Supervisors, including lab heads, have a duty of care to the staff, students and visitors under their supervision. They also have a number of other obligations. The following information can be used by supervisors to structure an initial induction to EH&S matters in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for new staff and students.
TRAINING NEW STAFF AND STUDENTS.
All new staff and students must be trained. This includes general safety information. You can also use the departmental safety website as a template for your training course as you teach the new staff member or student.
Basic instruction must be given on:
- what the emergency phone numbers are
- where medical help can be obtained (in the department and UOM Health Service)
- what the fire alarm is and what to do when it sounds
- where fire extinguishers, fire blankets, spill kits (chemical and biological) and web-based safety information can be found, and what to do if these need to be used. For the fire extinguishers, point out the different kinds and when they are to be used
- that the University has a set of EH&S procedures
- what the general laboratory rules are
- the departmental glove policy
- how to dispose of hazardous (toxic, cytotoxic, or infectious) wastes
- how to dispose of sharps, broken glass, and any special wastes (blood, radioactive, etc) produced in procedures in your laboratory
- special procedures for research techniques used in your group (eg., use of liquid nitrogen, use of PC3 laboratory facilities, the use of animals, blood and blood products etc.)
- the need to ask for exact instructions on the use of new procedures or unfamiliar equipment
- the need to have (prior to starting anything) permits, approvals, and/or training for importing organisms and biologicals, working with animals, bringing new pathogens or animals into the department/animal facility, making genetic modifications to any organisms, working with radioactivity, using communal microscopes, centrifuges, imaging equipment, autoclaves, etc
- the demarcation of offices and laboratory space and the different activities permissible in each
- systems for booking rooms, data projectors, etc.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.
You must provide personal protective equipment for all people working in your area, appropriate to the procedures they are carrying out.
You must provide every staff member with (at least):
- appropriate lab gowns or lab coats
- safety glasses
- access to disposable gloves
- UV-resistant full face shields
- pipetting aids
- instruction on when and how to use this personal protective equipment (PPE)
- any special PPE required for the activities to be carried out
Risk assessments must be made for hazards and potentially hazardous activities carried out in your laboratory or area.
You must ensure that there is a chemical inventory that meets the department's minimum requirements. All chemicals must be correctly labelled (with hazard symbols) and stored. You must maintain a current Poisons Control Plan.
HALF YEARLY AUDITS.
You must conduct half yearly audits of the laboratory, offices, and/ or work area, and of the first aid kit.
Accidents and incidents must be reported using the appropriate procedures.
You must ensure that equipment in your area (laboratory and communal rooms you are responsible for) is appropriately labelled with user names and emergency contact details. Blank signs are available.
You must provide a suitable work environment, taking into consideration:
- prevention of accidental exposure to risks from activities carried out by others in the work area
- noise levels, lighting, temperature, dust, draughts
- sufficient work space and satisfactory arrangement of furniture and equipment
- ergonomically comfortable benches, desks, and computer work stations
- suitable secure storage for personal effects
TRAINING AND INDUCTION.
You must provide an induction into departmental, faculty and university procedures, and complete relevant documentation. Initial documentation can be downloaded.