General Laboratory Safety Procedures
The School's laboratories operate to safety standards as described in Australian Standard "Safety in Laboratories" (2243 parts 1 - 10) and The University's "Hazard management Policy".
- The Department has very diverse work procedures across its laboratories, this safety advice is for the "worst case" situation, your supervisor and/or the School Safety Coordinator will advise you, on the exact situation for your work.
- All material/reagents used and procedures performed must have been assessed for hazards and risk and a safe operating procedure (SOP) provided, to advise Staff/students how and where to apply the appropriate safety controls.
- All supervisors must ensure all staff/students are able to apply the risk assessment: to any ad hoc actions required to recover from failures of normal procedure.
- Laboratory tidiness is a major aid to safety, trip hazards must be eliminated and all material, dangerous or otherwise should be stored safely
- Personal effects (briefcases, coats etc should be stored away from the working areas in the Lab.
- Eating, drinking, application of cosmetics and smoking in the laboratory are prohibited.
- Storage of food or drink in the laboratory or in any storage unit containing not specifically approved for food storage is prohibited.
- PC2 laboratory doors will be kept closed when work is in progress and locked when no staff/students are present.
- Access to the laboratory must be limited to laboratory personnel and persons specified by laboratory management.
- Laboratory coats/gowns must be worn while performing all laboratory work and must then be hung on designated hooks before leaving the Lab. Closed footwear must be worn.
- Mouth pipetting is prohibited under all circumstances.
- Do not re-sheath needles.
- All sharps must be placed in an appropriate sharps container.
- Safety glasses and face shields must be worn to protect from splashes and other hazards for any procedure where there is the slightest potential for such a hazard.
- All technical procedures, with hazardous substances/material must be performed in a way that minimizes the creation of aerosols. In particular, operations such as sonication, vortexing, homogenization must be performed in a biological safety cabinet if a biohazard or a fume hood if a chemical hazard.
- Wear gloves when handling dangerous and/or toxic chemicals or working with radiation. Never touch common equipment, door or fridge handles with potentially contaminated gloves.
- Treat all biological material (including human tissue or fluids) as potentially containing pathogenic infectious agents; wear appropriate protective equipment (at least least gloves and gown). Notify your supervisor immediately in the event of an accident e.g. needlestick injury. All such material and containers or equipment that have come into contact with biological material must be autoclaved or chemically disinfected before disposal.
Note: All persons working in PC1/PC2 areas must have completed the training required by the IBC and the School.
Hands must be thoroughly washed after handling cultures and when leaving the laboratory i.e. moving to a "clean area" (even if you have been wearing gloves).
Work benches and surfaces must be decontaminated with hypochlorite solution (1% chlorine) after spills and wiped down with 70% wt/wt ethanol, when work is completed daily otherwise once a week.
Cultures must be clearly identified, dated and appropriately stored. Do not store cultures on the bench - transfer to a dedicated storage area (e.g. shelves of cold room).
Departmental waste disposal procedures will be followed for all disposal of material from the lab.
- Bicycles are an occupational hazard and in direct violation of the OGTR Guidelines (Part C - Behavioural Requirements). No bicycles are to be stored in PC1 or PC2 laboratories at any time.