Chapter 7: Genaral Laboratory Safety

Effective Date: July 1, 1997 (Issue No. 2)

Last Updated: December, 2014

A. Introduction

The following safety rules are intended as guidelines and an overview of laboratory safety. Much of the information contained in this chapter is discussed in greater detail in other chapters and you are referred to them for more information. They were developed from various sources and each lab supervisor should develop rules that are specific for his or her laboratory. All employees, visitors, contractors, etc., should be informed of these guidelines. Persons engaged in laboratories where there are biological hazards, chemical hazards or physical hazards must recognize that these are special categories of risk. In all such cases it is necessary to ensure that all applicable statutory safety regulations or codes of practice are observed and that adequate information relating to the hazards is available . Please refer to the appropriate chapter of this manual for more detailed information on specific hazards.


B. Planning

The user must evaluate each task in which lab hazardous materials and potentially dangerous equipment are used so as to determine the associated risks. This evaluation must include a consideration of the properties and reactivity of the hazardous materials or combination of chemicals as well as equipment safety considerations. Additionally, eventual disposal options and waste minimization techniques should be evaluated in the planning stage. Further, the tasks and materials involved as well as equipment should be reviewed by a knowledgeable person in advance of the operation.

It is the duty of each worker or student to co-operate in the prevention of accidents. It must be strongly emphasized that those staff and students who fail to take adequate precautions may endanger not only themselves but others as well.


C. Responsibilities

Principal investigators/supervisors are responsible for establishing safe procedures and providing the protective equipment needed in handling hazardous laboratory materials and equipment. They must instruct their personnel as to the possible hazards, the safety precautions, waste handling procedures, the consequences of an accident, and the actions to take in case of an accident. It is also his/her responsibility to assure that employees and students are held accountable for the materials and equipment that they work with. In case of a job/program transfer or termination, employees or students must properly dispose of or transfer all chemicals and assigned equipment to another responsible party before leaving.

Employees and students are required to learn and understand the properties of the hazardous materials they work with as well as the operational features of lab equipment and to follow all precautions applicable to each task. If any equipment malfunctions, or if any damage or personal injury occurs, the employee or student should act to protect himself and others in the area. He or she should also report to the supervisor any unsafe or hazardous condition in the area.

The Health, Safety and Environment Office (HSEO) assists supervisors, employees and students in maintaining safe work areas by providing information on the hazardous properties of materials, recommending methods for controlling them, and for monitoring the work environment. In addition, HSEO offers formal education and training courses on the recognition, evaluation and control of various safety hazards.


D. General Safety

Emergency Planning

Acquaint yourself with HKUST instructions for the proper procedures to be used in case of fire, accident, or other emergency. Alarms or loudspeaker systems may be used in such cases. (Refer to Chapter 3 of this manual or the HKUST Emergency Procedures booklet.
Learn the lay-out of the building and the location of emergency exits, emergency exit routes applicable to your laboratory, emergency telephones, emergency ventilation system, fire-fighting equipment and how it works, emergency shower and first aid equipment.

Emergency Response Checklist

Postings and Signs

Ensure that you understand all the safety signs at your place of work. Also, the name of the person to contact for technical information and guidance in case of emergency should be posted along with other emergency information and notices to employees.

Corridors and Entrance

Keep all corridors, doorways, and especially emergency exits and stairs free from obstruction. This applies particularly to trolleys and portable equipment, delivered stores, etc. Likewise, fire blankets, showers and extinguishers must be kept readily accessible and clear of encumbrances.

Always exercise care when opening and closing doors when entering or leaving the laboratory.

Never run in the laboratory or along corridors.

Get to know the position of the main laboratory controls for electricity, gas and water and see that they are not obstructed by equipment (see photos).

Factors Influencing Hazards

The following five individual characteristics are the main contributing factors to accidents in order of occurrence. Any may present or increase hazards. You should notify your supervisor if you are experiencing any of these characteristics or observe such a problem in others.

  1. Fatigue
  2. Hunger
  3. Medication
  4. Attitude
  5. Alcohol & other drugs

Solo and Unattended Experimentation

Working alone in laboratories is strongly discouraged, and departments are encouraged to prohibit this practice. If you must work alone in the laboratory, inform your supervisor or a responsible person of your presence and the nature of your project.

