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UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA LAUNCESTON SCHOOL OF HUMAN LIFE SCIENCES HISTOLOGY SAFETY AND STAFF INDUCTION MANUAL 2005 CONTENTS 1. ABOUT THIS MANUAL 2. HISTOLOGY SAFETY OFFICER 3. ACCESS 4. LABORATORY RULES 4.1 General Conduct 4.2 Waste Disposal 4.2.1 Sharps 4.2.2 Broken Glass 4.2.3 Biohazards 4.2.4 General Waste 5. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT and PROCEDURES 5.1 Gowns 5.2 Safety Glasses and Eye Protection 5.3 Gloves 5.4 Hand washing 6. ORGANISMS 7. LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 7.1 Shandon Duplex Automatic Processor 7.2 Exhaust/Extraction Unit (Stainless steel bench) 7.3 Bunsen Burner’s 7.4 Microtomes 7.5 Embedding Center 7.6 Heating Mantles/ Hot Plates 8. SOLVENTS 9. STAINING PROCEDURES 10. CLEANING AND WASTE DISPOSAL 10.1 Cleaning of general work areas 10.2 Diversol 10.3 Biohazard Bags/Bins 10.4 Sharps 11. REPORTING OF INCIDENTS 11.1 General Considerations 11.2 Accident or Incident Report 11.3 Notification of a Safety Hazard 12. EVACUATION PROCEDURES 12.1 Designated Fire Wardens 12.2 Emergency Procedures 12.3 Emergency Exits 13. INDUCTION PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS 13.1 Induction Process 13.2 Induction Records 1. ABOUT THIS MANUAL The rules set out in this document apply to the conduct of staff and students working in the Histology Laboratories on the Launceston campus of The University of Tasmania. For the purposes of this document, "Histology Laboratories" relates to the anteroom, preparation room (C216) and histology laboratory (C220). This manual is designed to assist staff and students in achieving safe work practices and maintaining a safe working environment, however, no finite set of rules will fit all circumstances and the exercise of common sense is essential. If situations occur, where doubt exists about safety issues, then the Histology Safety Officer or other senior staff should be consulted. It will be an important document for the induction of new staff and is essential reading for practical demonstrators who bear the added responsibility for the safety of students under their control. Post-graduate students that are given increased privileges and responsibilities in the histology laboratories are expected to be familiar with the content and implications of the manual. Staff members working in this laboratory must be familiar with the relevant reference safety document published by the Australian Standards Association - "Safety in Laboratories”. Copies of this document are located on the University Occupational Health and Safety website. As well as being available from the Safety Officer in charge of Histology along with other relative safety information. 2. HISTOLOGY SAFETY OFFICER There is presently no designated Safety Officer responsible for the Histology Laboratories in the School of Human Life Sciences. Any queries relating to safety aspects of the facility should be directed to the responsible officer or the head of School. The Occupational Health and Safety Officer for the School of Human Life Sciences or the Safety Representative (Mr. Stephen Tristram, Ext. 5469 Room C217) will need to be involved for purposes of officially reporting and dealing with specific incidents or identified safety hazards within the histology laboratories. See section 11: Reporting of Incidents. 3. ACCESS Undergraduate students are not permitted to work in practical sessions without a staff member being present in the laboratory, and may only work without direct supervision when authorised by the Histology Safety Officer. Such authorisation must be in writing and sighted by the staff member designated to be present in the laboratory complex while the work is in progress. Postgraduate students may work without direct supervision, but must be fully conversant with this manual, and have been briefed on safety issues by their supervising academic. Students are not to bring visitors into the laboratories without the permission of a staff member. 4. LABORATORY RULES This set of "rules" is an abbreviated set to which all students must be introduced before commencing any work in the laboratory. Ideally, these rules should be included in all "Practical Manuals" and reinforced formally at the beginning of each unit of study. Likewise, Section 5 (Personal Protective Equipment and Procedures) should also be included in those manuals. 4.1 General Conduct Every individual that enters the laboratory has a duty of care to other users, and is expected to behave in a manner that does not compromise the safety of others. During all practical sessions held in the laboratory: Eating or drinking are not allowed anywhere within the laboratories. Regard all organisms and biological materials used in this laboratory as potentially infectious and pathogenic to humans. Laboratory coats must be worn for each practical session. Long hair should be tied back neatly, away from the shoulders. Enclosed footwear must be worn - (thongs and open sandals are not allowed). Avoid placing any object in your mouth - (pencils, pens, fingers etc). Cover any open cuts on hands and other exposed skin surfaces and/or wear gloves. When working with biological substances such as blood or urine, ensure that all work is carried out in the designated working area as instructed by