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THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY

HANDBOOK

2006

Updated: 23/03/06 I
For most up-to-date version, see: http://www.pharmacology.unimelb.edu.au
UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE
DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY HANDBOOK

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Table of Contents I
About the Department V

SECTION 1 - INTRODUCTION
1.1 Departmental Hours and Security ..................................................................... 1
1.2 Personal Details.................................................................................................. 1

SECTION 2 - DEPARTMENTAL FACILITIES


2.1 Departmental Store............................................................................................. 2
2.2 Solvent Store....................................................................................................... 2
2.3 Cylinder Store ..................................................................................................... 2
2.4 Ice, Dry-Ice and Liquid Nitrogen........................................................................ 3
2.5 Biological Research Facility .............................................................................. 3
2.6 Lockers ................................................................................................................ 3
2.7 Graduate Student Room..................................................................................... 3
2.8 Honours Student Room...................................................................................... 4
2.9 Kitchen and Staff Room ..................................................................................... 4
2.10 Mail....................................................................................................................... 4
2.11 Fax and Email Facilities ..................................................................................... 4
2.12 Computing Facilities .......................................................................................... 4
2.13 Paper Shredder and Recycling .......................................................................... 4
2.14 Photocopying ...................................................................................................... 4
2.15 Library.................................................................................................................. 5
2.16 Michael J Rand Seminar Room ......................................................................... 5
2.17 Tutorial Rooms ................................................................................................... 5
2.18 Instrument Room ................................................................................................ 5
2.19 Coldroom............................................................................................................. 5
2.20 Darkroom and Photography .............................................................................. 5
2.21 Microscopes........................................................................................................ 5
2.22 Fume Cupboards ................................................................................................ 6
2.23 Cell Culture Facilities ......................................................................................... 6
2.24 Autoclave and Oven ........................................................................................... 6
2.25 Centrifuges.......................................................................................................... 6
2.26 -70° Biofreezers................................................................................................... 6
2.27 Radiation Counters and Radioactive Waste..................................................... 7
2.28 Kodak Imaging Station ....................................................................................... 7

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2.29 Wallac Plate Reader ("Victor") ...........................................................................7
2.30 Cryostat/Freezing Microtome.............................................................................7
2.31 FACS Cell Sorter .................................................................................................7
2.32 Surgery.................................................................................................................7
2.33 Laundry ................................................................................................................7
2.34 FLEX Station Fluorescence Plate Reader .........................................................8
2.35 Freeze Dryer/Vacuum Centrifuge.......................................................................8
2.36 Orbital Shaker/Incubator ....................................................................................8
2.37 First Aid Boxes....................................................................................................8
2.38 Chemical Spill Kits..............................................................................................8
2.39 Emergency Air Conditioning Cut-Off Switches ................................................8
2.40 Break-Glass Fire Alarms ....................................................................................8
2.41 Fire Extinguishers...............................................................................................9
2.42 Personal Security Alarms...................................................................................9
2.43 Health and Safety Notice Board.........................................................................9

SECTION 3 - OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY, COMMITTEES


AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
3.1 The University of Melbourne Occupational Health & Safety Policy..............10
3.1.1 Implementation of the University’s Occupational Health & Safety
Policy ........................................................................................................10
3.1.2 Responsibility for Safety ...........................................................................11
3.2 The University of Melbourne Occupational Health & Safety Committee......12
3.3 Departmental Safety Committee ......................................................................13
3.3.1 Departmental Safety Committee Members...............................................13
3.3.2 Reporting Hazards....................................................................................13
3.3.3 Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Information................................13
3.4 Emergency Evacuation Procedure ..................................................................14
3.5 First Aid .............................................................................................................15
3.6 Out-of-Hours Assistance ..................................................................................15
3.7 Other Emergency Situations ............................................................................15
3.8 Emergency Contact Numbers.............................................................................15

SECTION 4 - GENERAL LABORATORY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS


4.1 Introduction .......................................................................................................16
4.2 Safety .................................................................................................................16
4.3 Risk Assessments ............................................................................................17
4.4 Chemicals/drugs ...............................................................................................18
4.5 Liquid Nitrogen and Dry-Ice .............................................................................18
4.6 Vacuum Equipment...........................................................................................18
4.7 Centrifuges ........................................................................................................18
4.8 Refrigerators and Freezers...............................................................................18

