Unsafe Lab!

Health and Safety is an important aspect of your practical work and should underpin your general lab practice . As a refresher of Tuesdays session we have provided a breakdown of the hazards you should have encountered during the activity (each bench had the same hazards in the same location in case you hadn’t noticed!).

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This lab coat is cluttering the bench. It could be a potential fire hazard or become contaminated with a hazardous substance.

ACTION – Please wear lab coats in the lab and keep them off the bench.

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This paper is an obvious fire hazard. The Bunsen burner is unattended and without a heat mat. Always be aware of others working around you and the substances they are using. For instance, solvents and other flammable materials.

ACTION – Turn off when not in use. Use a heat mat.

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Eating and drinking in the lab is never acceptable. Ingestion of hazardous substances is the risk in this instance.

ACTION – Do not bring food or drink into the labs.

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Damaged electrical cord can pose a shock risk.

ACTION – Electrical equipment is always PAT tested, however its best practice to check that equipment is safe to use. Please report any faults to Technical staff.

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This labelled beaker of HCl lacks information on concentration. Concentrated acids are highly corrosive and must be used in a fumehood, dilute acids are safe to use on the bench.

ACTION –  In both cases gloves should be worn. Please label containers of substances with contents, concentration and initials.

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This powder spill of a substance with unknown hazards could pose a range of health risks. It could also react with other reagents in use.

ACTION – Report to a technician or demonstrator. Keep balances clean.

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These dirty test tubes left on the bench could pose unknown hazards.

ACTION- Ensure your glassware is rinsed and put on a wash trolley after use. Report any unattended dirty glassware to technicians.

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Flammable solvents pose a fire risk, in this case this solvent is in an unsealed container.

ACTION – Always ensure bottles of solvent are stoppered after use. Where appropriate please use a fumehood.

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Broken glassware can cause injury.

ACTION- Always report breakages to technicians.

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This waste bottle is poorly labelled. Waste should be segregated into different streams, halogenated (green label) and non-halogenated solvents (orange label) should never be mixed. Red labels are used for aqueous solutions. Red vented caps are used to prevent build up of pressure.

ACTION – Ensure you use the correct waste bottle for your specific waste. Do not pour blindly into the bottle, always check the level.

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This liquid spill of a substance with unknown hazards could pose a range of health risks. It could also react with other reagents in use.

ACTION – Report to a technician or demonstrator.

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This beaker is not labelled and so any hazards are unknown.

ACTION – Always take care when using stirrer hotplates. Do not leave unattended for long periods of time. Remember to label your beakers!

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