. On hearing the alarm sounding as: whooop whooop whooop whooop
  4. Evacuate the building immediately. Leave the building via the nearest safe emergency exit
  5. Do not use the lifts.
  6. Proceed as directed to the Evacuation Assembly Area. This is at the QUADRANGLE LAWN to the west of the building.
  7. Remain in the assembly area until notified to return to the building.

You do not need to deal with WHS matters alone. Talk to someone. The following staff are available to provide advice about the specific WHS hazards listed.

  • Ergonomics & Manual Handling: Nancy Martin La Rotta
  • Dangerous goods/hazardous substances: Yanhua Luo Note that NO dangerous goods/hazardous substances may be brought into the School without having safe storage and transport arrangements approved by Yanhua first.
  • High voltages: Zhenyu Liu and Dan Xiao
  • Lasers: Yanhua Luo Note that NO work with a class 3B or 4 laser may be undertaken in the School before having the risk assessment approved by Yanhua.
  • Radio frequency radiation: Simon Maunder and Yixuan Xie

For information on other hazards, please CLICK HERE to access the central Safety website.

In addition, the School's HSE Advisor, Emilio Saliba, is available to help with all Health and Safety related questions.

Each School has specific rules about conduct in laboratories to promote safety at work.

The following general rules apply to ALL laboratories in the School of Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications:

  1. All users must undergo induction, agree to comply with Laboratory rules, and observe ergonomic arrangements for their workspaces.
  2. No bare feet or exposed/open footwear are permitted (Footwear in laboratories).
  3. Food and drink are not to be consumed at any time in the laboratories.
  4. Under no circumstance is the 240 V, 50Hz mains power to be used for any purpose other than that approved by the School. Only authorised personnel are allowed to alter power connections (50 V above) or connect any equipment to mains power.
  5. Tampering with or removal of any laboratory equipment is strictly forbidden.
  6. Data network connections should not be altered. Personal equipment may not be connected to the School data network without first obtaining permission.
  7. Personal mobile phones are not to be operated at any time within a laboratory.
  8. Users are always expected to conduct themselves in a reserved and professional manner. All noise should be kept to a minimum.
  9. All bags should be stored out of walkways.
  10. When finished, all users should clean and tidy their workstations, shut-down the PC, return all leads, and turn out the lights (if last to leave).
  11. Faulty equipment and any other concerns should be reported to laboratory staff who may not otherwise be aware of the problem.
  12. Users must also comply with UNSW’s policies & procedures about Acceptable Use of UNSW Information and Communication Technology Resources.

Research Laboratory Users:

Users of EE&T research laboratories who have any form of equipment setup (for fabrication, experiments, measurements or other) must display a filled-in Activity Detail Sheet next to their setup (Activity Detail Sheet docxActivity Detail Sheet pdf).

Safe work procedures (SWP) and Risk Management Forms (RMF) describe how a particular task should be safely undertaken.

SWPs and RMFs have been developed for a number of different tasks performed in the various laboratories around the School. It is imperative that staff and students read, sign, and follow these instructions which are located near to the relevant equipment in the laboratories and/or on SafeSys. If you cannot locate the relevant SWP or RMF for the equipment you wish to use or the activity you wish to carry out, please contact the Area Supervisor before operating the equipment.

The University's Online Safety Management System (SafeSys) must be used to complete SWPs (for equipment) or RMFs (for activities).

Before considering the purchase of a new piece of equipment, the HS633a Pre-Purchase Checklist for Equipment must be completed and submitted to the Supervisor of the area where that equipment will be used, and a new SWP or RMF may be required for it.

Before considering the purchase of a new chemical or Hazardous material, the HS633b pre-purchase form for hazardous materials must be completed and submitted to the Supervisor of the area where that equipment will be used, and a new SWP or RMF may be required for it.

All new SWPs should be submitted directly to your Academic Supervisor, or the area supervisor for approval online before work begins.

All SWPs should be regularly reviewed and updated as new activities are undertaken.

Engineering laboratories are potentially dangerous places. Rules regulating behaviour apply in the photonics laboratories, just as they do elsewhere in the School whose generic rules are displayed elsewhere. 

You will appreciate that there can be NO tolerance of unsafe behaviour. We must exclude any student who does not comply with laboratory safety requirements (including the wearing of appropriate shoes).

The following extra rules apply to the relevant hazards:

Broken Glass

  • All fibre off-cuts must be disposed of correctly, into the yellow containers provided. Be aware that fragments of glass may be present on any surface (floors, bench-tops, shelves, etc) in the rooms, so look before resting your hand, elbow, etc.

Lasers - Laser radiation can damage your eyes, even when invisible.

  • Never look into an operating laser or the end of an optical fibre.
  • Always ensure that your laser-beams are terminated by a suitable non-reflective surface. Check this is the case.
  • Be careful to prevent accidental reflections & refractions that may send the laser-beam in unintended directions or accidentally pointing an optical fibre at someone.
  • Always keep any metallic objects (e.g. watches, rings, pens) out of a laser-beam.
  • Whenever possible, arrange the experiment so that you are not working with lasers at eye-height.
  • Unattended lasers must be switched off.
  • Lasers of class 3B or 4 (which are never eye-safe) must not be used without special permission and suitable extra arrangements being in place.

Rotating Machinery

  • Always ensure that fingers and any loose materials such as a sleeves and hair are kept well away from moving parts.

Hot Surfaces

  • Be careful not to touch any metal surfaces heated by white light sources.

Please visit the link below for information about lab and building access at the School of EE&T.

School's Health & Safety Committee Members

Head of School

Julien Epps

Chair of the School's Health & Safety Committee:

Torsten Lehmann

School WHS Advisor:

Nancy Martin La Rotta

Staff Representatives:

Zhenyu Liu, Simon Maunder, Yanhuo Luo, Roy Zeng, Matthew Boreland, Rukmi Dutta, Harith Wickramasinghe

Student representatives:

Undergraduate - Miguel Pacheco
Postgraduate - Akshay Srivastava

Committee Meeting Minutes

Please visit the link below to read the EE&T Health & Safety Committee Meeting Minutes.