Laboratory safety rules

Departments must set out and implement a basic level of control for those who may be exposed to chemicals, biological agents and ionising radiation. In each laboratory where there is a risk of exposure, safety rules must be drawn up and clearly displayed for workers to see.

Although the rules should reflect the specific activities and risks, all laboratory safety rules must include the following statements:

  • only authorised persons may enter and/or work in the laboratory
  • laboratory coats must be worn
  • all required personal protective equipment must be worn
  • sensible footwear must be worn eg no open sandals
  • eating, drinking, smoking, taking medication, mouth pipetting and applying make-up is forbidden
  • no storing of food or drink for human consumption is allowed
  • all work must be carried out in accordance with risk assessment
  • all waste must be disposed of in accordance with University policy
  • all accidents and dangerous occurrences must be reported and recorded on the University’s Incident Reporting and Investigation System (IRIS).

Specific safety rules for chemistry laboratories can be found in the policy document S3/01 below.

University policy on ionising radiation and biological safety outline additional controls, including the use of eye protection within containment laboratories.

Visit the Biorisk Management page to view policy S5/09 and other key documents. 

Visit the Ionising Radiation page to view policy S1/12 where you will find specific laboratory rules set out in section 4.3.