Do not leave an experiment unattended without failsafe devices to prevent a system failure that could result in a fire or explosion, e.g. loss of cooling water, overheating, flooding, and pressure build-up. An experiment is considered to be unattended if no one present is knowledgeable of the operation and the shutdown procedure to be followed in the event of an emergency. In considering whether an experiment should be left overnight, you should take into account the nature of the materials involved, the scale of the experiment, control measures adopted and the level of supervision which is available. Arrangements should be made for regular inspection by a competent person who has been fully briefed on possible hazards. The name of this person should be prominently posted next to the unattended operation. Supervisor approval is to be obtained for unattended operations.


E. Laboratory Hygiene

  1. Food and drink are not to be stored or prepared in laboratories or chemical storerooms. All food and drink should be consumed in specially designated areas such as canteen or pantry.
  2. Use appropriate personal protective equipment and wash your hands regularly when working with chemical reagents, especially before meals or snacks.
  3. Smoking in laboratories is prohibited.
  4. Do not store personal items such as street clothing, backpacks, etc. on work benches.
  5. If you have long hair, ensure that it is properly tied back.
  6. DO NOT mouth pipette. Always use a pipette filler or other pipetting device (see photos).
  7. Wearing of contact lenses in the lab is strongly discouraged. If it is unavoidable, advise your supervisor and co-workers so that this information is known in the event of a chemical splash in the eyes.


F. Basic Laboratory Precautions and General Housekeeping for Research Rooms

  1. The work bench is to be kept clean at all times, and free from chemicals and apparatus which are not required.
  2. Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in the laboratory. PPE should be clean and changed as necessary. Remove laboratory coats before leaving the laboratory and entering the rest room or canteen.
  3. Before starting an experiment, make sure you are familiar with all the procedures and the potential hazards of the starting materials and products. Determine the appropriate safeguards and remedies. Know the procedures for emergency shut off as well as the person and phone numbers to contact in case of emergency. If anything unexpected occurs during your experiment, or if you are in any doubt, consult your supervisor immediately.
  4. It is preferable to clean up after each stage of an experiment. Apparatus which has been contaminated with harmful chemicals should be rinsed before being left for final cleaning. Rinseate should be retained and/or neutralized as required. To protect the washing-up room staff, apparatus containing dangerous chemicals must be thoroughly rinsed before being sent for cleaning.
  5. Never remove any equipment from the room without prior permission from the technician-in-charge.
  6. When you have to leave the room before the completion of an experiment, put a warning sign next to your set-up to indicate that your experiment is in progress. Include relevant information such as your name, contact number and hazardous conditions/materials.
  7. Remember to turn off the water supply, gas, and lights and lock the door if you are the last person leaving the room.
  8. Remember that blood and other animal specimens used for research works may contain pathogenic bacteria or viruses and must be handled and disposed of according to approved practices and procedures (e.g. Universal Precautions).
  9. Please observe specific regulations when you are working in special research rooms or handling specific classes of hazardous chemicals such as carcinogens, radioactive materials, peroxidizable chemicals, biohazardous materials, etc. (Hazardous chemicals information).
  10. Never dispose of any solid waste or hazardous chemicals into the sink. Follow the instructions as given by the laboratory supervisor.
  11. Loose sleeves are a hazard and should not be worn in the lab.
  12. The laboratory vision panel (i.e. glass window in door) is used by emergency response personnel to identify internal hazards/conditions. DO NOT block, cover, or obstruct this viewing panel unless necessary to maintain darkness (i.e. optical work, microscopy, spectroscopy) or to contain laser beams.
  13. Laboratories or laboratory fixtures which are not routinely used, should be checked regularly to assure that the water traps in the floor drains and sinks are filled in order to prevent foul odors from escaping into the rooms.


G. General Laboratory Techniques

1. Emergency Planning

Acquaint yourself with HKUST instructions for the proper procedures to be used in case of fire, accident, or other emergency. Alarms or loudspeaker systems may be used in such cases. (Refer to Chapter 3 of this manual or the HKUST Emergency Procedures booklet.

Learn the lay-out of the building and the location of emergency exits, emergency exit routes applicable to your laboratory, emergency telephones, emergency ventilation system, fire-fighting equipment and how it works, emergency shower and first aid equipment. Emergency Response Checklist

2. Postings and Signs

Ensure that you understand all the safety signs at your place of work. Also, the name of the person to contact for technical information and guidance in case of emergency should be posted along with other emergency information and notices to employees.

