investigation potential

similar, repetitive reports being presented each year on the same conditions and hazards. Because of this lack of originality University laboratories are seen to offer a situation with minimal original investigation potential for the Audit, and should therefore not be used. Your own home is also not a suitable subject for the audit, but a business in which you work or a high school which you attended might be. It is essential that a real premises or operation is studied; it is not adequate to give generalisations about a generic type of premises or operation as actual hazard depends very much on local conditions.
Suggested approach:
While the detailed approach will be left up to the student, it is recommended that at least the following steps be followed in order for the audit to be complete.
1. It is suggested you start off by thinking of a number of premises that might give you access to information relating to substances used or stored. Visit a number of these places and make contact with the person in charge to assess the feasibility of an investigation. Sometimes it is better to build up cooperation in a step-wise fashion, and this is likely to be more productive if the student presents themselves in a professional way (eg: by making an appointment, and having read up on the operation so that intelligent questions can be asked and time is not wasted, and dressing appropriately for the environment which may include use of personal protective equipment). 2. To develop background knowledge, carry out a literature search to orientate yourself to the process and sub-stances at the premises. This could be done by calling-up abstracts of some relevant papers from the e-collection on the Library site (Scopus search engine) 3. When premises are selected visit the premises and make an inventory of all the substances which may be hazardous. Keep in mind thatfalmost all substances can be toxic but this is dose-dependent. Think laterally because some common substances which might be taken for granted are hazardous when the risk is great. Keep in mind that risk is not just based on the “poisonousness” of a substance, but is a multiple of the probability of exposure and the likely health outcome should this happen (risk — probability x consequence). This concept will be further unpacked during lectures. Plan your visits with lists of items you want to see or discuss, to ensure the visits are efficient and systematic. Draw up questions for your contact person in that operation, some of which could be emailed for them to answer when convenient. Keep in mind that questions relating to their personal feelings or beliefs must not be asked as these would require WSU Human Ethics Committee approval. Sourcing information of a scientific. technical or administrative nature is, however. acceptable. In this regard asking for handouts or web addresses relevant to processes or products could be productive. Keep in mind that it is important to maintain secrecy regarding processes or substances you will have seen, and to reassure the contact person that you will do this. 4. The name, telephone number or email, and name of the business relevant to this contact person must be provided. A mark will not be returned for the work unless this contact information is provided in the front of the Audit, after the cover sheet. 5. Select four substances that pose the greatest risk to either the employees, the public, or the environment under the pertaining environmental and operational circumstances. to study in detail. Your reasons for select-ing these as the most hazardous need to be carefully explained in the audit, and reasoning should not be based on intrinsic toxicity alone, as mentioned in point iii above. This could involve using a risk matrix such as those used in the WSU Risk Assessment Form (a copy will be provided on vUWS). You will need to build knowledge of the toxicity and health impacts of these substances, as well as knowledge of how they should be handled. Do not merely draw on safety data sheets (SDSs) in this process, although they can be a useful starting point. they can contain errors and may be limited on technical data needed to evaluate the associated health risk for the product and how it is used.. You may need to revisit the premises to see how the products identified are actually handled. Please note that this is not a social survey or personal opinion survey in which staff is subjected to