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Health and safety in the laboratory and field
Health and safety in the laboratory and field

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5 General laboratory health and safety

5.1 Basic do's and don'ts and lone working

Some basic ‘do's and don'ts’ are:

  • Laboratory coats must be worn at all times.

  • When handling chemicals or sharps (any sharp object that can cause injury, particularly to the hands), observe good laboratory practice by wearing gloves. Latex or nitrile gloves are best, depending on the application.

  • There should be no eating, chewing gum, drinking, smoking or applying cosmetics in any laboratory.

  • No pipetting by mouth; always use pipette filler.

  • All broken glass must be placed in a labelled bin (Broken Glass); nothing else should go in that bin.

Figure 4
Figure 4 Different kinds of gloves

Lone working

Lone working is defined as working alone after hours on weekdays or at weekends.

  • The student should inform their supervisor and security that they are intending to work alone in laboratories and inform security when finished.

  • If the work involves any hazards then the student should carry a lone worker alarm and again inform security of their whereabouts.