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Health, safety and risk assessment are of paramount importance both in the laboratory and the field. This free course, Health and safety in the laboratory and field, will help make you more aware of the hazards and risks involved wherever you undertake your research, as well as giving you an overview of the legal requirements attached to this work. The course discusses issues involved in the handling of chemical and biological agents, basic safety procedures and common field-work hazards.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- understand the legal framework of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and Regulations associated with it;
- understand the employers’, employees’ and visitors’ duties;
- evaluate hazards and risks in order to carry out a risk assessment;
- understand the legal requirement to report any accident or dangerous occurrence;
- develop risk assessments for scientific laboratories that use chemicals or biological organisms or both;
- develop risk assessments for field-work both in the UK and abroad;
- evaluate the requirements for first aid provision in an office, laboratory or for field-work.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Overview
- 1 History of health and safety
- 2 Legal requirements of health and safety in the UK
- 3 Office safety
- 4 First aid and emergency procedures
- 5 General laboratory health and safety
- 6 Chemical health and safety
- 7 Hazards, risk and the process of risk assessment
- 8 Biological health and safety
- 9 Field-work health and safety, UK and abroad
- 10 Risk assessment exercise
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Health and safety in the laboratory and field
This unit is designed to introduce you to the concepts of health and safety within a science laboratory or in the field. There are a number of legal requirements that must be adhered to before carrying out work in a laboratory. One of these is the necessity to carry out risk assessments on the chemical and biological agents that are to be used as part of your practical work activities. As part of this process you may be required to think about minimising exposure of yourself and colleagues to these chemical and biological agents. The following background and information is intended to make you more aware of health and safety aspects of your laboratory and field-based research work.
This free course is an adapted extract from the Open University course STM895 Postgraduate research skills in science, technology, maths & computing, which is no longer taught by the University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Science courses or view the range of currently available OU Science courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 27th May 2011
Last updated on: Monday, 17th March 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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