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Health and Safety in the Laboratory – some suggestions Chemical Education Conference UCC 22 Oct 2011 Miriam Horgan Inspectorate Department of Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Health and Safety in the Laboratory – some suggestions Chemical Education Conference UCC 22 Oct 2011 Miriam Horgan Inspectorate Department of Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Health and Safety in the Laboratory – some suggestions Chemical Education Conference UCC 22 Oct 2011 Miriam Horgan Inspectorate Department of Education and Skills

2 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Learning Outcomes  Legislative background  Safety Statement  Hazard – definition, types  Risk –definition, assessment, control  Safe Laboratory – rules  Chemical Hazards – storage, labelling, MSDS sheets –Circular Letter 14/2011

3 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Health and Safety Act 2005  Act - main provisions for securing and improving the safety, health and welfare of people at work  Schools – employer BOM or VEC –responsibilities may be delegated  Duties of employer include –procedures needed to ensure that legislative requirements are met –carry out risk assessments –prepare and implement a safety statement  Duties of teachers (employees) include –take reasonable care to protect own/others’ safety –report hazards to management –take account of safety training –use PPE

4 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Safety Statement  Written  Details of management of health and safety  Based on identification of hazards and risk assessments (section 19 Act) and controls Excerpt from Managing Health and Safety in Post-Primary Schools, Available at Excerpt from Managing Health and Safety in Post-Primary Schools, Available at

5 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Excerpt from Managing Health and Safety in Post-Primary Schools, Available at Excerpt from Managing Health and Safety in Post-Primary Schools, Available at Elements of safety statement

6 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Recent Chemical Legislation  Chemicals Act July  Chemicals (Amendment) Act December  The main purpose of the 2008 and 2010 Acts is to facilitate the enforcement of certain EU Regulations concerning chemicals. These Regulations include the: –Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation (No. 1907/2006) ), –Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) Regulation (No. 1272/2008)

7 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills E.U. Hazard Labelling Symbols

8 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Hazards  A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm to people, property or the environment. –material, equipment, work method or practice. –situational hazards e.g. obstacle in corridor little threat during class time but may be serious during break time  Types of hazards –Physical –e.g. slips, trips, hot objects, gas, electrical, fire, falling objects –Health –e.g. noise, harmful dust, radiation, unsuitable light –Chemical –e.g. physical, chemical and toxic properties –Biological –e.g. bacteria, viruses, infection –Human-factor –e.g. stress, bullying

9 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Hazards in Schools  Where and what are the potential hazards in schools?  What are the potential hazards in laboratories?

10 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Potential Hazards in Schools  Kitchen -e.g. slippery floors, hot surfaces, sharp objects  Classroom -e.g. damaged seats, trailing cables, broken sockets  Sports hall -e.g. gym equipment, manual handling  Laboratory – varied, extensive list including –corrosive or poisonous chemicals, chemical fumes, bunsen burners, hotplates, dissecting kits, glassware, gas, electricity, radiation, fire, slips, trips, falls

11 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Risks  Risk –Risk is the likelihood that someone will be harmed by the hazard together with the severity of harm suffered. Risk also depends on the number of people exposed to the hazard. -e.g. fumes from chemicals  Controls/control measures –Controls/control measures are the precautions taken to ensure that the risk is eliminated or reduced.  Risk assessment –identify the hazard –estimate the severity and likelihood of harm arising from such a hazard. –put in place control measures to minimise the risk or weigh up whether he or she has taken enough precautions to prevent harm.

12 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Laboratory Rules for Students Safety in School Science (2001) Department of Education and Skills (appendix K)  Display in Laboratory   1. DO NOT enter the laboratory without permission.   2. DO NOT use any equipment unless permitted to do so by the teacher. Make sure you know exactly what you are supposed to do. If in doubt, ask the teacher.   3. Long hair MUST always be tied back securely.   4. ALWAYS wear eye protection when instructed to do so.   5. ALWAYS check that the label on the bottle is EXACTLY the same as the material you require. If in doubt, ask the teacher.

