Health and Safety

These rules are to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the Department of Chemistry.

Golden Rules

You and I will

  • Always consider the safety of everyone who could be affected by our work
  • Aim for best practice in health, safety & environmental performance
  • Comply with the law & workplace procedures
  • Intervene in unsafe or non-compliant acts

Department Safety Rules Summary

You shall

  • Leave the building within two minutes when the fire alarm sounds
  • Keep all fire exit routes, corridors, doorways and stairs free from obstruction & combustible materials
  • Minimise the amount of solvents, waste & gas cylinders in your area
  • Keep your area tidy and clean
  • Know how to respond in an emergency
  • Deal immediately with all incidents, injuries, spills, unsafe acts & unsafe conditions - report as soon as practicable
  • Obey all safety signs in your working area
  • Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment as given on signs or risk assessments, e.g. safety specs, gloves and labs coats
  • Label all chemicals & waste accurately
  • Only use equipment that is suitable for the task, in a safe condition and within its inspection/test date
  • Obtain authorisation prior to working outside normal hours
  • Stop if you think your work is unsafe 

You will not

  • Eat or drink in labs & workshops
  • Put hazardous materials down sinks
  • Work under influence of alcohol/drugs
  • Knowingly act in a reckless or unsafe manner
  • Smoke within chemistry buildings or within two metres of the outside of buildings

Assessing and Minimising Risk

  • Understand the hazards of your work
  • Always carry out a risk assessment for hazardous work
  • Consult chemical safety data sheets
  • Always consider flammability and runaway reaction hazards, as well as toxicity
  • Always avoid risk if possible and, if not, minimise to an acceptable level
  • Substitute harmful chemicals with non- or less harmful ones, if possible
  • Minimise volume and concentrations of hazardous chemicals in experiments & labs
  • Use volatile chemicals in fumehoods
  • Always consider waste in risk assessments
  • Always consider non-chemical hazards
  • Only carry out experiments approved by your supervisor or line manager

Department Safety Policy Summary

The Department of Chemistry is committed to ensuring the health, safety & welfare of all its staff, visitors, students and others who may be affected by its activities; it fully accepts its responsibilities, and takes steps to ensure that its statutory duties are met at all times. The successful implementation of the departmental health & safety rules requires the commitment of all members of the Department & its visitors.

Moreover, there is an expectation that all members will take a proactive approach to implementing the rules.

Therefore, you have an obligation to take reasonable care of your own health & safety and others who may be affected by your work.

Professor Duncan Bruce
Head of Chemistry
September 2017