School of Biomedical and Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Division of Biomedical Sciences
THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH MEDICAL SCHOOL
A. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES 1
B. GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION 1
The Health & Safety at Work Act 1
The Section Safety Organisation: Responsibilities Error: Reference source not found
1. Section Safety Committee Error: Reference source not found
2. Head of Section Error: Reference source not found
3. The Section Safety Adviser Error: Reference source not found
4. Members of the Academic Staff and the Division Superintendent Error: Reference source not found
5. Part-time Postgraduate Demonstrators Error: Reference source not found
6. All University Employees, Postgraduate and Undergraduate Students and Visiting Workers Error: Reference source not found
7. Personal Insurance Cover 1
C. RISK ASSESSMENT, SUPERVISION AND OUT-OF-HOURS WORKING 1
1. Risk Assessments 1
2. Supervision of work 1
3. Undergraduate Practical Classes 1
4. Work outside normal working hours 1
D. sECTION REGULATIONS 1
E. GENERAL LABORATORY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS 1
F. SPECIAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS 1
1. Fire in the Section 1
2. First Aid Error: Reference source not found
3. Overnight Experiments 1
4. Personal electrical equipment 1
5. Electric Heating Mantles 1
6. Water 1
7. Gas Cylinders 1
8. Communal Cold Rooms 1
9. Ovens 1
10. Organic Solvents 1
11. Liquid Gases and Solid Carbon Dioxide 1
12. Purchase and Storage of Toxic or Dangerous Substances 1
13. Non-ionising Radiation Sources 1
G. BIOLOGICAL SAFETY HAZARDS 1
1. Human blood or human blood products 1
2. Human Tissues 1
3. Tetanus 1
4. Freeze-dried or acetone powders of biological material 1
5. Carcinogens 1
6. X-Rays and Lasers 1
7. Genetic Manipulation 1
8. Working with Radioactive Isotopes 1
H. WASTE DISPOSAL 1
1. Waste paper recycling 1
2. Uncontaminated glass waste and general waste 1
3. Biological / Chemical Waste 1
4. Hypodermic needles, and scalpel blades 1
5. Waste Organic Solvents 1
6. Radioactive Waste 1
7. Waste Radioactive Solvents 1
I. HEALTH AND SAFETY IN OFFICES, LIBRARIES AND GENERAL AREAS 1
1. Display Screen Equipment 1
2. The Screen 1
3. Screen Filters 1
4. The Keyboard and Work Surface 1
5. Seating 1
6. Work Environment 1
7. Display Screen Equipment Eye Test – Supplementary Information 1
Appendix 1 MEMBERS of Section SAFETY COMMITTEE 1
Appendix 2 Laboratory Safety Checklist 1
Appendix 3(a) Copy of the Risk Asssessment Form 1
Appendix 3(b) Copy of the Risk Asssessment Form – signatories 1
Appendix 3(c) Notes for using the Risk Assessment Form 1
Appendix 4(a) List of Fire Stewards Error: Reference source not found
Appendix 4(b) Fire Assembly Controllers and Assembly points 1
Appendix 5 CURRENT HOLDERS OF FIRST AID CERTIFICATES 1
Appendix 6 Incompatible chemicals and materials liable to form peroxides in storage 1
Appendix 7 Copy of Workstation Risk Assessment Questionnaire 1
Appendix 8 Waste Disposal Flow Diagrams 1
Appendix 9 The Poisons Rules 1982 1
A. EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
Fire Extinguishers & tackling small fires:- The Fire extinguishers have all been replaced by the new style red ones with a coloured collar to identify the type. These are located outside the laboratory at a 'Fire Point'. The different types have different uses.
1. All RED:– WATER These discharge water under carbon dioxide pressure. They are for use on normal combustible materials like paper or wood. They are not suitable for chemical fires or fires involving electricity.
RED with BLACK COLLAR:– CARBON DIOXIDE (CO2) These smother fires by excluding oxygen and they leave no mess. They are for use on normal combustibles or fires involving electricity. They can also be used on fire involving solvents but care must be taken to ensure that the force of the CO2 jet does not spread the burning liquid. They must never be used in the presence of metallic Sodium or Potassium or metal hydrides.
RED with BLUE COLLAR:– DRY POWDER These are best for use on burning liquid, they are also suitable for use on fires involving electricity.
RED with BUFF COLLAR:– FOAM These are most suitable for fires involving burning liquid. The foam floats on the surface of the solvent or oil thus excluding air (oxygen) and so smothering the fire.
