Laboratory Safety

There are often times when a laboratory is shared with others who may not all be working on the same project. To assist in safe practices, below is a general guide

Please note:

  • If you must work after hours, always advise your supervisor what you're planning to do and where you will be. As a general rule do not work alone in the lab 
  • No high risk activities may be conducted out of hours. 

Communication

  • Communicate not only within your team, but also others around you (if shared) especially about any out of the ordinary smells, or malfunction in equipment
  • If you leave a piece of equipment running, always label it, so others know that an experiemnt is in progress. Include your name, date and contact details.
  • Note any changes in room temperature, as this can affect experiments or chemicals.

Signs and labels

  • All signs and labels much be written in English
  • Respect the signs and labels placed by other users, if in doubt, ask.
  • All containers with chemcials must be labelled with a GHS compliant label, this includes commerical containers, decanted chemicals, samples and waste
  • All bottles and beakers with substances must be labelled with what the substance is

Cross contamination

Cross contamination in a lab can alter results of an experiment, or cause chemicals to react negatively which could affect yourself, or those around you.

  • Food and drink is strictly prohibited in the lab
  • Long hair should be tied back
  • Users must clean equipment after every use - including beakers, stirrers, pipettes, scales and hotplates
  • The space must be cleaned and sanitised after use
  • Clean any spills immediately or report it to your supervisor if the spill requires a trained person, if the circumstance requires, evacute the area
  • Wash hands after work

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is clothing or equipment that is worn to help protect someone from injury or illness. The school provides PPE, however for hygenic purposes, it's recommeneded that people bring their own safety glasses. If not, it's recommended that glassees are cleaned prior to use.

  • PPE is to be worn in any lab or workshop area
  • Consider keeping long pants with you during hot days
  • lab coats must be washed regularly 
  • PPE should not be worn outside the lab area, e.g gloves should not be worn to open doors, this could contaminated other areas.
  • Ensure gloves are appropriate for the work undertaken
  • change gloves often, or when contaminated
  • When using a mask, consider if others around you may need one too
  • Contact lenses are not recommened when working with chemicals
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Updated:  4 September 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster