Accessibility statement

Department of Environment and Geography Laboratories

Use of Department of Environment and Geography Laboratories


Before any laboratory work is undertaken:

A copy of this information should be printed, signed, dated and handed to Rebecca Sutton or Dave Hay prior to starting work.  This should also be accompanied by any risk and/or CoSHH assessments you are required to perform and record.

The agreement form to print is located here: Student laboratory user agreement (PDF , 89kb)

  • Students should be familiar with the current edition of the ‘Department of Environment and Geography Laboratory Handbook’.  Laboratory Handbook (PDF , 1,679kb)
  • Students and supervisors should ensure that CoSHH and risk assessments are in place for all procedures to be undertaken, and copies provided to the departmental manager and the technician concerned.
  • CoSHH assessment form (PDF , 534kb)
  • Risk assessment form currently under review (24/4/19)
  • Students should inform the Departmental Manager of any intention to obtain samples from outside the EU before they arrive in the department.
  • Food and drinks MUST NOT be consumed or brought into the laboratories.
  • For undergraduates - Please allow yourself enough time to complete your work within laboratory opening hours (9.00am to 5.00pm). The lab facilities cannot be used out of hours unless special permission is first obtained from the Departmental Manager.

Personal Protective Equipment & Clothing

  • Laboratory coats should be worn at all times within the Laboratories; unless the CoSHH and risk assessments state that it is not necessary (for example a paper practical within the Teaching Lab).
  • Appropriate personal protection should be worn when handling chemicals. This includes sensible footwear (open toe shoes and sandals are not permissible). Long hair and/or headscarves should be tucked away or secured to ensure they cannot be caught in machinery, open flames or contaminated with chemicals.
  • Do not leave coats/bags in the aisles or on the benches; make sure they are tucked away.

Chemical Handling, Storage & Cleaning

  • ALL samples/reagents need to be clearly labelled with your name and date and what the sample actually is or contains. They should also have an expiry date and any appropriate hazard information detailed. This includes samples stored within fridges and freezers.
  • Do not use volumetric flasks for storage of standards (or sample preparations). They are in constant need and samples or standards should be decanted to other appropriate storage vessels such as Azlon or glass bottles.
  • Washing up should be done promptly and to the required standard of 3 rinses with tap water followed by 3 rinses with deionised water. Labelling should be removed and items should be returned to storage as soon as they are dry.
  • Any spillages need to be cleared up immediately. Ask the technicians or consult your CoSHH assessment if you are unsure how to do this.
  • Broken glass or sharp items should not be put into the general waste bins. There are sharps bins available and dedicated glass bins for this purpose.
  • Please return all acids and chemicals to their proper storage locations after use. If in doubt – ask. Waste chemicals should be disposed of in accordance with the CoSHH assessment.
  • All working areas including fume cupboards should be left clean and empty after use. Do not store anything in fume cupboards.

Use of Analytical Instruments

  • Training will be provided for any analytical instruments you need to use. You need to book this in good time with either Rebecca Sutton or Mike Ridealgh. You should not use any instrument without supervision until you have completed this training and an appropriate core competency list has been completed.
  • Instruments need to be booked before use. Some instruments have a waiting list, so if you are unable to proceed with your analysis, then please cancel your booking, with as much notice as possible. Instrument log books should be filled in each time the instrument is used.
  • Equipment and instruments should be left in a clean and good condition for the next user.  Report any problems, damage, breakages or unusual results and/or behaviour to Rebecca or Mike.
  • If you need to leave an experiment running or a piece of equipment on overnight, please leave a note with details of the experiment, your name, your supervisor’s name, and a contact telephone number. Specific cards are available for this and are coloured yellow.  Place or attach them to your experiment.  Out of hours experiment authorisation card (PDF , 131kb)


by WSDOT, Flickr