4. General rules
To minimize the risk of accidents and create a safe working environment for you and your environment, it is important that you behave properly in areas where chemical hazards are handled. Always wear protective clothing and eye protection before entering a space where chemical hazards are handled. Protect yourself against unsuspected accidents.
- Wear a protective coat and protective goggles in the laboratory at all times.
- When necessary, the correct protective gloves should be worn.
- Never eat, drink, smoke, handle snuff (snus), and chew gum or tobacco in the lab.
- Never apply cosmetics including hand cream and lip balm in areas where chemicals are used or stored.
- Do not wear headphones/earphones in the laboratory. In the lab you must be aware of your surroundings and laboratory procedures require your complete attention. Listening to music or other material on your iPhone/smartphone diverts your attention and can prevent you from hearing alarm in case of any accident.
- The laboratory should be kept clean and tidy at all times. Broken glass and chemical spillages must receive immediate attention. Broken glass should be placed in a separate waste container.
- Do not taste chemicals or use your mouth for pipetting.
- Avoid skin contact with chemicals.
- Never carry out hazardous work alone. The person in charge in the laboratory, in consultation with the safety representative, decides what constitutes a risk.
- Specific regulations for disposal of hazardous waste have been established for Lund University. Please note that vessels and packaging that have contained chemicals must be cleaned prior to disposal as normal waste.
- Prior to carrying out experiments, find out how any waste products should be dealt with.
- Sinks, even in fume hoods, must always be kept free of waste.
- Experiments which take place overnight or during a weekend or holiday should always be labeled in such a manner that the person responsible for the experiment can be reached by phone.
- The risk of electricity- and water interruptions must be considered.
- Warning signs must always be placed on equipment, which may constitute a specific risk.
Find out where the evacuation plan, alarm buttons and fire extinguishing equipment are located, and study carefully the evacuation route and assembly points. Also determine alternative evacuation routes.
The corridors are evacuation routes and should therefore not be blocked with instruments, cabinets, equipment, etc. The width of the evacuation route should be at least 1,2 meters.
A risk assessment must always be carried out before starting a new experiment. Risk assessment is necessary to ensure that the work you do does not pose a risk for you, for your colleagues and for the environment. Also, it is important for you to know how to act in case of accident or unexpected situation. Risk assessments for work with chemicals with unknown properties must be carried out in the same way as for hazardous chemicals.
Read more: 4.5 Risk assessment