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Revision as of 18:43, 20 December 2009 by Tucker Crum (talk | contribs) (Biohazard Level 2 LABORATORY SAFETY RULES)
Wellesley College-BISC 209 Microbiology -Spring 2010


Laboratory safety is the responsibility of everyone working in the laboratory. The following laboratory rules are provided to help ensure your safety and the safety of others during the BISC 110 lab sessions. You should also be sure to read the Wellesley College Lab Safety Manual available at

1. There is NO eating, drinking, chewing gum or smoking permitted in the laboratory at anytime. Mouth pipeting is not allowed. Pencils, pens, or other materials should never be placed in your mouth. Keep your hands away from your face to prevent undesirable material being transferred to your face. Always wash your hands before leaving the laboratory.

2. To avoid possible contamination, coats should be hung on the hooks provided in the corridor outside the laboratory.

3. Unneeded books may be placed in the lockers outside the laboratory or stored in your book bag under the lab bench. This reduces clutter in the lab, reduces the chance that you will contaminate any of your belongings and it protects others against tripping over books or bags in the aisles.

4. Each laboratory is equipped with fire alarms, fire extinguishers, a fire blanket, a safety shower, an eyewash and a first aid kit. Your instructor will indicate the location of each during the first laboratory period.

5. If you have long hair, pin or tie it out of your face. Loose hair can contaminate an experiment or catch on fire when using open flame.

6. Should your hair or clothing catch on fire: DO NOT RUN. Shout for help and someone will give you the fire blanket. Wrap yourself in the blanket, then fall to the floor and roll slowly back and forth to put out the flames.

7. All accidents such as burns, cuts, eye contamination, spills, etc., should be reported to your instructor immediately. Open cuts should be covered with bandages or wear disposable gloves. Students who have suppressed immunity are urged to discuss your relevant medical history with your instructor, privately, before beginning this laboratory course.

8. Mix liquid cultures gently to avoid foaming and splashing, either of which may produce an aerosol of the bacterial culture.

9. If a culture is spilled, cover the area with towels and soak the towels with disinfectant. Notify your lab instructor immediately. Let the towels stand for half an hour. Place the contaminated materials in a container with disinfectant or in a plastic autoclave bag which can be sealed.

10. You must wear a protective lab coat or apron when in the lab. The lab coat or lab apron must be removed before you leave the lab, even if it is for a short time. Avoid wearing clothing with long, full sleeves to the laboratory. Open toed shoes are not permitted.

11. Decontaminate work surfaces at the beginning and end of each laboratory. Use the disinfectant provided in the laboratory. Every student must wash her hands, with disinfectant if necessary, before leaving the laboratory.

12. Transfer needles and loops are sterilized by heating the entire length of the wire to redness before and after using. Spattering is avoided by first holding the needle above the flame.

13. Gas burners must be turned down or off when not in use during the laboratory period. Be sure that gas burners are turned off at the end of the laboratory period.

14. Inoculated media placed in the incubator must be properly labeled (i.e. with your name, date, and the nature of the specimen), and put on the assigned shelf. Cultures are never to be taken from the laboratory.

915. Eyepiece, lenses and objectives, as well as the microscope stage, should be clean before and after use. Lenses of the microscope must be wiped off with lens paper only (NO PAPER TOWELS OR KIMWIPES). Return microscopes to lockers at the end of lab.

16. Chemical and Biological materials must be disposed of in the proper manner. Pay attention to “Clean-Up” instructions that indicate how each material should be discarded or stored. It is the responsibility of each student to follow these directions. When in doubt, double-check with your instructor.

17. Non-toxic paper products can be placed in the wastebaskets. Disposable glassware should be put in the large blue and white recycle containers at the front of the lab. Non-disposable glassware should be rinsed out and placed either on your bench to dry or in baskets by the sink at the front of the lab. Broken glass and Pasteur pipettes should be discarded in the red “sharps” container at the front of the lab. Wet trash, such as wet leaves, can be discarded in the small garbage pail lined with a plastic bag.

18. It is the responsibility of all Science Center personnel working in laboratories to know and to follow the provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The purpose of the Chemical Hygiene Plan is to describe proper practices, procedures, equipment and facilities for faculty, students, staff, and visitors in order to protect them from potential health hazards presented by chemicals used in the laboratory workplace, and to keep exposures below specified limits.

You may view the Chemical Hygiene Plan at the Science Center Lab Safety web site at