Procedure to be followed in the event of a fire
a. Before tackling a fire ascertain what materials are involved and select the appropriate extinguisher for the job.
b. Should a fire not be extinguished with one extinguisher, leave the room and close the door.
c. Sound the nearest Fire Alarm.
d. Report the fire by telephone – dial the Security Officer on 2222 (not 502222), state your name, Section and telephone number, and supply any requested details of the location and nature of the emergency. If anyone has been hurt or injured in the incident report this also stating the nature of any injury and if assistance is required at the locus or which exit the injured person will go to.
e. Leave the building IMMEDIATELY and proceed to the ‘Fire Assembly Point’.
If the Fire Alarm sounds
The Fire Alarm in the Hugh Robson Building is a Z-tone sounder, in the Medical Buildings it is a continuous electronic sounder. This system is tested on a weekly basis at 10.00 a.m. on Wednesdays. The sounder should be muted after no longer than 30 seconds. If it continues or if you hear the Alarm at any other time:
a. Switch off any potentially dangerous equipment if it safe to do so.
b. Leave the building immediately in a calm manner, closing your laboratory door behind you.
c. DO NOT use the lifts.
d. DO NOT stop to pick up your belongings.
e. Assemble at the Fire Assembly Point – this will be determined by which building you are vacating (see Appendix 4b). DO NOT congregate at the main entrance as this may impede the Fire Service.
The Section has in place an Emergency Evacuation Plan for disabled persons within its boundaries. This plan is tailored both for the various areas of the Section, and the needs of the specific individual.
Should the fire alarm sound, a disabled person should make their way to a designated Rendezvous Point within the area. These points are shown to a disabled person upon their arrival, and are further identified by signs. These areas have a phone and a printed card bearing the appropriate numbers to contact. They will then await the arrival of a Fire steward who will help ensure a safe evacuation of the premises.
B. GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION
This Sectional Safety Handbook draws attention to particular hazards associated with the activities of the Section and should be read as a supplement to the University of Edinburgh Health & Safety Policy. The latest full version of this document can be accessed via the BMS Section web-site home page under Health & Safety or directly at:
It is a requirement that each laboratory or group should have access to a hard copy of the CURRENT VERSION of these regulations. Amendments and additions will be published in the web version as they arise making it the most up-to-date version and this can be accessed at http://www.sbms.mvm.ed.ac.uk/healthandsafety/HRB/cover.htm.
The Health & Safety at Work Act
This Act aims to secure the health and safety of people at work and it came into force on 1st April 1975. The Act places a statutory duty on ALL workers to carry out their work in a safe manner to ensure not only their own safety but also the safety of others and the environment – “The Duty of Care”. The policy of the DBCLS is to comply fully with the Act and with the subsequent regulations that have been published. Furthermore this Section, through the Safety Committee, will act positively to create conditions in which risk of injury or ill health at work are minimised. Anyone working within the Section of Biomedical Sciences has a duty to prosecute these policies and they must accept as their responsibility the prevention of injury to themselves and others.
Biomedical Sciences Section will:
a. Provide competent advice on safety and health matters.
b. Develop safe codes of working practice continuously.
c. Provide training and appropriate supervision in safe working methods.
Monitor and control safety performance within the Section.
For the purposes of this document ‘normal working hours’ is taken to mean 08.30 hours until 18.00 hours, Monday to Friday, but excluding any day on which the University is closed (e.g. a University or Public Holiday).
The Section Safety Organisation: Responsibilities
1. Section Safety Committee
The administration of all Safety matters in the Biomedical Sciences Section is carried out by the Section Safety Committee. The membership of the Section Safety Committee is :
Convener –Head of Section or appointee
Section Safety Adviser
Section Safety Officer
Genetic Modification Safety Adviser and Biological Safety Adviser
Radiation Protection Safety Adviser
Secretary – normally the Section’s Administrative Assistant
MSF Liaison Representative
Since the individuals holding these posts change from time to time their names and addresses are given in Appendix 1, which will be updated as necessary.
The Section Safety Committee acts as an advisory body to the Head of Section and reports to the Division Safety Committee and also works with, and is advised by, the University Health & Safety Committee. The Committee meets at least once a term to review the results of the safety measures taken, and consider any problems that have arisen.
The Minutes of its meetings are published at http://www.sbms.mvm.ed.ac.uk/healthandsafety/minutes/minutesBMS/index.htm and also on the Health & Safety notice boards.
If you are in any doubt concerning any aspect of health and safety you should consult with one of the committee without delay.
2. Head of Section
The Head of Section has devolved responsibility from the Head of Division, who is responsible to the University for the health and safety at work of all those who work in, or are taught in the Division. The Head of Division is also responsible for arranging consultations with the Division Safety Committee and members of staff to review existing health and safety practices and to consider any new health and safety measures. The Head of Section in turn will require this of the Section Safety Committee and staff.