the practical demonstrator. It is essential that all books, writing materials and other personal belongings are kept separate from this working area for the duration of the practical session. Carry out procedures to minimise the risks of spills, splashes and the production of aerosols. If you have an accident of any kind call the instructor immediately. For minor spills, put on gloves, cover spill with paper towel and pour on disinfectant. Leave for 10 minutes and then mop up After completion of practical sessions involving biological substances such as blood or urine, always wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the laboratory. No slides or cultures are to be removed from, or brought into the laboratory without permission of the Laboratory Safety Officer or the Histology teaching staff. Students will not use any histology equipment in the laboratory except under the direction and supervision of the teaching staff. Familiarise yourself with the location and operation of the following emergency items for each laboratory; First aid kit Fire extinguisher Fire Blanket Eyewash station Spill Kit Emergency Shower Respirator – Formalin and Organic Vapour Evacuation Procedures Exits 4.2 Waste Disposal Please follow the instructions carefully and if in doubt - ASK! 4.2.1 Sharps Sharps are to be placed in the sharps containers located around the histology laboratory; scalpel blades are to be disposed of in the blade removal system, which are made available when required. Please read the instructions on the blade removal systems to avoid damaging the unit. Full sharps containers should be placed in the preparation room (C222) with the lid securely fastened. 4.2.2 Broken Glass When any glassware is broken, notify the instructor immediately for assistance with disposal. Non-contaminated broken glass can be disposed of in the glass bin, which is located at the front of the laboratory or in a sharps container that is available for that purpose. 4.2.3 Biological Material Biological material of animal origin (i.e. rat or fish) is used in certain practicals. Waste from these practicals should be disposed of into the Biohazard bags provided, or as instructed by the demonstrator. Any materials used that are of a biological nature must be disposed of in the appropriate receptacles. 4.2.4 General Waste There is a bin located in the histology laboratory and gowning room for disposal of general waste. Including non-contaminated paper towel and all other waste that has not already been covered. 5. PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT and PROCEDURES Ideally, this section (or an abridged version) should be incorporated (along with Section 4) into all students laboratory practical manuals. 5.1 Gowns Students are provided with gowns for use in the Histology Laboratory. These gowns must not be removed from the gowning room adjacent to the Histology laboratory. These gowns are laundered regularly by the School of Human Life Science. 5.2 Safety Glasses and Eye Protection All students and staff are required to have "safety glasses" with them for all practical sessions, and are to use them when procedures are undertaken that involve significant risk of splashing with infectious or corrosive liquids e.g. during staining procedures. An eyewash station is located at the rear of C220. These facilities are regularly tested and maintained to ensure they are operating correctly. 5.3 Gloves For routine work in the histology laboratory, gloves are not considered essential. Gloves should be worn under the following circumstances; o When mopping up a spill. o When performing procedures where there is a high risk of contaminating hands e.g. staining procedures. o When making up liquid stains from powder form. o If open cuts or skin conditions are present, that increases the risk of infection from accidental contamination. o When instructed by the demonstrator. Ensure that adequate supplies of gloves are present in all laboratories. If you use the last gloves from a box, please notify the demonstrator so that stocks can be replenished. 5.4 Hand washing The standard hand washing procedure is to use running water and the hand soap provided. Hands must always be washed before leaving the laboratory. The liquid soap dispensers within the anteroom must always be sufficiently full. 5.5 High Risk Individuals /Antenatal Considerations Persons who are immunocompromised or otherwise particularly susceptible to infection need to be identified so that additional precautions for histological safety can be taken when necessary. Any student that has a medical condition that they feel might be compromised by exposure to reagents or chemicals in the laboratory is encouraged to discuss the matter with the demonstrator or Technical Officer. 6. ORGANISMS No live micro-organisms are used during histology practicals. 7. EQUIPMENT Demonstrators and tutors should be fully aware of the correct operating procedures for all equipment used within the histology laboratories. 7.1 Shandon Duplex Automatic Processors Consist of a series of graded ethanol‟s, xylene and paraffin wax heated to 61C. When using these machines ensure that all requirements for personal protective equipment are observed. Safe Operating Procedures are included as an appendix in this manual and are placed with the equipment when it is used for practical sessions. Ensure the exhaust fan is switched on when machines operational. 