General Instructions to Work in the Chem Lab
(A) Personal behaviour
- A Regular safety training will be carried out annually. Your participation will be documented.
- Only qualified personnel may enter the laboratory and carry out the work. Guests must be accompanied by the personnel.
- If you do not understand any direction or a procedure, ask the person responsible for the procedure/ instrument.
- Perform only those experiments that have been authorized by the lab manager in accordance with the safety guidelines. Unauthorized experiments are not allowed. Do not use instruments that have not been authorized to you.
- Keep the lab tidy. Clean your work place (& fume hoods) to make it accessible by the next user using the lab-space.
- Always work in a well-ventilated area or under the fume hoods. Clean the fume hoods after synthesis. Do not use them for storing chemicals.
- No to be left on the floor over which people may trip over & injure themselves.
- Do not eat, drink or smoke in the lab. Keep your personal articles in the storage cabinets outside the lab.
- Never use glass equipment from the lab for beverages or foods.
- Do not run or make sudden movements. Make sure that 90 cm wide escape route is always available.
- Limit the formation of aerosols.
- Avoid wearing contaminated gloves for long duration. If necessary, change your gloves frequently, especially if you are allergic to them. Do not touch door handles, telephone or computer with contaminated gloves. Always dry your hands before wearing gloves.
- If you splash or spill chemicals, use appropriate cleaning method and adsorbent or inform the person in charge.
- Dress appropriately: Use lab coats, no loose sleeves, coats or scarves. Wear covered stable footwear and no sandals. Take care of your hair and wear long trousers. Remove rings and watches, especially while using the glove box. No synthetic finger nails or other flammable polymer jewellery. Use goggles, tongs and the appropriate protective gloves whenever necessary. Nitrile gloves are for handling general chemicals
- Do not work alone in the laboratory or outside normal working hours. If there is a requirement, ensure a second person is at a calling distance. Note all emergency contacts.
- Do not place hot apparatus directly on the laboratory desk. Always use an insulated pad. Keep flammable liquids away from hot plates.
- Switch off hot plates, any electrical equipment and gas pipelines, when not in use/ after normal working hours/ during holidays.
- Examine glassware before using. Never use chipped or cracked glassware. Never handle broken glass with bare hands. Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass. Place broken glass in the designated glass disposal container.
- Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) so that appropriate measures can be taken.
- Hydrofluoric acid is one of the worst hazards as it can attack bone tissue. Avoid trespassing into areas where trained researchers are working with HF.
- Pregnant and breast feeding women are requested to report to the lab manager/ representative so that immediate health-preventive measures can be taken.
(B) Professional chemical management
- Familiarise yourself with chemical hazards before starting work. You can find regulations for the use of specific chemicals at Materials Safety Data Sheet
- Never taste or smell chemicals.
- Always keep the chemicals in their designated cabinets.
- Never remove chemicals or other materials/ instruments from the laboratory area. If there is a requirement, inform the lab manager before doing so.
- Take only as much chemical as you need. Never return unused chemicals to their original bottles. Use a separate bottle to avoid contamination.
- Try not to spill chemicals on the weighing balances. They are very sensitive. If spill happens accidently, clean it immediately.
- Do not mix unknown chemicals. If you have any doubts, consult a chemist. Example, remember the big difference between strong bases or acids and concentrated acids or bases!
- All your chemicals/ sample/ solutions must be labelled appropriately.
(C) Waste Disposal
- Dispose of all chemical waste properly. Never mix chemicals in sink drains. Sinks are to be used only for water only. Do not mix aqueous and organic waste. Also do not mix organic-halogenated and organic-non-halogenated liquids.
- The lab is not equipped for draining biological waste. Also, experiments with radio-active substances are strictly forbidden.