3. Handling Glassware and Sharps

  1. Examine all glassware before use. Discard any broken glass apparatus in the appropriate sharps container (mercury thermometers should be disposed of separately as hazardous waste). Reject any glass apparatus that is damaged.
  2. Never store damaged glassware in cupboards. Damaged glassware should either be sent for repair properly or disposed in a separate labelled container for sharps disposal.
  3. Use gloves when sweeping up broken glass, do not use bare hands. Pick up fine glass particles with wet paper toweling.
  4. Cut ends of glass rods and tubing should always be fire-polished before use.
  5. Use a cloth for protection when inserting glass tubing, rods or thermometers into bungs or tubing; use a lubricant or water where necessary.
  6. Take care in handling and disposing of drawn glass capillaries and hypodermic needles. They should be disposed in appropriate sharps containers.

4. Pressurized Gas Cylinder

  1. All cylinders should be labelled with the name of the gas contained and the date placed in service.
  2. Compressed gas cylinders should always be properly supported and secured in the upright position.
  3. Use only the right and permitted valves, fittings, tubing, and regulators on compressed gas cylinders. Regulators must be free from oil and grease.
  4. Always check the joints for any leakage.
  5. Always turn off a gas cylinder at the main valve after use and release any excess pressure in the regulator.
  6. Always move large gas cylinders on an approved cylinder trolley. Do not drag, roll or slide cylinders.
  7. Warning notices should be displayed where cylinders are used and stored. Store pressurised gas cylinders in a cool, well ventilated place.
  8. The cylinder valve seating should be freed from dust before connecting the regulator.
  9. Toxic and highly toxic gases are to be ordered in minimum quantities, stored in approved gas cabinets with appropriate safety devices (e.g. leak detectors, etc.) (Pressure safety checklist)

5. Cryogenic Liquids

  1. Cryogenic liquids present special hazards. Before using them, you should familiarize yourself with the recommended handling precautions.
  2. Liquified gases should be handled in open vessels or approved vessels. An explosion can occur if a vessel containing the liquid becomes sealed.
  3. The room must be well ventilated when pouring out liquified gases. They must not be poured near flames (flammable gases may ignite or inert gases may extinguish the flame allowing gas to escape).
  4. Care should be taken when storing liquid nitrogen in ampoule. Nitrogen trapped inside a sealed ampoule may explode. The ampoule should be surrounded with cotton wool or cloth to reduce this risk. (photo)

6. Noxious Fumes

Fumes in laboratories may come from a variety of sources. While identifying their characteristics and source, it is prudent to evacuate the affected areas and isolate and ventilate them as quickly as possible. If the fumes are acrid or smoky and not due to something quickly identifiable like a fluorescent fixture ballast, the source should be assumed to be a fire, possibly electrical, and treated as such. The presence of flammable gases, other than natural gas, should be evaluated at potential sources. If flammable gases are not involved, the use of a large portable reversible fan with window mounts and long lengths of extendible flexible ducting can be very helpful to either exhaust or dilute the fumes. If the origins or characteristics of fumes are in doubt, supplied air respirators should be worn by qualified personnel.

7. Spills

More extensive discussions of spill cleanup can be found in the appropriate chapters of this safety manual (i.e. Chapter 8 - Chemical Safety; Chapter 9 - Biological Safety; Chapter 10 -Radiation Safety). In the event of a small spill, contain spill and/or until assistance is obtained, follow these steps:

  • If the substance is dry and/or nonvolatile material which has been aerosolized, shut off hoods, close windows and doors, and vacate rooms. Label door with appropriate warning. Allow the aerosol to settle for about 30 minutes before re-entering room.
  • If the substance is volatile, activate the emergency ventilation system and vacate room. Close the door and post warning. (photo)
  • Notify the laboratory supervisor and the Security Control Centre which will in turn notify the Health, Safety and Environment Office (HSEO).
  • Assemble materials necessary for decontamination and don appropriate protective clothing, i.e., disposable lab coat, gloves and splash goggles. If respiratory protection is needed, seek assistance from supervisor or those responsible for environmental health and safety.
  • For a liquid biological spill, pour the decontaminating solution appropriate to the nature of the material, working from the perimeter of the spill inward.
  • For a liquid carcinogen or other hazardous chemical spill, wipe up the spill with absorbent toweling. Wash down all surfaces with the decontaminating solution appropriate to the nature of the material.
  • For a dry chemical or biological spill, wash down all surfaces with an appropriate solvent to neutralize and remove the substance. (photo)
  • For a radioactive spill, treat the biological component or hazardous chemical agent; follow by cleaning all contaminated surfaces with a decontaminating solution appropriate to the nature of the material, and scrubbing all contaminated surfaces.
  • Place all contaminated materials in impermeable containers and seal. Properly remove and bag protective clothing and follow appropriate disposal procedures.

