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Working Safely in the Laboratory

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Working Safely in the Laboratory

Introduction to Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) in

the Biochemistry Laboratory



Student name:         ................................................      

Student ID No:          ................................................

Date:                         ................................................

Why do you need to know about Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) in the laboratory?

When working in a laboratory (and similar workplaces) it is important to be familiar with the health and safety rules and laboratory safety features that have been put in place for the health and safety of all workers and users of the space, as well as visitors to the workplace. Compliance with these safety regulations and effective implementation of safe working practices will ensure you develop an effective understanding of safe laboratory work practices and are able to apply these practices appropriately. Compliance is MANDATORY; it is an occupational health and safety (OHS) requirement at QUT, as well as being a significant part of standard good laboratory practices for any type of laboratory work in the biomedical science discipline areas (such as anatomy, biochemistry, cell & molecular biology, microbiology, and physiology).

Learning objectives

After engaging with this activity, you will demonstrate evidence of the ability to:

  • describe laboratory safety features, understand the reasons for safety rules and regulations in laboratory practice,
  • recognise Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and understand their importance for the safe use and handling of chemicals and related reagents or substances,
  • develop an understanding of how to use SDS information to identify risk and safety phrases and formulate a Risk Assessment related to a specific chemical / solution used in biochemistry laboratories.
  1. Laboratory Health, Safety & Environment Induction

To help explain these Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) rules and procedures students are required to complete a Laboratory Health, Safety and Environment Induction. This online system requires students to watch an induction video, review a Faculty of Health HSE Guidelines document and complete a quiz. The video and guidelines document include rules and information about safe work practices for students in Q Block laboratories at Gardens Point incorporating:

  • Fire safety
  • Personal health and security
  • General laboratory safety
  • Chemical safety
  • Biological safety
  • Discard safe handling procedures

The Student Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Induction and mandatory safety quiz are available at 

It is a requirement that all students working in the labs in Q-Block complete the online Induction process by watching the video / reading the Q Block HSE manual, taking note of the rules and regulations highlighted in the manual, and then COMPLETING the quiz.


Note: Successful completion of the induction requires a quiz score of 10 out of 10.

Completion of the induction with a quiz score of 10/10 by Thurs 1st March will be awarded  2 marks that will contribute to your LQB180 HSE assessment.

  • Non-completion of the induction by the required date OR quiz scores of ≤9 will gain 0 marks.
  • You must print (or scan in) a copy of your certificate of completion and attach it to your assignment.

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  1. Safety Features in the Laboratory

Different laboratories will have different layouts and settings, but in order to operate as a laboratory they need to comply with standard safety rules and regulations and incorporate critical safety equipment. The safety features and their location in the Q4 Lab, where you will complete your practical sessions in LQB180, will be shown to you.

Familiarise yourself further with the Q4 safety features by using the map of the Q4 lab in the box below and marking in the major safety features including:

  • Safety showers and eye wash stations (SS)
  • Hand wash stations (HW)
  • Fire extinguisher (FE) points
  • First Aid Kits (1st Aid)
  • Biological & chemical spill kit location (Spill kit)
  • Fume hoods (FH) and down draft work stations (DD)

For your convenience a map showing the general layout of the Q4 laboratory is shown on the following page. In addition, a template of this map (as a Powerpoint pptx file) is included on the LQB180 Bb website in the folder for this assessment item. This template can be used if you desire to prepare a larger version (with perhaps greater clarity) of the safety features of the laboratory.

The symbol key (shown below) should be used to detail the relevant safety features.

Again this symbol key is included on the Powerpoint template.

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SAFETY FEATURES IN Q4 LAB                        

Marking: 1 mark will be deducted for each missing feature from Q4 laboratory map

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  1. Waste Disposal in the Laboratory

The table below details the waste disposal systems used in the Q4 lab. It is a requirement that you comply with this disposal system in all of your practical classes from first year through to your final year.



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