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4.9 Compressed Gas Cylinders................................................................................ 18
4.10 Gaseous Anaesthetics ..................................................................................... 19
4.11 Lift Breakdowns................................................................................................ 19
4.12 After Hours Work .............................................................................................. 19
4.13 Visitors............................................................................................................... 20
4.14 Withdrawing Faulty Equipment From Use...................................................... 20
4.15 Computer Use ................................................................................................... 20
4.16 Pipetting ............................................................................................................ 20
4.17 Manual Handling ............................................................................................... 20

SECTION 5 - CHEMICALS IN THE LABORATORY


5.1 Information About Hazards Associated With Chemicals .............................. 21
5.2 Classification of Chemicals ............................................................................. 21
5.3 General Aspects of Safe Handling of Chemicals ........................................... 22
5.4 Chemical Waste Management ......................................................................... 25
5.4.1 Handling, Packaging, Labelling and Storage............................................ 25
5.4.2 Specific Waste ......................................................................................... 26

SECTION 6 - BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS


6.1 Animals in the Research Laboratory............................................................... 29
6.1.1 Guidelines for Care and Use of Animals for Research and Teaching
Purposes .................................................................................................. 29
6.1.2 Rules for the Biological Research Facility ................................................ 30
5.2 Hazards of Animals and Animal Material in Laboratories ............................. 31
6.2.1 Quarantine ............................................................................................... 31
6.2.2 Physical Hazards...................................................................................... 31
6.2.3 Abattoir Material ....................................................................................... 31
6.2.4 Infectious Diseases .................................................................................. 31
6.2.5 Other Hazards from Animals .................................................................... 32
6.3 Importation of Animals, Organisms and other Biological Material .............. 33
6.3.1 Introduction .............................................................................................. 33
6.3.2 Record Keeping........................................................................................ 34
6.3.3 Waste Disposal of Imported Biological Material ....................................... 34
6.4 Use of Biological Safety Cabinets for handling Biohazardous Material ...... 35
6.4.1 Biological Safety Cabinets........................................................................ 35
6.4.2 Class II Biological Cabinets ...................................................................... 35
6.5 Autoclaves .................................................................................................... 36
6.6 Genetically Modified Organisms ..................................................................... 37
6.7 Human Cells, Tissue and Blood - Safety Procedures.................................... 37
6.7.1 Hazards associated with working with human tissue and blood ............... 38
6.7.2 Legal requirements and University regulations ........................................ 38
6.7.3 Minimizing the Hazards ............................................................................ 39
6.8 Safety Precautions when handling Biohazardous Material .......................... 40

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6.9 Freezing cells in liquid nitrogen ......................................................................42
6.10 Thawing cryovials stored in liquid nitrogen ...................................................43
6.11 Biohazardous Waste Management ..................................................................44
6.12 Spills and Accidents with Biohazardous Material..........................................46

SECTION 7 - RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS


7.1 General Aspects of Radioactive Materials ......................................................49
7.1.1 Legislations, Standards and Guidelines....................................................49
7.1.2 Units and Definitions.................................................................................49
7.1.3 Types of Ionizing Radiation ......................................................................51
7.1.4 Biological Effects of Radiation ..................................................................51
7.1.5 Principles of Radiation Protection .............................................................52
7.1.6 Hazards from Ionizing Radiation...............................................................52
7.1.7 Principles of Working Safely with Radioactive Isotopes............................53
7.2 Notes on Specific Radioisotopes ....................................................................54
7.3 Monitoring Radioactive Exposure and Radioactive Contamination.............58
7.4 Managing Radioactive Waste...........................................................................58
7.5 Handling Radioactive Spills .............................................................................61

SECTION 8 - WASTE MANAGEMENT


8.1 General Principles of Waste Management ......................................................62
8.2 Specific Waste Management Procedures .......................................................62

SECTION 9 - APPENDICES
9.1 Appendix A: Responsible Staff for Core Equipment and Facilities.............64
9.2 Appendix B: Departmental Safety Personnel ................................................66
9.3 Appendix C: Useful Websites and other Sources of Safety Information ....68
9.4 Appendix D: Examples of Labels for Hazardous Waste ...............................69

