Lachlan McPhail

Health and Safety Advisor - Data and Systems, Macquarie University

Lachlan is a health and safety professional with 12 years experience across consultancy and in-house advisory services. He is a Health and Safety Advisor in the tertiary education sector and graduate from the University of Wollongong Master of Work, Health and Safety program specialising in Occupational Hygiene.


This presentation theme will highlight if modern university anatomy laboratories are appropriately managing formaldehyde exposure. The current Australian formaldehyde workplace exposure standards (WES) are 1 ppm time-weighted average (TWA) and 2 ppm short-term exposure limit (STEL). Safe Work Australia recently proposed a TWA and STEL WES of 0.1 ppm and 0.3 ppm respectively. This study was undertaken using personal air monitoring and participant exposure questionnaire data to characterise exposure. Ventilation and personal protective equipment control measures were also assessed. The results highlighted exposure was not acceptable. The TWA and STEL geometric means were measured at 1.1 ppm and 1.5 ppm respectively and Bayesian analysis supported the conclusion. Powered air purifying respirators were introduced to enable further review of ventilation and substitution controls. Modern university anatomy laboratories may need to undertake detailed exposure assessments in preparation of a revised formaldehyde WES.


Monday 30th Nov Day 1

Managing Formaldehyde Exposure in Modern University Anatomy Laboratories