Safety in Science

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

​​​Purpose of this policy

To ensure the safety of students and staff in science areas.

Policy

Principals must ensure that:

  • science classrooms, laboratories and preparation rooms are safe at all times
  • local science safety policies and procedures are applied 
  • expectations for student behaviour are established and communicated to students
  • appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and chemical spill management resources are provided
  • details and appropriate signage in relation to safety and first-aid equipment, including the types and locations of available fire extinguishers, shut off valves and first aid kits is provided
  • emergency evacuation plans are clearly displayed see: Emergency Management Planning within Related policies

Curriculum considerations

Practical work is an important aspect of science education and, as such, should be included as part of the science curriculum. There are, however, potential hazards associated with practical work that require appropriate safety measures.

When selecting experiments teachers should take into account:

  • the nature of the class
  • class size
  • behavioural maturity of students
  • student skill level 
  • available facilities.

It is essential that risk assessments are completed for all science practicals, and where possible trialled by the teacher using the identical procedures that students are expected to follow.

Related policies

Related legislation

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004
  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2007

Department resources

For more information see: