New teaching staff

Welcome! This page introduces general health and safety (H&S) concepts that you should consider before you start teaching.

  • As a tutor and/or demonstrator you are acting as a supervisor of the students you are teaching; accordingly you need to be familiar with how safety is managed at UNSW.
  • If as a new teacher you are part of a larger program and/or course, then existing H&S information about the program should be provided by the responsible coordinator(s).
  • If as a new teacher you are taking over an existing course or developing a new course, it is your responsibility to maintain and/or develop all relevant H&S documentation and procedures for the program.

This current information should be seen as general in nature and you should refer to your H&S Officer or Faculty H&S Co-ordinator and the linked resources for further detailed information.


You are responsible for the students during the lecture

  1. Know how to evacuate and summon first aid. Check the campus evacuation map for assembly points for all buildings.
  2. Know the H&S risks to you, the demonstrators and the students
  3. Evacuation routes are on display in each building on an Emergency Procedures poster (be aware of any changes that may exist due to building works or maintenance).
  4. Emergency assembly areas will also differ for each building, make sure you are aware of where it is for all areas you regularly lecture in.
  5. Identify the nearest first aider and floor warden in the building.
  6. Identified hazards must be reported online through myUNSW (click on the H2O symbol).
  7. Any injuries or incidents must be reported online through myUNSW (click on the H2O symbol).
  8. Report any room faults (e.g. lights not working) to FM assist Ext 55111

If in doubt, call the UNSW emergency number Ext. 56666

During lectures
  1. Make yourself and students aware of emergency exit locations in lecture theatres and practical class rooms.
  2. Ensure no trailing cables from laptops (including student laptops).
  3. Don’t allow students to sit in exit aisles.
  4. Ensure you know what to do in an emergency

Consider: What would you do if someone fainted in the lecture? What would do if a fire started during a lecture or practical class?

Practical Classes

Know and communicate the H&S risks to you, the demonstrators and the students.
Ensure the risks are communicated to everyone via
– Course manual
– Handouts
– Safety briefing
– Student risk assessment

Be aware: Students do not know the risks and hazards in classes that they have never done before.

Be firm with the requirement for students to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Enclosed toe footwear / Lab coat / Safety glasses/shields (impact or splash?)


  1. What would you do if there was a chemical/biological spill?
  2. Do you know how to operate the emergency shower and eye wash?

You are setting an example for student future professional practices.


Your course outline should include a section on health and safety - template text is available and Richard Vickery can provide this.

Your course manual provided to students should include a student risk assessment - there is a template one available for wet labs and one available for computer labs, they can be found here. You should adapt these to make it specific to your practical. This is providing key information to students on the hazards and how they are controlled, it also introduces them to the concept of risk management.

Health & Safety Training

The University has a minimum mandatory training requirement for staff and post-grad students:

  1. H&S awareness on-line.
  2. Ergonomics on-line.

If you are a supervisor of student projects you must also attend:

  1. H&S for supervisors.

Detailed information on training can be found here.