13 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Laboratory Rules for Students ctd.   6. NOTHING must be tasted, eaten or drunk in the laboratory.   7. Any substance accidentally taken into the mouth must be spat out IMMEDIATELY and the mouth washed out with plenty of water. The incident must be reported to the teacher.   8. Any cut, burn or other accident MUST be reported at once to the teacher.   9. Any chemicals spilled on the skin or clothing MUST be washed at once with plenty of water and report to teacher.   10. Always WASH your hands after practical work.

14 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Chemicals Hazards and Controls Laboratory hazards may be caused by –unauthorised access –cluttered environment –inadequate fumehood maintenance –lack of or poor PPE Controls –lock laboratory when not in use –organisation and clean up –fumehood fit for purpose – not storage –face shield, safety goggles, gloves, safety screen etc.

15 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Chemicals Hazards and Controls Chemical hazards may be caused by –fire –lack of knowledge of risks in relation to experiments –limited information on hazardous chemicals –chemical ingestion/absorption Controls –Fire, smoke, heat detectors fitted in stores, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, sand buckets –Identify risks and safety practices to be communicated to students –MSDS sheets, Safety in school lab (DES), correct, legible labels –Adequate hand wash, eyewash facilities, gloves

16 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Chemicals Hazards  Storage hazards may be caused by –Incorrect storage –out-of-date chemicals in use –reaction in storage –Spills –poor labelling –fire accessing flammable chemicals Controls –Store in well ventilated areas, correct classifications stored in separate areas –Inspect regularly, buy small quantities, dispose correctly –correct classifications stored in separate areas –anti-roll lips on shelves, chemicals below eye level –clear labels with hazard symbols –Flame resistant press

17 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Material Safety Data Sheets   16 headings   Most useful information on MSDS – –Hazard Identification – –First Aid – –Handling and Storage – –Personal Protection – –Disposal   The MSDS should be obtained from the chemical suppliers

18 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Hazard Symbols ToxicHighly FlammableOxidising Explosive Dangerous for EnvironmentCorrosive ni HarmfulIrritant

19 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Labelling of Chemicals   Dangerous substances should comply with EU labelling regulations – –CLP LEGISLATION  In general labels should include the following data: –Name of sample. Sodium hydroxide –Concentration when appropriate. –A word or symbol to indicate the hazard if necessary. –In the case of dangerous chemicals the risk and safety phrases. –Name of the teacher/the date.

20 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Sample Label for Sodium Hydroxide NaOH 1.0 M  R 35 Causes severe burns.  S 26 In case of contact with eyes, rinse immediately with plenty of water and seek medical advice.  S 36/37/39 Wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protection. Wear suitable protective clothing, gloves and eye/face protection.

21 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills

22 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills CHEMICAL STORAGE GROUPS   RED Flammable storage   GREY General chemicals no particular storage hazard

23 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills CHEMICAL STORAGE GROUPS   BLUE Toxic or health hazard   YELLOW Oxidising chemicals   GREEN Corrosives – alkaline   WHITE Corrosives – acids

24 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Further Segregation   Segregation of Flammables – –Flammable liquids should be stored separately from flammable solids. Two fire resistant cupboards would be ideal, one larger one for bottles of flammable liquids and a smaller version for the flammable solids.  Keep oxidisers away from flammable chemicals

25 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Further Segregation   Toxic chemicals should be stored away from flammables and oxidising agents   Corrosive substances – –burn skin and eyes and – –may also react with incompatible packaging or metals like storage racking. – –Store away from flammable liquids and gases, oxidising agents and organic peroxides

26 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Further Storage Precautions   Chemicals should not be stored in alphabetical order as this can result in incompatible neighbours e.g. – –NH 3(g) and Br 2 :- unstable NBr 3 is formed, explosion may result   Chemicals should not be stored according to poorly chosen categories: all acids or all organics together. – –some acids - also reducing agents (CH 3 COOH) – –some acids also oxidising agents (HNO 3 ). – –some oxidising agents incompatible with each other e.g. H 2 O 2 and KMNO 4.