7.2 Exhaust/Extraction Unit (Stainless Steel Bench) When dispensing dangerous substances ensure that the exhaust system is switched on and that appropriate protective equipment is being used. The extraction bench in C220 is always on. If it has shut down then notify the instructor immediately. 7.3 Bunsen Burners If Bunsen Burners are to be used in a practical sessions they will be set up by the Technical Officer using a small gas bottle. Only histology staff are to do this. When using the Bunsen burners do not burn yourself. Be aware of burning back by noting a hollow burning sound and/or absence of a blue cone of unburnt gas. Ensure that all burners are turned off at the end of the practical and gas bottles are secured. 7.4 Microtomes Rotary microtomes are used during practical sessions for cutting tissue sections. These are heavy pieces of equipment, which must be lifted or moved with care and strictly as instructed by the demonstrator. The knives used in these microtomes are very sharp, and must be used with extreme care by students and staff. Disposable blades for these knives are to be handled and disposed of strictly as instructed by the demonstrator. Microtomes with knives in place are not to be left unattended at any time. The wheel of each microtome must be in the locked position any time the microtome is not being used for cutting sections. No person suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be permitted to use this equipment. Any such person will be required to leave the practical session immediately. 7.5 Embedding Centers Embedding Centers contain paraffin wax at 61C and both a hot plate at about 70C and a cold plate at minus 4 degrees. When using ensure that you do not burn your fingers. Ensure that all personal protective equipment requirements are met and that you have familiarised yourself with the safe operating procedures for this piece of equipment. Gowns and eyeglasses must be worn when actually embedding. 8. SOLVENTS Flammable solvents such as Xylene are stored in the Flammables Cabinet, which are located in the Preparation Laboratory Chemical Store C222. If solvents are used during practical sessions, the exhaust fan must be switched on. People using these solvents should consult the appropriate MSDS before commencing work. MSDS‟s for all chemicals and reagents used within the histology laboratory are available both within the laboratory and in the preparation room (C222). 9. STAINING PROCEDURES Whenever doing staining procedures ensure that protective gowns, gloves and safety glasses are worn. When „bringing sections to water‟ or „dehydrating, clearing and mounting‟ always ensure that the exhaust system is turned on. Ensure you have read the MSDS that relates to the particular stain that you are using and you are aware of any possible hazards. MSDS‟s for stains used within the laboratory are located in the preparation room (C222). MSDS will also be made available during practical sessions that use stains. 10. CLEANING AND WASTE DISPOSAL Appropriate cleaning and waste disposal is designed to separate different types of waste and minimise risks when handling hazardous products or byproducts. 10.1 Cleaning of General Work Areas The Technical Officer will manage all cleaning and waste disposal. General work areas are to be kept tidy and free of unnecessary equipment. Any tools or implements used for general work should be returned to their appropriate place. Please follow instructions carefully and if in doubt - ASK! 10.2 Diversol The general disinfectant used in the laboratory is “Diversol” and is available in the laboratory during specific practical sessions. For cleaning of spills involving human blood or body fluids, “Diversol” should be used at a concentration of 5000 ppm of available chlorine. This should be made up immediately prior to use as it has a limited shelf life. Sachets of Diversol are located in the preparation room (C222). Squirt bottles of Diversol will be made available when required. 10.3 Biohazard Bags The filled biohazard bags should be transported to the microbiology laboratory preparation room in the yellow biohazard wheelie bin (located in C222) and should be autoclaved prior to disposal. The bags should not be sealed prior to autoclaving; rather they should be left open to allow penetration of the steam. 10.4 Sharps Full sharps containers should be securely closed and placed in the Preparation room or left at the front of the laboratory. Full containers are stored in the undercroft for specialist disposal as organised by the School of Human Life Sciences. 11. CLEAN UP PROCEDURE FOR BIOHAZARD SPILLS Spills involving infectious materials are complex events and no set of instructions can cover all possibilities nor replace the need to exercise common sense and apply sound microbiological judgment in their management. All staff members involved in unsupervised work must be familiar with the following guidelines, which are to be used in the management of spills. 11.1 General Considerations for Biohazard Spills When dealing with a spill of biohazardous liquid it is important to be aware that the spill may become dispersed into three spill fractions: The bulk of the liquid remains as a puddle. A portion separate as splashes and rivulets. A portion is released as airborne particles (aerosols) The small airborne particles pose the greatest risk, as they can remain airborne and dispersed to other areas. Spills involving human blood or body fluid are treated with a disinfectant with 5000ppm of chlorine (diversol). 