NZQA registered unit standard / 8351 version 7
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Title / Apply health and safety practices to working in a mortuary
Level / 4 / Credits / 5
Purpose / This unit standard is for people working in the embalming industry.
People credited with this unit standard are able to: comply with health and safety requirements when embalming; apply safe techniques when handling and operating equipment; apply safe techniques in personal hygiene and disposal of clinical waste; and apply safe techniques in hygiene when handling the deceased’s property.
Classification / Funeral Services > Embalming
Available grade / Achieved
1Competence demonstrated in this unit standard must comply with the requirements of the Funeral Services Training Trust of New Zealand’s Industry Code of Ethics available at
References may include but are not limited to – Burton, GRW & Engelkirk, PG, Burton's Microbiology for the Health Sciences (10th Edition) (Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2016); Mayer, RG, Embalming History, Theory and Practice (5th Edition) (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2011); Mayer, JS, Colour and Cosmetics: The Consummation of Restorative Art (Dallas, TX: Professional Training Schools, 1991); Raymond, KW, General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry: An Integrated Approach (4th Edition)(Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2014); Spriggs, AO, Champion Restorative Art (6th Edition) (Springfield, OH: The Champion Company, 1999).
3Legislation relevant to this unit standard includes but is not limited to – Burial and Cremation Act 1964; Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996; Health and Safety at Work Act 2015; Health Act 1956; Health (Burial) Regulations 1946; Human Tissue Act 2008; Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Compensation Act 2001; and Resource Management Act 1991.
4This unit standard must be assessed against on the basis of evidence of demonstrated performance in the workplace.
Outcomes and evidence requirements
Comply with health and safety requirements when embalming.
1.1Potential and actual hazards are identified before, during and after the process of embalming and action is taken to eliminate, isolate or minimise the hazardin accordance with legislative requirements.
1.2Techniques are used to minimise harm to self and others when hazards are present in accordance with legislative requirements.
Rangetechniques include but are not limited to – stress management, personal protective equipment, hygiene, sterilisation and disinfection, first aid, emergency and evacuation procedures, safe lifting and transferring of the deceased.
1.3Safe working techniques are used when using dangerous or sharp instruments in accordance with legislative requirements.
Rangetechniques include but are not limited to – passing instruments safely, dealing with dropped instruments, making incisions carefully.
1.4Electrical equipment is maintained in good order and any faults are reported in accordancewith legislative requirements.
1.5Fire safety practices are followed in accordancewith legislative requirements.
1.6Emergency and evacuation procedures are identified and described in accordancewith legislative requirements.
1.7Restriction practices for personnel entering and working in a mortuary are followed in accordance with legislative requirements.
Apply safe techniques when handling and operating equipment.
2.1Embalming equipment and instruments are selected and used safely in accordancewith manufacturer’s specifications and legislative requirements.
2.2Safe techniques are used when lifting during embalming in accordance with legislative requirements.
Apply safe techniques in personal hygiene and disposal of clinical waste.
3.1Infection control procedures are carried out during embalming in accordance with legislative requirements.
Rangeprocedures include but are not limited to – hygiene procedures, personal protection equipment.
3.2Methods for disposal of clinical waste are used in accordance with legislative requirements.
Rangetypes of clinical waste include but are not limited to – general waste, infectious waste, biological waste, sharps.
Apply safe techniques in hygiene when handling the deceased’s property.
4.1Personal protective equipment is worn when handling the deceased’s property in accordance with legislative requirements.
4.2The deceased’s property is cleaned or laundered to ensure sanitation of the items prior to returning to the family in accordance with legislative requirements.
4.3Any unwanted property belonging to the deceased is disposed of in accordance with legislative requirements and the family’s wishes.Planned review date / 31 December 2020
Status information and last date for assessment for superseded versionsProcess / Version / Date / Last Date for Assessment
Registration / 1 / 8 November 1996 / 31 December 2013
Revision / 2 / 16 May 2000 / 31 December 2013
Review / 3 / 20 September 2002 / 31 December 2013
Review / 4 / 21 September 2007 / 31 December 2013
Revision / 5 / 14 December 2007 / 31 December 2013
Review / 6 / 19 April 2012 / 31 December 2018
Review / 7 / 16 March 2017 / N/A
Consent and Moderation Requirements (CMR) reference / 0221
This CMR can be accessed at http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/framework/search/index.do.
Providers must be granted consent to assess against standards (accredited) by NZQA, before they can report credits from assessment against unit standards or deliver courses of study leading to that assessment.
Industry Training Organisations must be granted consent to assess against standards by NZQA before they can register credits from assessment against unit standards.
Providers and Industry Training Organisations, which have been granted consent and which are assessing against unit standards must engage with the moderation system that applies to those standards.
Requirements for consent to assess and an outline of the moderation system that applies to this standard are outlined in the Consent and Moderation Requirements (CMR). The CMR also includes useful information about special requirements for organisations wishing to develop education and training programmes, such as minimum qualifications for tutors and assessors, and special resource requirements.
Comments on this unit standard
Please contact the Funeral Service Training Trust of New if you wish to suggest changes to the content of this unit standard.Funeral Service Training Trust of New Zealand
SSB Code 101575 / New Zealand Qualifications Authority 2019