3. The Section Safety Adviser
The Section Safety Adviser is responsible to the Head of Section for safety matters in the Section. He/she advises the Head of Section on safety matters, and meets regularly with the Radiation Protection Safety Adviser, the Biological Safety Adviser and the Genetic Modification Safety Adviser. He/She, briefs the Section Safety Committee on safety regulations.
4. Members of the Academic Staff and the Division Superintendent
The above, under the direction of the Head of Division, are responsible for:
a. Requiring and ensuring that all individuals working under their supervision strictly observe the legal requirements for safe working in the laboratory or other workplace.
b. Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date record of COSHH registration forms for all materials in their sphere of responsibility and risk assessments for each procedure pertaining to their research work and practical classes.
c. Encouraging all people under their supervision to follow safe working practice, as set out in the University Safety Manual and various Codes of Practice.
Ensuring that any requisite safety equipment is available and is used appropriately.
5. Part-time Postgraduate Demonstrators
Whilst employed to teach in undergraduate laboratories, the aforementioned responsibilities of Members of the Academic Staff are devolved on any part-time Demonstrators.
6. All University Employees, Postgraduate and Undergraduate Students and Visiting Workers
Everyone working in the Division has a responsibility, under the ‘Duty of Care’ to themselves and to others, not only on University premises, but in the community at large and the Environment, to:
a. Carry out their work in a safe manner and with due regard to health.
b. Conform at all times to the University and Section Safety Rules.
c. Inform themselves of any potential hazards to health, which might be involved with any equipment, or any Chemical or Biological materials which they use.
d. Inform the Section Safety Adviser of any problem involving a health hazard that may arise.
e. Ensure all waste that leaves their laboratories is safe and fit to be handled by other people. Please remember that several people may have to handle the waste after it leaves the laboratory.
A more extensive and detailed description of the responsibilities of the various members of the University can be found in Part 1 of the University of Edinburgh Health & Safety Policy document, which can be accessed from:- http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk
7. Personal Insurance Cover
The University holds Public Liability Insurance to indemnify it against any successful claim for damages by a non-employee, on grounds of negligence by the University. Research Workers who are not employed by the University of Edinburgh are recommended to take out Personal Insurance Cover against accidents at work. Further advice may be obtained from the University Director of Health & Safety, Old College (Alastair Reid), e-mail:
C. RISK ASSESSMENT, SUPERVISION AND OUT-OF-HOURS WORKING
1. Risk Assessments
All activities, other than trivial or everyday routine tasks carried out in the Section, have to be formally assessed for risk. There is a form for this purpose with explanatory notes in Appendix 3. The form provides a semi-quantitative means of assessing risks. For some purposes, such as the use of harmful chemicals or radioactive materials additional documentation or registration is required. Copies of the HSE information booklet, giving more detailed guidance are available on loan from the Divisional office.
These Risk Assessment Forms should be used in conjunction with COSHH forms if chemical hazards are identified. The COSHH regulations require you to carry out an assessment of the risks involved when you use substances deemed to be hazardous to health. You have to put in place a variety of controls and safety measures to minimise the risk to yourself and other occupants of the laboratory or work place from the hazards these substances present. As previously, this aspect of the assessment involves answering a number of questions. These include:
What substances are involved?
What potential harmful effects, both long and short term, might these substances produce?
Who could be affected?
What procedures minimise the risk involved?
In the event of an accident what emergency action should be taken?
Detailed information is available for many substances from the computer Databases listed in the University’s Health and Safety Manual (http://www.safety.ed.ac.uk/).
Separate more specialised forms are available for the assessment of risk associated with display screen equipment, manual handling, work involving genetically modified organisms. These forms are available from the Health & Safety Department web page via:
No activity involving other than trivial or everyday operations may be undertaken in the Section unless a properly accredited Risk Assessment form has first been completed. These forms must be reviewed annually, or whenever there is a change in the risk involved. The following procedures apply to the different groups of workers in the Section.
Full-time teaching staff and research fellows: complete and sign the form themselves.
Post-graduate and post-doctoral workers: complete the form, sign it and get it counter-signed by the research supervisor.
Final year undergraduates undertaking project work: complete the form, sign it and get it counter-signed by the supervisor.
Undergraduates in teaching laboratories: the Course Organiser must complete and sign the forms for each experiment and display them in the teaching lab.
Technical staff: complete the form, sign it and get it counter-signed by the member of the teaching staff requiring the work in question. In the case of class laboratories this is the Course Organiser.
Remember it is in your interests to be aware of the risks involved in the work you are carrying out.
2. Supervision of work
Each area of work must be put into a risk category to determine the level of supervision required for it. The category is determined partly by the nature of the work involved and partly by the experience of the worker concerned. (see Appendix 3). There are four categories, as follows: