Practical laboratory sessions provide students with hands-on experience of various scientific techniques that are crucial to future employment. Whilst undertaking laboratory investigations, it is highly probable that you will come into contact with hazardous materials which could post a risk to your health and safety.
It is therefore essential that both staff and students adhere to our guidelines for safe working in the laboratory.
As part of induction and before your first laboratory class you will be asked to sign a student agreement that you have read and understood the below SUMS Laboratory Code of Conduct and will agree to comply with this at all times
Laboratory code of conduct for students
Practical sessions provide students with hands-on experience of laboratory investigations, and so the teaching laboratories may contain hazardous materials which could pose health and safety risk’s to users. All sessions will have been appropriately assessed for risk and approved copies of the risk assessment and COSHH assessment forms will be available in the respective teaching sessions.
In addition to formal assessments, and to ensure a safe and healthy teaching environment, the SUMS Laboratory Code of Conduct has been developed. It is important that all laboratory users comply to this set of guidelines. All students will receive a copy of this, which must be signed and returned before participating in any laboratory work. A copy of this should also be kept by the student for reference.
All rules must be followed by all laboratory users to ensure the safety of all. Any persons found in breach of the guidelines and rules will be subject to the disciplinary actions as outlined at the bottom of this document.
General lab guidelines/safety rules:
- Students may only enter laboratory under the supervision of academic staff.
- Students must arrive on time for laboratory sessions, not too early but not late. There will be strictly NO ADMITTANCE to the laboratory for late students.
- Students MUST wear the appropriate PPE as instructed. This is outlined in the specific Risk Assessments carried out for each session and will be available throughout the practical class.
- All written and verbal instructions must be followed carefully. If you are unsure of any instructions you must ask an appropriate individual i.e. technician, academic staff or demonstrator before proceeding.
- A student who needs attention must stay in their workspace and put their hand in the air to gain attention. Students must not leave their workspace and walk around the laboratory unless instructed to do so.
- Any pre-lab activities must have been completed (if applicable).
- Waste must be disposed of in the appropriate waste collection containers, as instructed.
- Apparatus and substances must be returned to the correct place and cleaned where appropriate.
- All spills / broken equipment and glassware MUST be reported to the technicians immediately.
- Reagents, chemicals and laboratory equipment must not be removed from the laboratory.
- Walkways must be kept clear at all times.
- All personal effects (bags/coats/mobiles/tablets etc.) must be stored in the designated areas and must not be accessed whilst wearing PPE.
- Students are asked to bring the minimum required equipment to practical classes.
- All injuries and near misses sustained in the course of work, however small, must be reported immediately to a member of staff. Any pre-existing injuries or conditions that would affect participation must be made known to the supervisor so that any appropriate adjustments may be made.
- Wash hands before leaving the laboratories as well as before and after toilet breaks.
- Lab coats and PPE MUST be removed and left at the workspace before leaving the laboratory, and put back on immediately on return.
During practical classes:
- No eating or drinking, this includes gum chewing.
- Students must not leave their allocated workspaces unless instructed to.
- Sensible footwear/clothing must be worn:
- Only full-length trousers may be worn (no tights, shorts, skirts etc.)
- No bare skin on legs/ankles/feet (this includes ripped jeans which expose the skin)
- No open toe shoes or sandals. Footwear should be flat and comfortable, covering the whole foot.
- No loose clothing which protrudes out of PPE i.e. hoodies. These must either be removed or tucked in.
- Headscarves, if worn, must be made of natural fibres (cotton, silk or viscose) and must be tight around the head to not obscure vision.
- Hats may not be worn.
- Long or loose hair must be tied back and not obscure vision. Tucking behind safety glasses is not acceptable.
- No smoking/vaping/applying cosmetics.
- Lab coats and eye protection to be worn at all times in the laboratory. These should be used as intended – Coats must be fully fastened and sleeves must not be rolled up.
- Personal items such as bags, coats, mobile phones, tablets and music devices are to be left in your bags, this includes headphones
Failure to follow these guidelines will result in the following;
- Late arrival – refusal of entry to the laboratory
- Use of mobiles/music devices – Confiscation by technical staff/demonstrators (returned after 18:00)
- Incorrect use of PPE– removal from laboratory
- Abusive/Inappropriate behaviour towards Academics/Technical staff or unprofessional conduct – Immediate removal from laboratory, referred to personal academic mentor
- Untidy bench / failure to clean up after experiment - Experiment will be stopped on the grounds of safety. Experiment only to be restarted once the supervising staff member is satisfied the working environment is safe.
I have read and understood the SUMS Laboratory Code of Conduct and agree to comply to this at all time.
Year of Study: