Laboratories, workshops and associated stores must be suitable for the use to which they will be put. People entering or working in laboratories, workshops or associated stores need to understand the hazards, risks and controls required for their own health and safety and that of others. Laboratory hazards include:
- Biological Hazards - see Biological Safety
- Chemical Hazards - see Chemical Safety
- Radiation Hazards- see Ionising Radiation, Non-Ionising Radiation and Lasers
- Machinery Hazards - see Machinery, Noise
The University's methodology for distinguishing the level of hazard (low, medium or high) helps researchers to capture the nature and level of hazard their teams could be working with and helps departments establish appropriate levels of risk management: see Hazard Grid. Each laboratory, workshop or store should be analysed in terms of the nature and level of the hazards within the facility using this Hazard Grid.
Information for those purchasing and approving materials or products that have significant hazard potential is provided.
There should be information on notice boards incorporating relevant hazard information, warning signs and details of experiments/machinery in operation displayed at the entrance to the area. Posters providing guidance for display in labs and workshops may include for example:
- Good Lab Practice for Undergrad Laboratories,
- Good Lab Practice for Research Laboratories
- Safe Selection of Gloves, and
- Skin Care - Hands,
Each laboratory, workshop and associated store must have local rules appropriate for their activities, hazards, and engineering controls, and these rules must define training needs and approvals for those entering or working in the area so that they receive relevant instruction, supervision and training. See also Permission to Access High Hazard Areas
People using laboratories and workshops must be trained in how to respond if there is an accident or unplanned event in the laboratory or workshop. This should include how to deal with a needlestick or sharps injury or incidents where there has been potential exposure to a blood borne virus where applicable.
A short presentation with guidance on the Transportation of Hazardous Materials and Pressurised Gases (Dangerous Goods) is also provided.