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ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT

The Department of Pharmacology is located on levels 8 and 9 of the Medical Faculty


Triradiate Building (Building 181), and is part of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and
Health Sciences. We are responsible for the teaching of Pharmacology and
Toxicology to undergraduate students in the areas of Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary
Science, Physiotherapy, Optometry, Nursing and Science. Postgraduate research
programs leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science are
also offered. The staff of the Department are actively involved in research. Its
expertise lies in the areas of the cardiovascular, central nervous system, respiratory
and molecular pharmacology and drug design. Information technology and the
development of multimedia teaching methods are also active areas of research. We
have collaborative links with both the local and overseas pharmaceutical industries in
the form of joint programs. The Department's research is funded from both industrial
and Government sources.

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SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 DEPARTMENTAL HOURS AND SECURITY

The front doors of the Triradiate Medical Building are open during the working week
between the hours of 8.00am and 5.15pm. It should be noted that when meetings and
lectures are held after hours, it is the responsibility of the organiser to make sure that
all doors are locked when leaving the building.

The corridors of Pharmacology are locked outside working hours and may be
accessed only by key. The 9th Floor North corridor is locked at all times and requires
key access.

All members of the Department, including postgraduate and Honours students and
visitors, may be issued with a Building access swipe-card, along with keys to
corridors/communal equipment areas and their respective work area(s). Due to the
fact that many keys are not returned when a student completes his/her term in
the Department, a charge may be levied on Honours students, refundable when
the key is returned to the Departmental Manager. For security and safety reasons,
recipients must not lend their keys to another person, or have them copied. If a key is
lost, it is essential that the Departmental Manager be informed.

In recent years there has been a marked increase in theft of both personal effects and
Departmental equipment. Items taken are usually those "attractive" items, such as
cameras, computers, etc. All equipment, particularly that termed "attractive", should
therefore be securely housed. During working hours there are many people moving
through the building. It is necessary therefore, to make sure that your own personal
valuables are stored in a secure place. Do not leave items such as wallets, handbags,
purses, key rings, etc. on desks or in unlocked drawers. Personal lockers are
available to staff and students: if you don't have one, see the Departmental Manager
or Administrative Assistant (W801).

Note the Departmental corridor key provides access also to all communal areas in the
Department, including seminar room, special lab equipment rooms, photocopy room,
library and locker rooms. The building swipe card can be programmed to provide
access to the medical building and the Biological Research Facility on level 9.

1.2. PERSONAL DETAILS

For administration purposes, it is necessary that we have up-to-date addresses for all
staff, and students and if possible telephone numbers, along with a "contact" name
and address of a person who may be called should an emergency occur. Please
make sure, therefore, that the Departmental Manager (W801) has your current details.

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SECTION 2: DEPARTMENTAL FACILITIES

The Department facilities are resources available to all Pharmacology staff, students
and visitors. Use by any external staff and/or students is only by arrangement with the
Departmental Manager. All users of core equipment and/or facilities must be fully
trained to use such equipment/facilities. A list of people responsible for Core
Equipment is posted in the Department Noticeboard opposite reception on level 8 and
in the Appendices. A list of Departmental Officers is also provided in Appendices.

2.1 DEPARTMENTAL STORE


The Departmental Store is located in the foyer on the 8th floor in room C801. It
contains basic laboratory sundries such as glassware, plasticware and stationery, etc.
A key to the store is held in room W801 along with forms on which to record the items
removed. Items not held in the store may be ordered through the Administrative
Assistant or Departmental Manager (W801). All requests should be in writing on the
forms provided. Orders are processed several times a week; however if you require
goods urgently, please say so.

2.2 SOLVENT STORE


A departmental Solvent Store is located in the basement at the bottom of the access
ramp leading to the garage and delivery bay (level 1: access by lifts on west side of
foyer only). As with the cylinder store, it is a shared facility with the Physiology
Department. The shelves available to us are labelled “Pharmacology”. All bulk
solvent supplies must be stored in this area. Only minimum stocks of flammable
solvents should be stored in your laboratory. A key to the store may be obtained from
the Departmental Manager/Administrative Assistant (W801). Waste solvents should
also be stored in the basement bunkers (bunker 3). Waste solvents for disposal
should be clearly labelled with the chemical contents, Lab group and quantity (see
Appendices for example) and notification given to the Departmental Manager so that
collection may be arranged. Solvents must always be transported between locations
using ‘Winchester Carriers’ (unbreakable containers with lids which will retain the
contents of your bottle should you have an accident).

