Rayne and Wolfson Laboratory

Dynamic Light Scattering Mass Spectrometry Peptide Synthesis Liquid Chromatography
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Health and Safety

Safety Code Extensions applying to the following areas:

Rayne and Wolfson Laboratory - Containment level 1 area (B072, B073).
Rayne and Wolfson Laboratory - Cold room (B070, B071)
CD Spectroscopy Laboratory (B076).

In addition to these guidelines, you must read and understand the Health and Safety information posted on the School and College web sites. In particular you should read the following:

Some of this information is also available in printed format in the RW and CD laboratories. Remember that access to these Laboratories is restricted to authorised personnel only. There is also an alarm system fitted in the main Rayne & Wolfson area; please ask the Lab. Manager for instructions on how to operate this.

  • You must sign a COSHH form before starting any work.
  • Report all accidents in the accident book at the main reception.
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke in the laboratories.
  • Never pipette by mouth.
  • Wash hands regularly, and always before leaving the laboratory.
  • Keep your work area clean and tidy. Benches should be cleared and wiped down regularly.
  • Balances, FPLC, pH meter and other communal equipment should be left clean and safe. Report faulty equipment to the Lab. Manager.
  • Glass and plasticware should be decontaminated and rinsed thoroughly before placing (upside down) on the draining board for washing up.
  • Always use eye protection when:
    • Setting up samples for freeze-drying.
    • Setting up or adjusting the rotary evaporator.
    • Using vacuum systems.
    • Using pressurised systems (e.g. HPLC, greasing machine)
    • Using liquid nitrogen.
    • Using concentrated acids/bases for buffer preparation, column cleaning etc.
    • Performing distillations.
    • Carrying out any bulk pouring operations e.g. HPLC solvent waste disposal.
  • Ear protection must be worn when using the sonicator in the CD laboratory.
  • You are advised to wear laboratory coats when working with or near corrosive/hazardous compounds. You must always wear a lab coat if you work in the 'bug' room. If you persistently burn holes in your coat - seek advice on the handling of reagents.
  • Make sure you know the location of fire extinguishers, eye wash facilities, first-aid box, spillage kits.
  • Always read labels on reagent bottles and advice from suppliers to help identify potentially harmful compounds. Read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) supplied. These are collated and kept in folders in the RW lab. (shelves next to the laboratory telephone). A database of MSDS is also kept on the PC running the PE spectrophotometer (see Lab. Manager for instructions on how to run this). MSDS can also be obtained from suppliers' web sites.
  • When working in the CD laboratory familiarise yourself with the procedures governing the oxygen monitoring system (read notice pinned on the door). If the oxygen monitor alarm is activated leave the room immediately; do not re-enter the room until it is safe to do so.
  • When using Hellmanex, always use the plastic tweezers to hold the cell in the solution, and wear glasses.
  • Warn your neighbours at the bench if they might be at risk from your experiment.
  • Leave warning notices on any experimental set-up that could be harmful to others in your absence.
  • Label all solutions with name/date/composition.
  • Do not try to operate unfamiliar equipment by guesswork - seek advice and training first. Some equipment (i.e. Mass Spectrometer, Peptide synthesiser and CD machine) have limited access and must only be used by experienced and authorised users.
  • Never attempt to fit glass tubing through bored rubber bungs or carry out other non standard glassware construction without training.
  • Stocks in Winchester bottles should not be left on the bench.
  • Take care when handling or transporting cryogenic liquids (e.g. liquid nitrogen), utilising proper vessels and handling with gloves and goggles provided.
  • The freezing of protein crystals using ethane or propane must be performed in the fume hood. Avoid naked flames and/or electrical discharges (static or otherwise). This also applies when using other highly flammable substances (e.g. ether).
  • Store organic solvents and acids in the separate stores provided.
  • Do not store flammable compounds in fridges, incubators or cold room.
  • Before lighting a Bunsen burner (or hotplate) check that there are no flammable solvents nearby and do not leave a lit Bunsen (or hotplate) unattended.
  • Siliconising solution should only be used in the fume hood. Waste siliconising solution should be neutralised before disposing in the halogenated waste bottle provided (Winchester with yellow tape).
  • Avoid inhaling freeze-dried proteins at the balance with a facemask or by performing transfers in the fume hood.
  • Avoid contact, inhalation or dispersal of toxic compounds such as acrylamide, sodium azide, heavy metal compounds, C. Perfringens Toxins, ethidium bromide, mercaptoethanol, peptide synthesis reagents etc. Use coat/gloves/glasses and fume hood.
  • Waste organic solvents should be disposed of in containers provided; halogenated and non-halogenated waste must be kept in separate containers. A label giving the total volume and approximate composition should be attached to the container.
  • Vials containing waste heavy atom solutions should be placed in containers provided (fume hood).
  • Waste contaminated with C. Perfringens Toxins should be soaked in 1M NaOH (care!) and/or autoclaved before disposal.
  • Waste solutions of ethidium bromide should be poured into a Winchester containing a suitable absorbent material.
  • Sharps such as needles and pasteur pipettes should be disposed in 'cinbins', larger pieces of broken glassware (clean!) should be put in the larger container provided or in the crusher.
  • Dirty lab coats can be exchanged for clean ones from the Lab. Manager.
  • Work in rooms B072 and B073 is confined to containment level 1. When working in this area you must:
    • Always wear a lab coat.
    • Wipe your work area with 70% ethanol at the end of each day.
    • Minimise aerosols.
    • Never put contaminated waste into the swing bins.
    • Autoclave or treat with Virkon (as appropriate), any equipment or disposable plasticware contaminated with bacterial samples (e.g. flasks, beakers, tips, pipettes, tubes, gloves etc.).
    • When autoclaving waste always use two autoclave bags, do not overfill, and seal loosely with autoclave tape. Insert a safety indicator (Thermolog S) into the bag and run the autoclave for 30 minutes at 121C. When the run has ended check the indicator strip, if safe, sign the record book and place the bags in the swing bin for disposal.
    • Always wash your hands before leaving the laboratory.