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Laboratory Rules CB, VT Department of Chemistry and Biology

General Policies for the CB

  • Presence in the laboratories is only allowed for people working there or for students who are attending laboratory classes (no visitors!!!)
  • In general, guided tours through the laboratories should be avoided. In the case of laboratory tours, the tour participants have to be equipped with the necessary safety equipment (lab coat and safety goggles). The guide has to take care that people working in the laboratory are not disturbed by tour participants and that no dangerous situations arise because of the tour. The tour guide has to pay attention that the normal operation of the laboratories is not disturbed.
  • Every professor has to inform himself/herself and the students about the safety installations of the laboratories (escape route, placement of the emergency power stops, fire extinguisher, first aid case).
  • Storage or consumption of food (including chewing gum), beverages and tobacco is not allowed in the laboratories (danger of poisoning)
  • Putting on or off of make-up in the laboratories, including hand lotion is not allowed.
  • Wearing of large jewelry pieces in the laboratories is not allowed.
  • Shoulder-length and longer hair has to be tied into a pony tail.
  • The data safety sheets of all chemicals are in the technicians‘ office (room number O1-015) or in the research laboratory (building B, room number O1-019).
  • Pregnancies must be reported to the Head of Studies, the study programme office or the teacher(s) of the course. Pregnant women must not work or spend time in the laboratories. Otherwise the restrictions above (in Chapter XIII Maternity) apply.
  • Poisons can only be given out to students by the professors after exact instructions. Withdrawal of the poison has to be noted and the designated use, amount withdrawn, date and the person’s name have to be reported in the poison registry.
  • The laboratories with the room numbers O1-016, O1-017 and O1-018 have a permit for biological safety level S1.
  • If biological safety level S1 laboratory exercises are held in the above named laboratories, the professor has to provide the students with separate safety instructions. These instructions must contain an explanation/definition of the biological safety level S1 and additional important points like waste removal, wearing additional safety equipment (gloves, masks etc.) and storage/labeling of genetically modified materials.
  • Working with poisonous, corrosive or harmful materials is only allowed under supervision.

Things to be Considered at the Beginning of a Laboratory Day

  • Bags and clothes have to be stored in the lockers outside of the laboratories (all lockers have to be emptied at the end of the lab day).
  • Well-planned, deliberate working is a prerequisite for a safe and successful laboratory course. Laboratory protocols must be read before the laboratory exercise, questions must be raised before starting to work.
  • At the beginning of the laboratory exercise, all students are assigned a laboratory cabinet, which must be returned at the end of the lab day (the inventory of the lab cabinet must be controlled by the professor).
  • During the lab course, the students – in their own interest – have to behave in a way to minimize the possibilities of accidents.

Things to be Considered in the Laboratory

  • Obligatory Dress Code:
  • Safety goggles must be worn in all laboratories while handling chemicals.
  • A white non-flammable lab coat must be worn buttoned up at all times.
  • Closed shoes must be worn in the laboratories (no flip-flops or sandals)
  • Long trousers/pants must be worn at all times in the laboratory
  • Each person is expected to act responsibly when handling chemicals (poisons, chemicals that are environmental toxins), especially flammable chemicals and when working with expensive instruments and equipment.
  • Students are obliged to follow the provided laboratory protocols – no experiments according to one’s own, unevaluated protocols.
  • Do not leave experiments unattended!!!
  • Bunsen burners must be turned off after each use (do not use the minimal flame setting).
  • All flasks used must be labeled with name, date and content (no abbreviations). The content of unlabeled or incorrectly labeled flasks will be discarded by the laboratory technicians.
  • The students are not allowed to carry glassware, chemicals or samples out of the laboratories without being prompted to do so by the professor (pay attention to the colored labels of the glassware)
  • Electrical cords and tubings must only be used in mint condition (broken lab equipment must be reported to the professor).
  • Micropipettes must be hung in the pipette racks (don’t lay them on the lab bench)
  • Computers are only to be used for the laboratory exercise (no internet surfing or checking of e-mail accounts)
  • Broken glassware must be reported to the professor and noted in the glassware book present in each lab.

Things to do at the end of the Laboratory Day

  • Cleaning of all used glassware and drying it off with paper towels is mandatory (the dishwasher is only to be used when prompted by the professor).
  • Disposal of waste materials according to the professor’s instructions (organic waste container, heavy-metal container etc.).
  • Putting all used instruments and chemicals back in their respective storage places.
  • All solutions must be stored in screw cap bottles made out of glass. The bottles must be labeled properly.The content of unlabeled or incorrectly labeled flasks will be discarded by the laboratory technicians.
  • All gas taps and water outlets have to be turned off before leaving the laboratory.
  • The laboratory cabinet must be turned over to the professor after the inventory has been checked and everything has been cleaned (no glassware outside the lab cabinet)
  • The laboratory cabinet must be locked.
  • The chemical room and the room with the scales must be cleaned thoroughly.
  • At the end of each lab day in the microbiology and biotechnology laboratories, all waste bags have to be collected and autoclaved to minimize the exposition of biological material with the environment.

What happens in the case of accidents? How can accidents be avoided?

  • Measures in case of accidents:
    • The university or its employees are not liable for any damage or harm that was caused due to the negligence of a student.
    • In case of an accident involving chemicals, the professor must be informed immediately.
    • In case of personal injury, emergency medical personnel must be informed (144: who, what, where?).
    • In case of an uncontrolled fire, the professor must be informed immediately „There is a fire in Room …..”. Subsequently, the laboratory must be evacuated via the escape route, unless there are other instructions by people in charge.
    • Burning people must be wrapped in the fire blanket or hosed off under the emergency shower. Further help will be arranged by people in charge.
  • Accident Avoidance:
    • No running or pushing in the laboratories
    • No misuse of laboratory equipment (i.e. spray bottles)
    • No chairs between the laboratory benches (escape routes, danger of tripping)
    • Responsible and considerate handling of chemicals and laboratory equipment.

     

Work in Isolation

  • Work in isolation is forbidden for all students.
  • Work in isolation involving highly flammable, explosive or corrosive chemicals is forbidden for all persons. Another person must be within sight or shouting distance.
  • For all employees, including researchers, there is the following rule for all times that are not official operating hours of the university laboratories (Mo-Fr 8- 17 h):
    One is required to carry a mobile phone. The emergency phone number must be programmed on short dial.
  • Before starting to work, one has to call a full-time professor of the department BUT or a technician and inform him/her about the room number and the kind of work that will be done. The informed person must perform regular controls. In case of an accident, the person working in the laboratory must call the emergency phone number immediately.
  • Work in isolation involving highly flammable, explosive or corrosive chemicals is forbidden for all persons outside of the official operating hours of the university laboratories (Mo-Fr 8-17 h).

Knowledge of these regulations is a prerequisite for teaching or participation in laboratory courses and respectively for working on research projects in any of the university’s laboratories.