LABORATORY SAFETY RULES
General Wellesley College lab policy
- General dos and don'ts of working in a Wellesley College lab.
The following rules must be observed for the safety and convenience of everyone working in the laboratory.
1. No mouth pipetting.
2. Coats and sweaters must be left outside the laboratory on the clothes rack provided.
3. Pencils, labels, or other materials should never be placed in your mouth.
4. Transfer needles and loops are sterilized by heating the entire length of the wire to redness before and after using. Spattering is avoided by first holding the needle above the flame.
5. If a culture is spilled, cover the area with towels and soak them with disinfectant. Notify your lab instructor immediately. Let the towels stand for half an hour. Place the contaminated materials in a container with disinfectant or in a plastic autoclave bag which can be sealed.
6. Cultures are never to be taken from the laboratory.
7. Inoculated media placed in the incubator must be properly labeled (i.e. with your name, date, and the nature of the specimen), and put on the assigned shelf.
8. Gas burners must be turned down or off when not in use during the laboratory period. Be sure that gas burners are turned off at the end of the laboratory period.
9. Eyepiece, lenses and objectives, as well as the microscope stage, should be clean before and after use. Lenses of the microscope must be wiped off with lens paper only (NO PAPER TOWELS OR KIMWIPES). Return microscopes to lockers at the end of lab.
10. All reagents and equipment should be returned to their proper place at the end of each laboratory period.
11. All used tubes, petri dishes, pipettes, etc. should be placed in designated receptacles at the end of the lab period. Please remove all labeling tape.
12. All non-contaminated waste material should be placed in wastebaskets, not left on benchtops or on the floor.
13. The laboratory desk top should be cleaned with a disinfectant at the beginning and at the end of each laboratory period.
14. Personal accidents, such as cuts and burns, must be reported immediately to your instructor - this is for your own safety.
15. Every student must wash her hands, with disinfectant if necessary, before leaving the laboratory.
16. Please wear a protective lab coat or apron when you are working with cultures. If possible, avoid wearing clothing with long, full sleeves to the laboratory.
17. Tie long hair back or put it up. If hair hangs loose, it becomes both a contamination and a fire hazard.
18. Decontaminate work surfaces at the beginning and end of each laboratory. Use the disinfectant provided in the laboratory.
19. Mix liquid cultures gently to avoid foaming and splashing, either of which may produce an aerosol of the bacterial culture.
20. Open cuts should be covered with bandages. If cuts are on the hands, it is advisable to wear disposable gloves.
21. Students who have suppressed immunity are urged to discuss your relevant medical history with your instructor, privately, before beginning this laboratory course.