The Health and Safety at Work Act and University Regulations require that you wear and use appropriate protective clothing and safety equipment whenever you are working in our laboratories.
These are intended to protect both you and your clothing in the laboratory therefore:
✤they should be securely fastened; open coats can snag on benches or equipment. Spills etc. occurring on benches or in fume cupboards are more likely to splash the front of your body.
✤they should be kept in good condition, if they are torn or have holes they will not provide protection and can be a danger if these catch on equipment etc.
✤they should be washed regularly to avoid build up of substances likely to contaminate you or your surroundings.
✤they should not be worn outside the laboratory or disignated 'lab coat safe' corridors and never in Computer Labs, the student support offices or in leisure areas or where food and drinks are available.
Cotton garments are more suitable than those made from synthetic materials.
Smocks and Boiler Suits
Everyday clothes should normally be covered while working in engineering workshops. Smocks are generally acceptable for use, provided that they are in good condition, close-fitting at the wrists and are kept fastened at the front. Boiler suits are a safer form of clothing for use in workshops.
Various types of eye protection are available and the correct type should be chosen for the operation being undertaken. Normal spectacles do not provide adequate protection.
The following operations require the use of eye protection.
✤when using blenders.
✤where there is a danger of splashes from acids, bases or organic solvents.
✤when using glass apparatus under pressure or vacuum.
✤when using an ultra violet light source.
✤where directed to do so by a member of the technical or academic staff.
Various types are available and the correct type should be used for the operation in question.
When wearing gloves it is essential that care is taken not to contaminate door and cupboard handles, light and other switches and similar objects which individuals not wearing gloves may legitimately expect to be clean.
Wash the gloves frequently and take care not to contaminate your hands when removing the gloves or to contaminate the inside of the gloves.
Gloves should be worn:
✤when handling very hot or cold objects such as materials from autoclaves, solid carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen.
✤when handling corrosive chemicals e.g. strong acids and bases.
✤when handling toxic chemicals which may be absorbed through the skin e.g. cyanides or agricultural chemicals.
✤when handling irritant chemicals e.g. epoxy resins
✤when handling blood or blood products or other material of human or animal origin
✤Where directed to do so by a member of the technical or academic staff.
Always assume that dust is a hazard at one level or another and wear an appropriate mask or respirator.
Dust masks must be worn:
✤when handling or transferring powders in bulk.
✤when grinding, polishing or sieving.
✤when handling fine biological particulates e.g. pollen or fungal spores
✤when cleaning the cages or handling any animals which have dry skins or dry faeces.
✤Where directed to do so by a member of the technical or academic staff
These are hazards which may be specific to you as a result of pre-existing medical conditions. If you suffer from any of the following you must inform your Year Tutor or the Special Needs Tutor.
Allergies to particular materials or substances may be dealt with through the use of additional protection e.g.disposable gloves, barrier cream or working in a fume cupboard when handling the allergenic material.
Colour blindness can lead to problems at two levels: as a potentialthreat to personal safety through an inability to recognise colour codings etc., or at a functional level, where many tests used in practical work rely on a change of colour in a reaction or in comparing colours against a standard scale.