Faculty of Health

Rules and Safety Guidelines for Teaching Laboratories

  1. Undergraduate students may not stay in the laboratory without School staff supervision
  2. No food or drink is to be consumed in the laboratory
  3. Smoking is not allowed in any part of the building
  4. Students are not permitted to carry mobile phones or any music generating device (eg ipod, mp3 players, pda's) in the laboratory
    If you have these they must be kept in your bag and turned off
  5. Students must inform the supervisor of any illness, injury, medication or circumstance which may impair performance and must hand to their supervisor a completed ‘Medical Disclosure Form for Laboratories/Workshops and Studios’ prior to the commencement of the course
  6. Eye protection must be worn in the laboratory
    Safety goggles or safety glasses must conform to AS1337 and provide adequate protection from chemical splashing. Conventional glasses alone are not adequate. People wearing contact lenses must wear goggles that seal around their eyes.
  7. A laboratory coat must be worn during practical sessions
  8. Shoes covering all of the feet should be worn - no sandals or thongs
  9. Long hair (below the shoulder) should be tied back or confined in a hair net
  10. Bags, coats and personal belongings must not be placed on the floor of the work stations
    They should be stored in the area provided
  11. Punctuality to practical classes is important
    Classes start with a short tutorial and this may include important safety information. Latecomers must report to the supervisor before going to their workstation and before starting work
  12. Report all injuries, accidents, spills and breakages immediately to laboratory staff
  13. Broken glass must be placed in the glass waste bin and not the wastepaper bins
  14. Never apply undue pressure or strain to any piece of laboratory glassware or equipment
  15. Familiarise yourself with the evacuation procedures and the location of:
    Fire extinguishers, fire blankets, eye wash stations, safety showers, water taps
  16. Minimise fire risk
    • Hotplates - avoid excessive heat. Use as low a heat as possible to conform with the method of preparation. Whenever possible, use water-baths instead of heating directly on the hotplate
    • Always use water-baths for heating oils, fats or waxes
    • Check the water bath regularly. If the water level is low either add more water or alert a laboratory supervisor
    • Never leave preparations unattended while heating
    • Do not leave spatulas, stirring rods or thermometers in containers while heating - they can tip over
    • Do not sit glass bottles, jars or slabs on the water-bath or hotplate the heat can break these
    • Place hot containers on the heatproof tiles provided
    • Turn off the hotplate when not in use
  17. Avoid contact with chemicals
    • If contact occurs with the skin, wash the affected area thoroughly with water
    • Appropriate gloves must be worn for some procedures. These are provided in the laboratory
    • Do not inhale fumes and vapours of chemicals
    • Avoid the production of airborne particles when weighing, mixing or grinding drugs or chemicals
    • Never pipette solutions by mouth - rubber bulb pipette fillers must always be used
  18. Do not contaminate chemicals and stock solutions
    • Keep the lid with its container and replace the lid immediately after use
    • Do not put damp or contaminated spatulas into chemical containers
    • Return drug containers to the correct shelf position promptly
    • Do not return excess or unwanted chemicals and solutions to stock bottles
    • Do not pipette directly from stock bottles > 500 mL
    • Use clean pipettes from the drawer. Used pipettes should be placed, tip up, in the plastic cylinders located on each side bench. Students should not attempt to clean their own pipettes and should not place wet pipettes into the drawer or into stock containers
  19. Dispose of unwanted chemicals correctly
    Waste containers are provided at each sink. Solids, semi-solids (including fats and waxes) and oily liquids must be disposed of in the waste containers and not into the sink or wastepaper bins
  20. Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
    • A safety data sheet (SDS) is written information about a particular chemical. All chemical suppliers are required to provide material safety data sheets to the School for each chemical, if requested
    • A SDS includes important information for a specific chemical about: Physical properties, Health hazards and appropriate first aid, Spillage, Use and storage, Waste disposal
    • SDS's for each chemical used in undergraduate laboratory classes are available in a folder in the laboratory while the class is in progress. You are encouraged to read these if you have any concerns or if you want to find out more about the chemicals you are using
  21. Electronic balances
    • Do not place any equipment, other than for weighing purposes, on the electronic balances
    • Spilled chemicals must be cleaned off balances immediately. Ask a laboratory supervisor for assistance if necessary
    • Avoid pressing down on the balance pan with the spatula when weighing
    • Do not press buttons or sensor pads repeatedly while waiting for a visual display
    • Never apply undue pressure to buttons or sensor pads on the electronic balances
  22. Computers
    • Computer use during scheduled class time should be relevant to the class
    • Do not initiate printing while the class supervisor is talking
    • Do not change computer settings
    • Report any computer or printing problems to the laboratory supervisor
    • Observe the normal rules of computer use which are posted on the laboratory door
  23. Cleanliness
    • Keep the work station clean and uncluttered
    • Keep practical books and reference books away from splash or spillage. Reference books should be returned to the book room immediately after use
    • Apparatus should be washed in warm soapy water, rinsed, dried and returned to the locker after use. Sponges, tissue and absorbent paper are available for cleaning
    • Ethanol can be used for cleaning. Tissue soaked in ethanol is suitable for removing oil, grease and some ethanol soluble drugs such as coal tar from equipment prior to washing in warm soapy water
    • Tea towels are provided for drying clean apparatus and should not be used for cleaning
  24. Safety Manual
    • Further information and requirements are available in the ‘Hobart Campus Chemistry Building SAFETY MANUAL’, copies of which are available in the laboratories or via this download link.