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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Health and safety in the laboratory and field

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.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371