So you want to use the lab
What do you need to do before you start work? This manual has information on the equipment in the lab, general safety regulations, protocols and “lab etiquette”.
1.1 Decide what you want to do in the lab
- How many samples are involved?
- What type of samples are they?
- What type of information do you want?
- What type of analysis would you like to do?
- What methods do you intend to use?
- Is the type of work already carried out in the lab?
- How long do you want to spend doing it?
- How much is it going to cost and are the funds available?
- Is there a “funding code” (usually AK...) to charge the work to?
1.2 Talk to Laboratory Supervisor
Janet Hope is the Laboratory Supervisor and no work should be carried out in the lab without telling Janet first. This is for your safety and for the safety of other lab users. It would be helpful if you come armed with the answers to the above questions
1.3 Read the methods
If there is an existing method that is routinely used in the lab, then a copy of it will be available from the laboratory web pages. Print it out. Read it. Make sure you understand it.
If you intend to develop a new method, read the section of this manual that deals with method introduction and development.
1.4 Read and sign the risk assessment
If you intend to use an existing lab method there will be a safety document associated with it. You must read and sign the document before starting any lab work. Each protocol will have its own risk assessment form. Those involving chemicals will also have a COSHH (Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health) information sheet.
If the method you intend to use is new to the lab, a full risk assessment must be carried out before the work can begin.
Electronic templates are available to help with this and advice can be sought from Janet Hope. Further details on risk assessment can be found elsewhere in this manual.
1.5 Booking time and space in the laboratory
The basement lab is used continually during the year and is always very busy. Consequently, each room and piece of equipment must be booked before use. The booking system is fairly flexible and if you happen to turn up on a day when a room is empty and not booked there is no reason why you cannot use it, but please try to get into the habit of checking first. You can check the availability of the room in question on the laboratory bookings webpage and then get in touch with Janet Hope or Tula Maxted who will add your name to the diary. For reasons of safety certain rooms can only accommodate one person at a time. You must not start work without booking first. It is essential that Janet is aware of your presence in the lab and the nature of the work being carried out.
If you have booked the lab and find you cannot use the time booked, please let someone know. It can be very frustrating for those that need to use the lab, if you don't turn up.
Browse through the rest of this manual. Find out about the equipment you want to use and the rooms you will be working in. The lab “rules” are here to make the basement a safe and efficient environment to work in. Please be considerate of other lab users and stick to the rules.