2.3 CYLINDER STORE


Our Cylinder Store of compressed gases is located in the basement (level 1: access
by lifts on west side of foyer only). The area is divided into sections, one for full
cylinders and one for empties. When a cylinder of gas is empty, return it to the
cylinder store, mark it “PHARM.MT” and place it in the correct area. Full cylinders you
have ordered may be collected from this area. Cylinders must be transported securely
chained to a cylinder trolley, available from the basement cylinder storage area. A key
to the cylinder storage area and to the cylinder trolleys may be obtained from the
Departmental Manager/Administrative Assistant (W801). Please note all cylinders in
the laboratory must be secured by brackets/chains to a bench or similar fixed object.

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On no account may they be stored in a vertical position unchained. Full cylinders not
connected to a regulator may not be kept in the laboratory.

The Department has Carbogen (5% CO2/95% O2) piped to most laboratories from a
bank of cylinders in the basement.

2.4 ICE, DRY-ICE AND LIQUID NITROGEN


An ice machine is located in room W812. Take care than no ice or water is left on the
floor around the machine, which could cause someone to slip. Dry-ice is available
from the Chemistry Department store upon presentation of a purchase order, available
from the Administrative Assistant (room W801). In addition, spare dry-ice left over
from deliveries is often stored in a polystyrene box in the middle -70°C freezer in room
W812. Please place unwanted dry ice in this box for others to use. Liquid nitrogen is
available from the basement (Anatomy Department). The log of liquid nitrogen use,
attached to the wall near the liquid nitrogen storage tank, must be filled in. You must
take with you cryogenic gloves and face shield. Liquid nitrogen transfer containers are
available in rooms N813 and W821. A liquid nitrogen storage tank for frozen cell lines
is available in room W821. Consult the Departmental Manager before using this.

When handling dry-ice or liquid nitrogen, safety gloves and a full face shield must be
worn, and adequate clothing and footwear to cover arms, legs and feet. Keep doors
open for ventilation. NEVER use dry-ice or liquid nitrogen in the coldroom or other
confined spaces.

2.5 BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH FACILITY (BRF)


This facility is located on the 9th floor (East wing). The BRF is a secure area and is
“alarmed”. Access is only by use of a magnetic swipe card (Building access swipe
card). These are available from the Department Manager and activated for access to
the BRF facility only upon completion of an induction training session on the
procedures to be used in the BRF. These procedures must be strictly adhered to
since quarantine and other restrictions apply. Induction sessions are organised by the
BRF Manager. A copy of all BRF procedures is located in a file in the foyer to the
facility as a reference.

Animals will be supplied only on orders displaying a current Animal Ethics number.
Animal in stock rooms are available at any time, but the BRF Manager should be
consulted about out-of-hours access. Once removed from the animal house, livestock
may not be returned except by arrangement with the BRF Manager.

2.6 LOCKERS
Personal lockers are available in rooms E801A and C817. Please keep these areas
locked to restrict access. Keys to these rooms and the lockers are available from the
Departmental Manager/Administrative Assistant (W801).

2.7 GRADUATE STUDENT ROOM (E802)


Room E802 contains desks for the use of PhD students. Students will be allotted a
desk in order that they may have a study area away from the laboratory. Please see

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the Student Rep for desk allocation and the Departmental Manager for a key to the
room.

2.8 HONOURS STUDENT ROOM (E803)


Room E803 contains desks for the use of Honours students. Students will be allotted
a desk in order that they may have a study area away from the laboratory. Please see
the Student Rep for desk allocation and the Departmental Manager for a key to the
room.

2.9 KITCHEN AND STAFF ROOM


A fully equipped kitchen is available inside the staff room (C806, C807). All users of
these facilities are responsible for keeping them clean and hygienic at all times. All
items stored in the fridge must have their owner's name on them: unlabelled items will
be discarded.

