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REFERENCE NO.: PC/1998/1/7



The following laboratory procedure list all safety regulations which have to be followed. The 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 of at least once a year.

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 (Unfallverhütungsvorschriften, contents, locations)
    • Accident/incident procedures posted in each lab
    • Physical hazards, including electrical hazards and liquid nitrogen (PC/1998/1/7 Appendix 1)
    • Biological hazards (PC/1998/1/7 Appendix 2), Good Microbiological Practice (PC/1998/1/7 Appendix 3), sources of laboratory infections 
    • Chemical

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

- 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)

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

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 and A.J.Beale (eds.), Safety in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Butterworth-Heinemann Ltd., Oxford, 1992. ISBN 0 7506 1105 7

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

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

St. R. Raynburn The 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, 20 Jan. 1998
Page Layout by CERDIC
Copyright CABRI, 1998

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