Each laboratory environment is unique and poses various sets of hazards, which may include biological, chemical, fire, physical, radiological hazards and others.
The University has established Laboratory Safety Management Policies and framework as well as a series of manuals, guidelines, and code of practices. All laboratory personnel (e.g. principal investigators, laboratory in-charges, research personnel) should take steps to learn these requirements and ensure proper implementation in their working areas.
Each laboratory is so designed and constructed with proper safety facilities and equipment to meet the users’ requirements identified in the design stage. In other words, the existing safety provisions (e.g. fixed fire services installations (FSIs), ventilation systems, fume cupboards, emergency systems, etc.) of individual laboratory may limit the nature, types or scales of laboratory works to be done in that laboratory.
Therefore, if a laboratory user plans to introduce new equipment or new research activity to their laboratory, they must carefully assess the potential risks from the change, and evaluate if the existing safety provisions are adequate and proper. The existing layout of the laboratory, the access way and the surrounding environment alike may also pose concerns to the safe delivery, installation and/or maintenance of the new equipment and/or associated parts or materials to be used. Users are advised to consult HSEO, if necessary.
On the other hand, under the current Space Allocation Policy, department shall inform Campus Development & Space Allocation Committee (CDSAC) if they plan to change the purpose of use of any room (including laboratory) allocated to them. CDSAC will coordinate with CDO, CFSO and HSEO for follow up.
General Laboratory Safe Practices
- Always assess risks from your laboratory activities and implement proper safety measures before commencing them
- Check and ensure the current safety provisions and emergency equipment of your laboratory can allow safe conduct of your laboratory works and they are working properly
- Establish Safe Operating Procedure (SOP)
- Ensure all laboratory personnel to have proper safety training and registered with HSEO
All laboratory users (except an undergraduate who is working under the direct supervision by a competent laboratory supervisor) of PolyU must have completed proper laboratory safety training (classroom or online), passed an online test and registered with HSEO before they are allowed to work in a laboratory which may involve the use of chemicals, biological agents, ionizing radiation sources (e.g. x-ray, radioactive substances) or non-ionizing radiation sources (e.g. laser at class 3b or above, UV, radiofrequencies, etc.)
- Conduct regular self-inspection
- Conduct regular housekeeping check
In particular, hazardous substances must be properly stored in accordance with their compatibilities and keep the storage quantities to a minimum. Unwanted chemicals should be disposed of properly.
Our Scope of Services
- To conduct both regular (announced) inspection and irregular (unannounced) inspection
- To provide advices on the laboratory safety design
- To provide advices on safe use, storage and disposal of hazardous substances
- To provide advices relating the use and maintenance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and to arrange term contract for procurement of common PPE with local suppliers to facilitate purchase of PPE by user departments
- To provide health and safety training for laboratory users
- To maintain an up-to-date chemical inventory
- To provide essential chemical hazard information
- To arrange licenced contractors for disposal of chemical wastes
Related Policies / Guidelines
- Laboratory Safety Management Policy (B400)
- Guidelines for Laboratory Chemical Safety (B802)
- Guidelines for Safe Handling of Engineered Nanomaterials (B804)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Policy (D100)
- Code of Practice for Ionizing Radiation Protection (E100)
- Guidelines for Ionizing Radiation Protection (E200)
- Guidelines for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (E300)
- Code of Practice for Pressure Equipment (F100)
- Code of Practice for Laser Equipment (F200)
- Guidelines for Laser Safety (F500)
- Policy and Procedures for Obtaining Safety Approval for Research Projects (A900)
Legal Requirements for the Import and Use of Certain Chemicals and Biological Agents
- 3400 8389
- 3400 8418
- 3400 8390
- 3400 8417