2.10 MAIL
Outgoing mail should be placed in the appropriate tray in the Mail Room (C814). All
external mail must be identified by the sender's name and include instructions for
mailing, eg. air mail, printed matter etc. The postage cost of large items or quantities
of mail such as reprints, etc. will be charged against individuals’ research grants. The
deadline for outgoing mail is 4.00pm each day. Incoming mail is normally delivered
twice a day at 9.15am and 2.15pm. Pigeon holes are in the Staff Room (C807) and
allocated by the Departmental Secretary (C808).

2.11 FAX AND EMAIL FACILITIES


A Departmental FAX machine (03 8344 0241) is available in the Mail Room (C814).
All faxes sent must be recorded in the log. Email facilities are available: contact the
Department’s Computing Officer to make arrangements.

2.12 COMPUTING FACILITIES


The Department has a number of computers, printers and a scanner for student use.
These are located in the Graduate Student Room (E802) and the Mail Room (C814).
Contact the Departmental LITE (Local Information Technology Expert) for instruction
in their use. Food and drink must not be taken into the computing areas. Use of all
University computer facilities is monitored and is strictly limited to official University
activities. Serious penalties apply for misuse.

2.13 PAPER SHREDDER AND RECYCLING


A paper shredder and paper recycling boxes are available in the Mail Room (C814).
Periodic arrangement are also made for the secure removal of confidential papers for
destruction/recycling. See the Departmental Secretary (C808) for advice.

2.14 PHOTOCOPYING
Photocopiers are available in the Mail Room (C814).

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2.15 LIBRARY (E808)
A collection of course texts and other core references, and copies of all Honours and
PhD theses from former students of the Department, are located in the Library. The
Departmental corridor key provides access to the library and keys to the book
cupboards are available from the Departmental Secretary (C808). All borrowings
must be recorded with the Departmental Secretary.

2.16. MICHAEL J RAND SEMINAR ROOM (FOYER, LEVEL 8)


As the name implies this area is used for Departmental Seminars as well as a general
teaching venue. Seminars and Research-in-Progress talks are organised throughout
teaching semesters, typically on Monday afternoons at 4pm: see the Seminar and RIP
coordinators for copies of the programmes. The Seminar Room is also available for
group discussions and the rehearsal of scientific presentations. The room is equipped
with PC, MAC, computer projector, video projection, overhead projector, slide
projector and whiteboards. No food or drink is permitted in this area. To make
bookings for this room and for a lecturn key, see the Departmental Secretary (C808).

2.17 TUTORIAL ROOMS (E809, E810, E811)


Three tutorial rooms are available for lab meetings and other small group meetings.
Bookings should be made through the Departmental Secretary (C808).

2.18 INSTRUMENT ROOM (W812)


Room W812 contains a high speed centrifuge, a low-speed refrigerated benchtop
centrifuge, three -70°C freezers, an ice machine and a MilliQ-grade water purifier.
Before using the centrifuges, obtain training from the responsible person indicated on
the instrument (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). If in doubt,
ask your supervisor. Ensure all log books and the rotor logs are completed.

2.19 COLDROOM (W827)


A coldroom is available on level 8, W827 (see Appendices for staff responsible for
Core Equipment). The benches must be left clear to allow others to use the room.

2.20 DARKROOM AND PHOTOGRAPHY


The department has a Darkroom for developing and printing photographic film (Room
W806: see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Leave the darkroom
clean and tidy after use. The darkroom must be booked in advance using the booking
diary inside which shall also be used to record all darkroom use. Slide and prints may
be ordered through the Multimedia Education Unit and posters may be printed and
laminated through the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. See the
Administrative Assistant (W801) for ordering.

2.21 MICROSCOPES
The Imaging Room (W809) contains two microscopes available for general use, an
Olympus microscope with camera/imaging system and a Zeiss microscope. Both
have fluorescence capacity. The room is accessible by key only: please keep the

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room locked. Please use log books and maintain the area in a neat and tidy state.
DO NOT USE OIL with these microscope's objectives unless prior approval has been
given (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment).

2.22 FUME CUPBOARDS


Fume cupboards are available for general use in room N805 (see Appendices for staff
responsible for Core Equipment). This is a multi-user facility: please make sure that
you clean your work area when you are finished. Diaries attached to each fume
cupboard should be used to record bookings and use of each fume cupboard.