11.2 Minor Biohazard Spills All quantities used within the histology laboratory will come under the minor spill category. A minor biohazard spill is generally considered as a spill of minimally hazardous material with low potential for generation of aerosols. The following procedures should be followed. If hands have been contaminated, first wash hands with soap and water. Remove and replace any contaminated protective clothing. Put on Gloves Lay down absorbent material wetted with disinfectant over spill and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Discontinue work in the immediate area. After 10 minutes, mop up spill and place the contaminated materials into autoclavable bag. Wipe over general area again with paper towel dampened with disinfectant. Remove gloves and wash hands. In the event of a major biohazard spill, staff are instructed to evacuate the histology facility and notify security at once. The above-mentioned equipment and necessary personal protective equipment can be found in the „Spill Kit‟ located in the histology laboratory. „Spill Kit‟s‟ are checked and maintained by the Technical Officer, access to the „Spill Kit‟ is to be free from obstruction at all times. If the kit is used, please notify the Technical Officer so stocks can be replenished. 12. REPORTING OF INCIDENTS Reporting of incidents and unsafe working practices help to prevent further incidents and ensure a safe working environment for students, staff and authorised visitors. 12.1 General Considerations Official reporting of incidents is to be done through the relevant Departmental Occupational Health and Safety Officer. This is Mr. Steve Tristram from the School of Human Life Sciences. Copies of any documentation relating to an incident or safety hazard must be sent to both the Histology Safety Officer and the Occupational Health and Safety Representative. A copy should also be retained within the laboratory. 12.2 Accident or Incident Report All accidents and major spills should be documented on an "incident report form" (see appendix for example). These forms are available from the Occupational Health and Safety Officer, and should be completed with the assistance of that officer. Copies of the completed form should be sent to the Histology Safety Officer, and a copy retained in the histology laboratory. 12.3 Notification of a Safety Hazard Staff are encouraged to communicate "near misses" or safety hazards that they have identified to the Histology Safety Officer in order to identify "risky practices" and prevent future incidents. The Histology Safety Officer should discuss such episodes with the Occupational Health and Safety Officer and if deemed necessary, complete a "Notification of a Safety Hazard" form (see appendix for example). Copies of the completed form should be sent to the Histology Safety Officer, and a copy retained in the histology laboratory. 13. EVACUATION PROCEDURES Each laboratory has a posted excavation procedures sheet. Please ensure that you read and understand these documents before working within the histology laboratory. 13.1 Designated Building/Area Wardens The names and locations of Warden‟s for Building C are posted with the emergency procedure on entry to the labs and are included as an appendix in this manual. 13.2 Emergency Procedures Emergency Procedures identify emergency exits and outside assembly areas that are to be used in the event of an emergency. Staff must familiarise themselves with these plans when undertaking work in the histology laboratories. 13.3 Emergency Exits There are illuminated exit signs leading to external doors from the histology laboratories. Staff must be aware of the advised exit routes in the event of an emergency. If any of the exit signs are damaged or missing, notify the Safety Officer or a senior member of staff. Poorly lit and signed exits can pose a hazard in the event of an emergency. 14. INDUCTION PROCEDURES All new and continuing staff should be inducted into the laboratory at least annually, this ensures that any changes to operating procedures can be highlighted and staff kept informed of relevant information pertinent to the histology laboratory. 14.1 Induction Procedures All staff undertaking teaching and other duties within the histology laboratory must be inducted by a responsible officer before commencing work within the laboratories. The induction process includes but is not limited to a familiarisation tour of the facility, detailed instruction in the proper use of all equipment and machinery, an understanding of the hazards associated with the histology laboratories and correct safety procedures to be followed. Before staff can undertake any work within the laboratories, they must posses an understanding of the content of this manual and have been instructed in the proper use of all personal protective equipment used within the histology facility. 14.2 Induction Records All staff undertaking induction must complete an Induction Record form. These forms are kept by the Safety Officer and are made available when required.
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