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Flashcards in H&S in the lab Deck (23)
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Why is it important to have a health and safety policy?

protect employers

protect employees

protect work experience students

provide a safe working environment

protect clients and their animals


Name 4 different legislations relevant to H&S in labs

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 (1999)

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) 2002)

Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1988, Collection and Disposal of Waste Regulation 1992, Environmental Protections Act 1990

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)


Describe health and safety executives

Health and Safety Executives (HSE) are the enforcement body of the HSC.


What is the aim of legislation?

Aim of legislation is to prevent accidents and protect personnel from risks within the work place.

Legislation applies to ALL businesses to ensure a safe working environment for both staff and visitors.


What are the employer responsibilities?

written health and safety policies if more than 5 employees

induction training

supervision and training of inexperienced staff

safe working environment

“local rules”


Give some examples of lab local rules

Only authorised personnel are admitted to the laboratory

Wear the protective clothing provided

Long hair is to be tied back

Staff must have received adequate training and supervision

Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted in the laboratory

Wash hands regularly and prior to leaving the lab


Name some employee responsibilities

ensure they work in a safe manner and also consider the safety of themselves and others

respect health and safety

co-operate with the employer

not interfere with anything provided for health and safety

keep appropriate vaccinations up to date


What should risk assessments do/include?

Identify the hazard

Identify the personnel at risk

Assess the risks

Implement control measures

Inform/train staff

Monitor and review

Maintain written records


Describe COSHH

Introduced to manage and control the risks associated with hazardous substances

Includes all pharmaceutical products and chemicals

All employers and self employed persons must make assessments of all potential hazards and risks that could occur from such substances

All employers are required to provide adequate control measures to risk associated with these.


Describe RIDDOR

Dangerous occurrences are required ‘by law’ to be reported to the HSE or local authority.

There are 3 main categories:

major or fatal accidents

‘three day’ accidents

dangerous occurrences and near misses

Must be reported ASAP by phone then written confirmation within 7 days (form 2508)


What does Control of Pollution (Special Waste) Regulations 1988 cover?

Fumes / anaesthetic gases


What does Collection and Disposal of Waste Regulation 1992 cover?

Clinical waste, cadavers, sharps, glass waste, chemical waste etc…


What does Environmental Protections Act 1990 cover?

Disposal of waste from domestic and industrial establishments.


Describe disposal of waste

All businesses have a duty of care to ensure waste is stored and disposed of responsibly

Hazardous Waste Regulations control the disposal of hazardous / clinical waste and pharmaceutical waste.

Waste is separated into two categories


Non- Hazardous


Describe hazardous waste

cytotoxic and cytostatic pharmaceuticals

infectious waste (viable micro-organisms or toxins)

sharps contaminated with blood or pharmaceuticals

photographic chemicals


Describe non-hazardous waste

any pharmaceuticals other than cytotoxic / cytostatic

offensive waste – unpleasant waste that is not hazardous

domestic rubbish


Describe first aid in the laboratory

all personnel should know who is the first aid officer

always know where the first aid box is!

ensure it is correctly stocked

nominate a person to be responsible for this task

report accidents in the accident book


What should be in place for spillage of chemicals?

Spillage of chemicals should be dealt with immediately

Spills are usually either chemical or biological.

Every laboratory should have a spillage kit which should contain:

absorbent towels

absorbent material i.e. cat litter

P.P.E i.e. goggles, apron, gloves

forceps for picking up broken glass etc.

water & disinfectants


What should be done if a chemical is spilt on skin?

“dilution is the solution to pollution”

irrigate the affected area with sterile saline or cold tap water

remove any contaminated clothing

see hazard data sheet for possible antidote

seek medical attention


What should you do in the case of eye contamination?

do not allow the eye to be rubbed

apply sterile eye bath solution, sterile saline or tap water to the eye for 2-3 mins , using an eye bath if available

continue for at least 15-20 minutes for any corrosive solutions and medical treatment should be sought

solution should not be aimed directly into the eye but towards the medial canthus of the eye, to prevent sharp debris being forced further into the eye


What should be done if glass breakage occurs?

imple accidents may usually be dealt with by:

covering the debris with paper towels and pouring over them a liberal amount of disinfectant

removal of residue with spill kit if necessary

glass can be swept into a dust pan and disposed of in sharps waste

if a tube has broken in a centrifuge, disinfectant should be used and the debris removed with forceps


What should be done if there is a release of aerosols?

if noxious fumes or contaminants are released e.g. if a fume cupboard ventilation of room ventilation fails

the occupants of the room should leave immediately for 20- 30 minutes to allow dissipation. Call for assistance if required

make sure all personnel are aware that the area is unsafe

trained, senior personnel wearing protective equipment i.e. mask should clean the room thoroughly


How do you deal if you are overcome by fumes?

Patients should be quickly moved to fresher air

Check ABC’s where required and act accordingly

Solvents/cleaning fluids can often cause headaches, vomiting, leading to unconsciousness and some more severe chemicals may cause the heart to stop

Medical attention should be sought if symptoms show particularly if prone to asthma