2.23 CELL CULTURE FACILITIES


Three cell culture rooms are available (rooms W821, W822 and N813, see
Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). They include both horizontal
laminar flow hoods and class II biological safety cabinets, together with water-jacketed
incubators, inverted microscopes and other items. Use of these facilities is by mutual
arrangement with other users and booking diaries are provided. It is the responsibility
of all users to ensure their work does not contaminate or jeopardise the work of
others. In particular, bacterial work must not be performed in the cell culture rooms.
The facility must be left completely clean after each use, including vacuum traps.
Safety issues of cell culture work should be discussed in advance with the
Departmental Biological Safety Officer (see Appendices).

2.24 AUTOCLAVE AND OVEN (W823)


A small autoclave and an oven are available in the Sterilization Room W823. Only
people who have been formally trained in using the autoclave may use this instrument
(see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment).

2.25 CENTRIFUGES
A high speed centrifuge with two rotors (Beckman J2MI) is available in the Instrument
Room (W812). Two refrigerated benchtop centrifuges with swing-out rotors and a
variety of tube carriers are also available (a Sorvall RT7 in room N805 and a Sorvall
RT6000D in W812). Before using any centrifuge, obtain training from the responsible
person indicated on the instrument (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core
Equipment). If in doubt, ask your supervisor. Use the booking diaries provided and
complete all log sheets after use.

2.26 -70° BIOFREEZERS


Four Departmental -70°C freezers are available: two in the Instrument Room (W812),
and one each in the fume hood room (N805) and in room W828. Biofreezer space is
at a premium. Please ensure only items that are still required are stored in the
freezers and remove items when they are no longer required. It is essential that all
items in communal freezers are stored in proper containers and are fully labelled. See
Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment for space in the freezers.

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2.27 RADIATION COUNTERS AND RADIOACTIVE WASTE
Scintillation counters and a gamma counter are located in room W824 and a Packard
Top Count in room W809. These rooms are accessed by Departmental corridor key
only and must be kept locked. All staff/students must be trained in their use (see
Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). All log books must be
completed and use recorded. Radioactive waste that is correctly labelled (see
Appendices for example) and in proper waste containers may be placed in the
Radioactive Waste Storage Room W825 inside the Radiation Detection Counting
Instrument room W824.

2.28 KODAK IMAGING STATION (N803)


A Kodak Imaging Station is available (N803) to capture images and analyse X-ray
films, acrylamide or agarose gels, nitrocellulose membranes and ECL reactions.
Please use log books and record use of the machine. A diary is available to book
times for use. All staff must be trained before using this equipment (see Appendices
for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Special needs to be taken when using UV
illumination in this instrument.

2.29 WALLAC PLATE READER ("VICTOR") (N803)


A plate reader is available (N803). All staff must be trained before using this
equipment (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Record use in
log book provided and keep area neat and tidy.

2.30 CRYOSTAT/FREEZING MICROTOME (N803)


A cryostat/freezing microtome is available for use (N803). All staff must be trained
before using this equipment (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core
Equipment). Please record use in log book provided and keep area neat and tidy. A
diary is available to book times for use.

2.31 FACS CELL SORTER (N813)


A FACS machine is available (N813). All staff must be trained before using this
equipment (see Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Please record
use in log book provided and keep area neat and tidy. A diary is available to book
times for use.

2.32 SURGERY (N908)


A small animal surgery is located in room N908, between rooms N906 and N910. Use
of this Core Equipment is by specific arrangement with the staff responsible (see
Appendices).

2.33 LAUNDRY (C801)


Soiled lab coats should be sent for cleaning by placing them in the laundry container in
the Store (C801). Complete the details in the laundry book and ensure your labcoats
are properly labelled before sending them off.

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2.34 FLEX STATION FLUORESCENCE PLATE READER (W824)
A Molecular Devices FLEX Station fluorescence plate reader with robotic fluid transfer
facility is available in room W824. Please keep this room locked - access is by the
Departmental corridor key. All staff must be trained before using this equipment (see
Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Please record use on the log
sheets provided and keep area neat and tidy. A diary is available to book times for
use.