27 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Further Storage Precautions   Harmful chemicals can be further isolated by using (i) plastic tray/boxes or (ii) outer container. – –(i) Plastic Trays/Boxes A number of compatible chemicals are placed in a plastic tray or plastic box and a label put on the outside of the tray/box to indicate what chemicals are stored within. – –(ii) Outer Container Put the container in a heavy duty plastic bag (freezer bag),tie the bag, place it in an outer container (an unused paint can or a snap open secure container) with some absorbing agent and securely fix on the lid.

28 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Further considerations for safe storage of chemicalsInclude:   Only authorised persons should have access to chemical stores, which should be locked when not in use.   Chemicals that are no longer required should be carefully disposed of according to MSDS/Department guidelines.   The chemical store should be well ventilated   Shelves should have anti-roll off lips   Chemicals should not be stored in shelves above eye level. – –If necessary - smaller bottles, steps   Avoid floor chemical storage, if possible.

29 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Shelf Lives of Chemicals   Many chemicals, e.g. Al 2 O 3, have extremely long shelf   Some chemicals may have short shelf lives   Deterioration in storage could – –health and safety issue – –harmless, with change in composition   Risk of contamination   Risk of oxidation   Risk of peroxide formation and detonation  Buy small quantities

30 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Extra Safety Apparatus   The following safety apparatus should be available in the laboratory. – –Safety screen – –Face shield (for teachers only) – –Eye wash/shower – an eye wash stand or eye wash bottle or a fixed rubber tube on a convenient tap. – –Fire extinguishers (CO 2 /dry powder) – –Fire blankets – –Fire buckets – –Chemical spill Clean up kit – –First aid kit.

31 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Spill Control  clean up kit  A chemical spill clean up kit should contain:- – –1. A bucket of dry sand. – –2. A bucket of an absorbing agent. – –3. A bucket of anhydrous sodium carbonate (for acid spills). – –4. Plastic dust pan and brush. – –5. Heavy duty plastic bags. – –6. Two warning notices   Provide precautions against skin and eye contact.   Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and the Department of Education and Science publication “Safety in the School Laboratory” will detail any specific precautions.

32 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Discontinued Use of Chemicals – Substances of very high concern  Circular 0014/2011 –Sodium Chromate, Sodium Dichromate, Potassium Chromate, Potassium Dichromate, Ammonium Dichromate, Copper Chromate, Copper(II) Dichromate and all other chromium(VI) compounds; –Cobalt(II) Chloride, Cobalt(II) Nitrate and all other Cobalt(II) compounds; any other chemically related compounds –Use of cobalt chloride paper should also cease.

33 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Discontinued Use of Chemicals – Substances of very high concern  Circular 0014/2011  Curriculum implications are being examined in collaboration with the NCCA & SEC  Further communication will issue in due course.  In the interim, –these topics will remain as part of the syllabus in terms of the theoretical knowledge of the experimental procedure, and its outcomes, but students will not be required to have physically undertaken the procedure. These topics will, as heretofore, remain examinable in the Leaving Certificate Chemistry Examinations until notice to the contrary is given.

34 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and SkillsResources  –PP Science and Applied Maths section –Chemistry Resources –Safety Docs  Safety in School Science (DES)  Safety in School Laboratory (DES)  Safety Legislation (PSI)  Storage of Laboratory Chemicals (PSI)  Chemical Shelf Lives (PSI)  Stock Control (PSI)  Material Safety Data Sheets  Safety in the School Laboratory (HSA)  –Education  Managing Health and Safety in Schools  Teacher Support and Classroom Resources  Safety and Health Training for Teachers  Safety and Health Initiatives in Education 

35 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills Recap  Legislative background  Safety Statement  Hazard – definition, types  Risk –definition, –assessment, control  Safe laboratory rules  Chemical Hazards – handling, disposal, storage, Labelling, MSDS sheets

36 27/03/2015 Miriam Horgan, Department of Education and Skills  Thank You


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