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REFERENCE NO.: M/1998/1.06




This procedure is to familiarise (new) staff members with general and some specific safety considerations. Emergency and hazards which could be encountered in the collection are presented.


Instructions on safety aspects, emergency and hazards should be carried out on the day of arrival for each new employee. This introduction should take the form of a general tour of the collection laboratories. The instructor should check each item as it is dealt with, and ensure that the form is signed by instructor and the new staff member. The completed form is kept in staff files held in the head office.

Safety instructions for all staff members have to be repeated at intervals as foreseen by national regulations or at least in intervals of two years.

The safety instruction has to be signed by the employee (name, signature , date) and by the person giving the instruction (name, signature , date).

Check list to be covered during tour of new staff members of the collection and for yearly safety instructions of staff members. (Due to differences in the national regulations the following list can give only examples)

1 Fire precautions

what to do in case of fire

emergency notice posted in each laboratory

the emergency phone number

position of fire alarm points

position of fire extinguishers

escape routes

assembly points

2 Safety Information

Introduction and legislation

Contents of Code of Safety Practice (contents, locations)

Accident/incident procedures posted in each lab

Physical hazards, including electrical hazards

Biological hazards, Good Microbiological Practice, sources of laboratory infections


- locations and contents (Control of substances hazardous to health regulations (COSHH)

- staff must read relevant forms before beginning work

- staff must consider regulations when planning new procedures

- storage of hazardous chemicals (toxic compounds, flammables, acids)

Access to laboratories

Protective equipment

Sterilisation and decontamination, disinfecting procedures

Waste disposal and disposal procedure

- chemical and toxic waste

- clean paper

- clean plastic

- clean glass

- contaminated paper/plastic/plastic pipettes/plastic syringes/petri dishes

- (contaminated) cannulas

- contaminated glass equipment (beakers, flasks, pipettes etc.)

- others (like batteries, alumina foil, metals)

Liquid nitrogen and solid carbon dioxide handling (risks, alarm system)

Transport of biological materials

Collection specific safety procedures

Safety Notice Board, locations

Information on repeating safety instructions at regular intervals

3 Information on equipment operation

Use of autoclaves

Use of centrifuges

Use of containment cabinets

Use of (freeze)-drying machines

Use of fume cabinets

Handling liquid nitrogen equipment

Use of controlled-rate freezers


4 Safety contacts

Head of the collection (room no., telephone number)

Representative for general safety (room no., telephone number)

Representative for biological safety (room no., telephone number)

5 References

The following publications may be useful in establishing a general safety program for biological laboratories:

C.H. Collins Laboratory-acquired infections, Third edition, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., Oxford, 1993. ISBN 0 7506 0642 8

C.H. Collins, Safety in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Butterworth-

A.J. Beale (eds.)Heinemann Ltd., Oxford, 1992. ISBN 0 7506 1105 7

D.A. Fleming Laboratory Safety, Principles and Practices, Second edition, ASM Press,et al. (eds.) Washington, D.C., 1995. ISBN 1 55581 047 0

B.M. Miller Laboratory Safety: Principals and Practices, American Society of Micro-et al. (eds) biology, Washington, D.C., 1986. ISBN 0 914826 77 8

St. R. RaynburnThe Foundations of Laboratory Safety. A Guide for the Biomedical Laboratory. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1990. ISBN 0 387 97125 4

WHO Laboratory Biosafety Manual, Second edition, World Health Organization, Geneva. ISBN 92 4 154450 3

Guidelines prepared for CABRI by DSMZ, CBS and BCCM, 17 May 1998
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