2.35 FREEZE-DRYER/VACUUM CENTRIFUGE (W824)


This is available in room W824: please keep this room locked - access is by the
Departmental corridor key. All staff must be trained before using this equipment (see
Appendices for staff responsible for Core Equipment). Please record use on the log
sheets provided and keep area neat and tidy. A diary is available to book times for
use.

2.36 ORBITAL SHAKER/INCUBATOR (W824)


A thermostatically controlled incubator with orbital mixing is available in room W824.
All staff must be trained before using this equipment (see Appendices for staff
responsible for Core Equipment). Please record use in log book provided and keep
area neat and tidy. A diary is available to book times for use.

2.37 FIRST AID BOXES


Located in the middle of each of the main corridors. A list of first aid officers is
provided at each first aid box and in Appendices.

2.38 CHEMICAL SPILL KITS


These large green cases are located hanging on the wall in the middle of each of the
main corridors. Instructions for their use are contained inside. If you need to use a
spill kit, inform the Departmental Manager (W801) so that it can be restocked and also
complete an S3 Incident Report Form.

2.39 EMERGENCY AIR CONDITIONING CUT-OFF SWITCHES


These are red knobs located on the walls in the middle of the main corridors. If you
have a chemical spill and need to isolate the air conditioning to prevent chemical
vapours spreading through the building, activate the cutoff switch for your area. An
orange rotating warning light near the cutoff switch will be activated by turning off the
air conditioning. To re-activate the air conditioning, use the key next to the cutoff
switch.

2.40 BREAK-GLASS FIRE ALARMS


These are located in the central foyer area on levels 8 and 9 and also and the ends of
the corridors on levels 8 and 9.

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2.41 FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
All-purpose dry-chemical fire extinguishers (red with white stripe) are located at
several sites along each corridor. Blue extinguishers (foam, for flammable liquids and
solids only) are also available in some locations, such as opposite the Mail Room.

2.42 PERSONAL SECURITY ALARMS


If you are working in the Department out of hours, the Department has personal
security alarms that you can keep with you to help call assistance from Security in
case of emergency. These personal alarms are available from the Mail Room (C814).
Take the alarm identified for the area you will be working in. If you are concerned
about your personal safety, activate the alarm by pressing the button. This will
summons Security to your area to investigate.

2.43 HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTICE BOARD


A notice board for OHS information is in the Staff Room (tearoom C806/C807). A list
of OHS officers and members of the Departmental OHS Committee is posted here,
together with minutes from meetings.

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SECTION 3. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY,
COMMITTEES AND EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

3.1 THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY


POLICY

The University recognises its obligation to take all reasonable precautions to


provide and maintain, so far as is practicable, an environment that is safe and
without risks to health for employees, students and visitors.

The absence or minimisation of risk also includes occupational health in the


prevention of accidental exposure to agents that may cause occupational diseases.
Thus ergonomics, industrial hygiene, toxicity and radiation safety are all part of the
University's safety programmes.

3.1.1. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE UNIVERSITY'S OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH &


SAFETY POLICY

To meet its obligations, the University will take all reasonable steps to:

(a) observe and implement relevant statutory requirements;


(b) promote workplace safety by education, information, instruction and training;
(c) ensure that adequate instruction is given to employees in safe working procedures
and that they are informed of any hazard to their health which is known to be
associated with work, including off-campus activities in which they are engaged;
(d) ensure that situations or work practices which are unsafe or harmful are reported
immediately to the supervisor of the employee or student, so that corrective action can
be taken;
(e) encourage each person in the University to regard accident prevention as an
individual responsibility;
(f) require the head of each academic and administrative department to apply relevant
Policies and Procedures of the University, as published in the Environment Health and
Safety Manual, to the specific needs of the Department, including where students or
staff are located at another site in consultation with staff of the Risk Management
Office and local staff;
(g) establish procedures to check Environment Health and Safety (EHS) standards in
any other location or country that staff or students may be working;
(h) require that every hazardous incident in the University is reported and, where
appropriate investigated, and ensure any action necessary to reduce further risk is
implemented;