8. Health


Any accident resulting in suspected or actual personal injury must be reported to the Security Control Centre by dialing 8999 and state your location and nature of the accident so that emergency response personnel can be summoned for on-site assistance.

First Aid

When a major injury occurs, call the emergency contact number, e.g. 8999. Keep the victim warm, lying down, and quiet until medical assistance arrives. It is better NOT to move the injured person unless he or she is immediately threatened by further injury.

  • As you are waiting for the response personnel to arrive:
  • Treat acid and alkali burns with running water for 20-30 minutes; use emergency eyewash/shower if necessary. Do not attempt to neutralize. Take care not to contaminate yourself. (photo)
  • Irrigate burned (heat or cryogenic) areas with cold water.
  • Remove contact lenses if present; use eyewash for 15 minutes to cleanse eye after chemical splash.
  • Treat major bleeding with direct compression of the wound using a clean cloth.
  • Expose anyone who has inhaled toxic materials to fresh air.

The necessary information regarding any accident or incident should be promptly forwarded to HSEO personnel using the Accident/Incident Report Form. Keeping records of accidents and incidents is crucial to preventing further accidents. Please remember that reporting incidents or near misses is equally important to improving laboratory safety.


All personnel are encouraged to maintain their tetanus boosters and anyone working with blood or blood products should be vaccinated for hepatitis B. Others who may be exposed to specific agents should be immunized if possible. For example, laboratory personnel working with vaccinia virus should be vaccinated with small pox (vaccinia) vaccine. For more information, reference can be made to Chapter 8 on Biological Safety and Chapter 12 on Occupational Health & Medical Surveillance.

9. Needles and Syringes

Hypodermic needles and syringes are one of the most hazardous pieces of laboratory equipment in common use. Needle sticks are a well documented source of infections. Discharging them in the air or withdrawing them from a septum or site of injection creates aerosols. Use a pipetting device whenever possible (DO NOT mouth pipette); remove septa if necessary. If not used for injection, use a blunt needle, cannula, or piece of tubing instead of a hypodermic needle. Use needle-locking, e.g. Luer-LokTM, syringes. Use absorbent cotton or gauze to cover the needle tip to adjust the volume before injection and while withdrawing it after insertion. Do not expel fluid forcibly for mixing unless the tip is immersed. For the disposal of hypodermic needles and syringes, place in a puncture-proof container, autoclave if necessary, and dispose of as biological (medical) waste. Syringes should NOT be re-sheathed. Needles and syringes should be locked up and not left in a visible location.

10. Hot Plates

To avoid an electrical spark hazard, only hot plates that have completely enclosed heating elements and solid state circuitry should be used in laboratories. Hot plates have been known to be the source of slow-starting laboratory fires.

11. Hosing Clamps

Rubber or plastic tubing being used for connections between bench services and equipment as well as all tubing leading to cup sinks or drains must be securely clamped and must be properly rated when used with pressure systems.

12. Glassware Washing

It is important to rinse glassware as soon as possible to remove materials that will be difficult to remove when dry (e.g. culture media with serum) and especially any glassware that has been used for toxic or non-aqueous chemicals. It is advisable to separate glassware used for cell culture from glassware used for chemistry.

When you do not clean your own glassware, it is essential to take steps to ensure that the glasswasher is aware of any potential hazards so as to minimize his/her exposure and ensure that the washing machine will not be contaminated.

If possible, detergent should be used instead of acids for cleaning glassware. A study has demonstrated that an EDTA-sulfonate-based detergent, MICROTM, is as efficient a glassware cleaning agent as chromic acid, sulfuric acid with ammonium persulfate, or 3:1 sulfuric:nitric acid. All of these agents are as efficient as protein and lipid removal (99.98%) after 4 hours of treatment as after 24 hours. Unlike the acids, any residues remaining after treatment with MICROTM do not appear to interfere with cell culture or various enzyme assays. (If soaked for a long period of time or not well rinsed, there appears to be some degradation of silicon rubber stoppers.) After cleaning, glassware still requiring acid treatment can be rinsed with HCl or H 2 SO 4 .

