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Purchasing Laboratory Substances and Equipment

These arrangements are to support anyone who wishes to purchase materials or products that have significant hazard potential and are aligned with the operation of the e-Procurement system OPeRA.

Materials / Equipment and Hazard Potential

Guidance on the health and safety considerations that should be considered at the requisition stage has been developed for the following Material Descriptions:

  • Lab and Workshop equipment that contain/give rise to ionising radiation, lasers (Class 3B or 4), non ionising or electromagnetic radiation or bespoke designed equipment
  • Biological materials including licensed substances, micro-organisms/cell lines
  • Consumables including biological materials, drugs and pharmaceutical products, agrochemicals, fertilisers and pesticides, gases and cryogenics
  • Chemicals including licensed substances, radiochemicals (open and closed sources), biochemical reagents, formulated products, general chemicals and batteries for research
  • Explosives
  • Waste collection services - radioactive, clinical/biological or hazardous waste

Guidance for Shoppers, Budget Holders and Approvers

A Shopper or Budget Holder should refer to the OPeRA User Guide to understand how to purchase items using the e-Procurement OPeRA system. It is particularly critical to refer to the 'Hazardous Flags' section within this guide, so that you understand how to alter the Hazard Level in the Final Review tab so that the appropriate hazard level (High/Medium/Low) for the item being ordered is selected.

This Decision Tree should be used by all Shoppers, Budget Holders and Approvers of the purchase of hazardous materials to ensure an appropriate health and safety assessment has been carried out prior to the purchase being completed..

There are certain health and safety responsibilities placed on every Budget Holder as Budget Holders are responsible for ensuring that what is ordered on behalf of the University can be managed effectively from a health, safety and environmental perspective. Please click the relevant links which explain in more detail the responsibilities if you are a Budget Holder or Specialist Approver (Health and Safety).

As a Budget Holder the person must:

Check the requisition raised by the Shopper by examining in particular the Final Review tab to ensure that any order lines containing hazardous materials, products, substances or equipment has the correct information displayed for its:

  • Material Group
  • Hazard Level (Low, Medium or High)

Please see the further information for Budget Holders and Specialist Approvers and the OPeRA workflow.

Material Descriptions and Hazard Level

Role of the Budget Holder

Role of the Specialist Approver

OPeRA Workflow

OPeRA Training

Opera shopper training: Link to training

Opera Pre-releaser training: Link to training

Staff members are encouraged to make use of the Moodle courses. However, it is also possible to have one-to-one training from the OPeRA team. Please email opera dot admin at warwick dot ac dot uk to book an appointment.