Risk assessment gel by 5Q582Sp



Department                   Molecular and Applied Biosciences
Manager responsible          Robert Scott
Risk Assessor(s)             Lorna Tinworth

Description of Task / Environment

Preparing and pouring a 2% (0.5xTris/Borate/EDTA) agarose gel, loading DNA samples and performing
electrophoresis at approximately 120 volts for 40 minutes. Viewing the gel under UV light and recording the
image. See accompanying COSHH form.
7th floor student laboratory and 6th floor teaching laboratory, Cavendish building

Identify significant hazards / threats within the area (See Hazard Identification Sheet(s) for examples)

Super heating of the 2% agarose solution might occur during microwaving, causing the solution to boil over
and spurt out of the flask, risk of burns.
Exposure to UV light damages the skin and can cause photokeratitis (eye injury).

Where in the task are the hazards / threats present? (e.g. preparation, storage, transportation, during the
task, at the end of the task)

During the task

Who is at risk from the significant hazards / threats identified above? (e.g. Academic / Medical /
Technical / Domestic Staff, Porters, Admin & Clerical Staff, Maintenance Contractors, AHP’s or vulnerable
groups such as staff with disabilities, visitors, young persons, new and expectant mothers, inexperienced staff
or people on training experience, lone workers, patients / clients, those with language difficulties or special

BSc Students

What risk control measures are in place now? (e.g. local exhaust ventilation, protective equipment, safe
systems of work, personal alarms, training and supervision)

All students will receive training and must be deemed competent before being allowed to boil and pour a gel
alone. They will wear eye protection, gloves and a lab coat whilst preparing gels and use a gauntlet to handle
hot flasks. Sponge bungs will be inserted into the top of the flasks whilst the agarose is being microwaved.
All students will be instructed in the safe use of a UV imaging box and deemed competent before being
allowed to use the equipment alone.

What risks are not adequately controlled? (Please indicate if risks are very low / low / moderate / major)


What additional controls are required? (Remember to indicate who is going to take action and by when)
(Consider emergency situations e.g. major spills, fire, cardiac arrest)

Students will not work in the laboratories alone or outside of core hours (9am-5pm)
Should any accident occur students will be instructed to fill in an accident report
Has the risk assessment been agreed with your line manager or health and safety officer?

 Yes         No          Signature and date:

Have the findings of this Risk Assessment been                   How?
communicated to all relevant people?                             Students performing this activity have
 Yes                                                            read and will sign this form below

 No     

Risk assessment acknowledged by:
Print Name:                                  Signature:                                 Date:
Print Name:                                  Signature:                                 Date:
Print Name:                                  Signature:                                 Date:

Risk assessment completed by:
Print Name: Lorna TINWORTH                          Signature:
Designation: Lecturer in Molecular Biology
Date:         24/10/2007          How soon should this assessment be reviewed?         Yearly

Review carried out by:
Print Name:                                         Signature:
On what date?

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