Lab Safety

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Contents

General

  • Laboratory coats or other protective clothing appropriate to the task in hand must always be worn.
  • In addition to a laboratory coat, goggles and rubber gloves should always be worn when handling chemicals of any type. With hazardous reagents additional precautions should be taken.
  • Smoking in laboratories is absolutely forbidden.
  • No food or drink should be taken into or consumed in a laboratory.
  • Laboratories must be kept clean and tidy at all times.
  • Field samples, prepared samples, etc., when not in use and required for further work must be clearly labeled and placed in a designated storage area.

Policies

  • In the event of an accident inform the Lab Manager
  • All accidents and 'near misses' (no matter how trivial) must be noted on a Departmental Accident slip. These slips can be found inside the doors of the First Aid Cabinets in each laboratory.

Equipment

  • Read the instructions for all equipment and materials in use. You should not only be TRAINED in their use but be sufficiently COMPETENT (i.e. experienced) in what you are doing.
  • You are responsible for all the equipment which you use. Breakages must be notified.
  • All glassware, sieves, etc., must be washed, cleaned, sterilised (as appropriate) and returned either to the cupboard or the drying rack/cabinet (again as appropriate) immediately after use. Microscopes are to be left clean and covered at all times.

Chemicals

  • With dangerous reagents acquaint yourself with the procedures in the event of an accident; charts explaining the necessary precautions and safety measures are displayed in the appropriate areas. Reference can also be made to the Hazard Data books supplied by chemical companies.
  • When using strong acids, oxidising agents or alkalis prepare all reagents in a fume cupboard, wear a laboratory coat and neoprene gloves, and always use suitable containers for storing and pouring the solutions.
  • Chemicals and apparatus not on the benches must be obtained from the laboratory superintendent or the tutor in charge. No unauthorised person may enter the chemical or equipment stores.
  • No preparation or piece of equipment is to be left unattended without the completion of an "apparatus working" card.

Handling of artefacts

Most artefacts probably dont constitute a major danger but broken glass, metal objects and obsidian flakes can cause minor and sometimes major injuries. Consider latex gloves - which also assist in limiting damage to objects from handling - as a safety option.