If acid is to be used, do so in a well-ventilated area, preferably a fume cupboard, and wear appropriate gloves and goggles. In any event, chromic acid should NOT be used for glassware cleaning. It is highly toxic, carcinogenic, and due to the heavy metal content, very difficult to dispose of. Straight mineral acids, aqua regia, and sulfuric acid with ammonium persulfate are acceptable alternatives.

In general, strong oxidizing agents should be avoided when cleaning glassware contaminated with unknown chemicals.

13. Vacuum Desiccators

Use properly designed equipment for experiments carried out under reduced or elevated pressure. Glassware used under vacuum presents a hazard because of the possibility of implosion and should always be inspected before use. In particular, vacuum desiccators should be enclosed in approved shielding device or protected with a framework of wire, nylon or other suitable material. Air admittance should be carried out gradually. When opening, make sure that atmospheric pressure has been restored.

14. Tubing and Plastics

Be sure that the materials you have selected have the appropriate chemical compatibility, and physical properties for the uses you intend.

15. Thermometers

Use Teflon-coated or non-mercury thermometers whenever possible to avoid users' exposures to mercury vapour when they are broken.

16. Town Gas

  1. Safety outlets should be properly fitted.
  2. Only approved tubing should be used.
  3. All tubing should be regularly checked for wear and tear, particularly at the outlet and at the apparatus.
  4. Bunsen burners should be turned off when not in use.
  5. Do not use Bunsen burner in Biological Safety Cabinet (BSC).

17. Vacuum Lines and Water Aspirators

Place a trap and a check valve between the aspirator and the apparatus (desiccator, flash evaporator, filtration flask, etc.) so that water cannot be sucked back into the system if the tap water pressure should fall unexpectedly. Disconnect the aspirator from the apparatus before turning off the water or water may be drawn into the apparatus. A cold trap should be placed between the apparatus and the vacuum pump so that volatiles from a reaction or distillation do not get into the pump oil and then into the laboratory atmosphere. Materials which cannot be trapped in this way should be vented from the pump exhaust to a fume hood. Liquids should never be allowed to enter the house vacuum lines. Appropriate traps in conjunction with hydrophobic, 0.2 micron, small particle exclusion filters should be employed to prevent contamination of the house vacuum system. Vacuum pumps must be drained of oil and flushed with clean oil before sending for repair. Dispose of the used oil as chemical waste.

18. General Laboratory Waste

The disposal of laboratory wastes is highly regulated, and mismanagement of any of these wastes carries great liabilities. Waste management programs require a high degree of cooperation from all personnel on campus to segregate and label waste materials from laboratory, specifically, biological, radioactive, and chemical wastes. Biological wastes include animal carcasses and bedding, specimens, tissues, cell, bacteria and virus cultures, and needles, syringes and other sharps. Radioactive wastes are materials that have come in contact with radiochemicals. Chemicals wastes include those generated in laboratories as well as in other workplaces such as darkrooms. Specific guidelines for disposal of chemicals, radioactive, and biological materials are provided in the relevant chapter of this safety manual. Do not mix any potentially hazardous wastes with the normal laboratory waste in trash.

To protect custodial workers, separate broken glass and sharps from the general trash and put them in labelled cardboard or plastic boxes for collection. Broken thermometers containing mercury should be placed in a plastic bag, sealed, and disposed of as chemical waste.

Please refer to the hazardous waste guidelines of this manual for hazardous waste disposal procedures or the Procedures for Disposal of Chemical Waste booklet.

19. Fire

Fire Prevention
  1. It is imperative to have a clear understanding of the fire drill.
  2. Never place hot plates or other heating devices against walls or close to bench partitions.
  3. Inspect gas tubing regularly and reject any that shows hardening or cracking.
  4. Open flames should only be used after carefully considering any adjacent apparatus and experiments.
  5. Flammable liquids should never be poured into the sink or laboratory drainage systems. This applies also to all chemicals as well.
  6. Flammable liquids should only be stored in special cabinets equipped with drip-trays or sumps.
Fire Extinguishers
  1. Get to know the position of fire extinguishers in the laboratory and learn how to use them properly. Extinguishers should be fully visible and unobstructed.
  2. Get to know also the positions of the fire hose reel, water buckets, sand buckets and fire blanket.
  3. Remember that ordinary combustible materials (wood, paper) can be readily extinguished with water. Dry sand is very effective means of extinguishing alkali metal fires, so is dry soda ash.
  4. The common type of fire extinguisher in laboratory is CO2.
Fire Blanket
  1. Each laboratory should have a fire blanket for extinguishing fires on clothing.
  2. A person whose clothing catches fire should attempt to roll on the floor or lie horizontally whilst another person smothers the flames with the blanket.
  3. Never use a fire blanket on apparatus. (Fire Safety Checklist)

20. Machinery

  1. Never set machinery in motion without first making sure that no-one is likely to be injured.
  2. Always treat moving machinery with great care; a moment’s carelessness can maim you for life. Observe all the safety precautions which will be shown to you when you first use the machine.
  3. Never remove the guards or nullify the safety devices on a machine. Never leave a machine running unattended without first making sure it is safe to do so.

