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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Resources  /  Laboratory  /  Lab Manual  /  First Aid treatment within the Department

First Aid treatment within the Department

A list of trained first aiders is displayed in the Foyer of the Pearson Building.

In cases of emergency, dial 222

Have the following information ready:

  • The extension you are calling from
  • The location of the incident – Building and Room number
  • Details of the incident
  • Any information that will make it easier to find you
    • Which entrance to use
    • Whether someone will be waiting at the entrance

Many members of staff have some knowledge of First Aid and it should be possible to contact one of them should the need arise. However, invariably, prompt action is necessary and everyone should have some idea of what to do if there is an accident.

Most injuries in a laboratory environment are due to burns - heat, cold and chemical - and they are all treated in essentially the same way. This involves holding the affected area under cold, running water for a minimum of ten minutes. Time this to ensure that treatment is effective.

In general, if any chemical comes in contact with the skin, eyes or mouth, wash the area under running water for at least 20 minutes and remove contaminated clothing. In all cases of mouth or eye contact MEDICAL ATTENTION MUST BE OBTAINED. Unless skin contact is “slight”, medical attention should be sought in these cases too.

Exceptions to the above rule

One of these exceptions is the treatment for HYDROFLUORIC ACID burns. Any slight splash of HF on the skin should be treated immediately.

Wash under running water for one minute and the apply CALCIUM GLUCONATE GEL. This can be found in the prep rooms with the HF. Make sure you know where it is before you commence any work with HF. Massage the gel into the affected area. Re-apply until the pain is entirely relieved and then continue for a further 15 minutes (time it!) to prevent “reversion”. MEDICAL ATTENTION MUST BE OBTAINED.

Read the leaflet provided by Safety Services for more information on this.

In cases of any fume inhalation, leave the exposed area immediately, rest and keep warm. In severe cases, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION.

General practice

IN ALL CASES THE SAFETY OF THE FIRST AIDER COMES FIRST! IF YOU ARE TREATING SOMEONE WITH CHEMICAL BURNS, ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU ARE PROPERLY PROTECTED. WEAR GLOVES AND A LAB COAT. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT BECOME A CASUALTY AS WELL.