21. Personal Protection

  1. It is imperative to be aware of all forms of personal protective equipment which are available and be familiar with their use.
  2. Make sure you fully understand the use and upkeep of your own protective equipment and safety aids.
Eye Protection
  1. It is essential to wear suitable eye protection in the laboratories at all times.
  2. Safety spectacles provide only the minimum protection from unexpected hazards. They are not substitute for goggles or full-face shields.
  3. Safety face shields afford extra protection to the eyes and face when carrying out a potentially hazardous operation such as working with alkali metals, metal hydrides, and so on .
  4. Contact lenses should not be worn when working with hazardous chemicals.
  1. Laboratory coveralls are for the protection of your person and your clothing from contamination by chemicals. Lab coats should be regularly laundered and kept in good conditions.
  2. Remove laboratory coats before leaving the laboratory and entering the rest room or cafeteria.
  1. There are several types of protective gloves: be familiar with the type best suited to each particular job. The proper choice of gloves must be made by matching the physical and chemical properties of the glove with those of the material to be handled. For selection of appropriate types of gloves, please refer to "Instant Gloves Database" which can be access under HKUST Library Online System, or the Chemical Gloves Web.
  2. Wear protective gloves to handle corrosive or hazardous chemicals; but in doing so take care not to contaminate equipment, bottles, switches and controls which are likely to be handled by other persons.
  3. Wash and clean gloves frequently during a hazardous job.
  4. Gloves which have become contaminated should be disposed after use and replaced.
  5. Regard gloves as a personal item, not to share them for communal use. This often leads to contamination of the insides of gloves by chemicals.
  6. Disposable polythene gloves are better for some purposes. They can be discarded immediately after use and thus reduce the risk of contamination.
  7. Thick household latex type gloves offer adequate protection for general applications.
  8. In general, surgical latex rubber gloves are good for work with aqueous solutions, tissue culture and most dry chemicals.
  9. If working with extremely hazardous materials, such as aqueous solutions of carcinogens or unbound radioiodine, wear two pairs of gloves. Change the outer pair frequently if contaminated.
  10. Heat and cold resistant gloves are available in a wide variety of materials. In general, if these gloves become wet, they will transfer heat or cold rapidly. This is of particular concern when working with a steam autoclave or liquid nitrogen.
  11. Gloves should not be worn while operating or working on machines with revolving parts where there is a possibility of a glove being caught by rapidly moving parts.

Never take risks with airborne contaminants. They may be toxic and should be handled and work under a ventilated hood or in a fume cupboard to protect others from the danger of inhaling hazardous airborne contaminants. . Wear an approved respirator as needed for your own protection. Refer to Chapter 13 of this manual - Personal Protective Equipment. Contact HSEO concerning respiratory protective equipment for details.

Hearing Protection

Prolonged exposure to excessive noise can cause permanent damage to your hearing. Efforts should be made to reduce noise to a safe level. If this is not reasonably practicable, then appropriate ear protection must be worn. Refer to Chapter 13 of this manual - Personal Protective Equipment.

22. Electricity and Equipment

  1. Remember that electricity is dangerous: death could occur at 60 volts AC.
  2. See that all wires are properly insulated. Only use equipment with a well-insulated, grounded 3-wire cord and 3-prong grounding plug.
  3. Make sure that no water points or no rubber connections carrying water are allowed to leak to electrical plugs or switches. Do not use electrical equipment near flammable solvents.
  4. Report all electrical faults, damaged sockets and plugs to your laboratory supervisor. All electrical repairs should always be carried out by an electrician.
  5. Apparatus not in use should be switched off both at the equipment and at the socket outlet; exceptions are pH meter, incubators, etc. They should be returned to their proper storage place in a clean and working condition.
  6. Keep materials, tools and hands dry while handling electrical equipment.
  7. Use only carbon dioxide, or dry powder fire extinguishers in case of fire in or near any electrical equipment. (Electrical Safety Inspection Checklist)