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(i) establish procedures to minimise the risk of harmful effects of fire, explosion,
radiation, biological hazards and chemical release and ensure these procedures are
regularly monitored;
(j) maintain (in the workplace) proper control of harmful substances (i.e. chemicals,
radiation, fire hazards, biological hazards etc.), air pollution and noise;
(k) establish procedures for the evacuation of buildings in the event of fire, explosion
or other emergencies and ensure those procedures are appropriately tested;
(l) ensure that machines and equipment are maintained in a safe condition and that
necessary personal protective devices are available in the workplace;
(m) provide adequate occupational health services and monitoring programs;
(n) maintain proper control over the storage, use and disposal of hazardous
substances and dangerous goods;
(o) post clearly visible signs and notices as required;
(p) ensure that adequate professionally trained staff are available to co-ordinate and
supervise the University's safety management program

3.1.2. RESPONSIBILITY FOR SAFETY

Special responsibilities
Safety is the concern of everyone; however, certain groups within the university
community have specific responsibilities:

* Senior Executive Managers, Deans and Heads of Academic and Administrative


Departments;
* Managers and Section Heads;
* Academic Staff;
* Supervisors (any person who controls or directs others);
* Staff with special safety duties such as building emergency controllers, radiation
safety officers, biological safety officers, emergency team members, elected health
and safety representatives.
And, in addition to the requirements of section 2.3 of the University EHS Manual,
these staff:
(a) are required, in association with appropriate personnel and the Risk Management
Office, to formulate and promulgate specific safety rules for activities conducted within
areas under their control;
(b) are responsible for reporting to the Vice-Chancellor any aspects under their control
which cannot meet safety requirements within the resources provided.

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Employees
All employees (including those employees referred to in paragraph 3.1 above) are to
comply with the EHS Manual generally and in accordance with section 2.3 of that
Manual.
And, in addition employees:
(a) must take all reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others
who may be affected by their conduct at the workplace;
(b) must no wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the
interests of health and safety or welfare and must co-operate with the University in
relation to actions taken by the University to comply with occupational health and
safety legislation;
(c) must not wilfully place at risk the health or safety of any person in the workplace.
Students
All students are to comply with the EHS Manual generally, and in particular, in
accordance with paragraph 2.4 of that Manual.
And, In addition students:
(a) are responsible for adopting safe work and study practices;
(b) must not wilfully place at risk the health or safety of any person at the University;
(c) must not wilfully or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the
interests of health and safety or welfare at the University and are responsible for
adopting safe work and study practices.
Contractors
All contractors are required to undergo appropriate induction training. Contractors
must adhere to all contractual requirements of the University in relation to
occupational health and safety in addition to the University's occupational health and
safety requirements specified in the EHS Manual.

Visitors
Visitors are required to comply with all instructions given by authorised University staff
for the protection of their health and safety whilst on University premises.

3.2 THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH & SAFETY


COMMITTEE

The University Occupational Health and Safety Committee advises the Council,
through the Administrative Committee, on all aspects of occupational health and
safety in the University. It also acts on behalf on the Council, subject always to its
direction, to implement the policies of Council in the context of the University's
statutory responsibilities in the area of health and safety and organises health and
safety committees in the departments of the University.

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The Committee is an advisory committee of the Council, reporting to Council through
the Risk Management Committee.
3.2.1. The Committee is responsible both for making recommendations on policy, and
for taking action with respect to:
• All occupational health and safety matters;

• The promotion of a safe and healthy work and study environment for all
University staff and students;
• Approves the formation of designated work groups;

• Encourages the election of health and safety representatives;

• The reduction of accidental injury;

• The University's rehabilitation programs.

3.2.2. The Committee acts on behalf of the council, subject always to its direction to
implement the policies of Council in the context of the University's statutory
responsibilities in the area of health and safety, including the organisation of health
and safety committees in the University.
3.2.3. The Committee formulates, reviews and disseminates, as approved by the
Administrative Committee, standards, rules and procedures relating to health and
safety generally in the University, or with respect to specific areas of the University.
3.2.4. The Committee receives reports from University Officers with specific health
and safety responsibilities, from Departmental health and safety committees, and from
any specialist sub-committees of the Committee.
3.2.5. The Committee appoints an executive committee to act on behalf of the
Committee between meetings of the Committee, the members of which include the
Chairperson of the Committee as Chair, the Registrar (Academic), the Director (RMO),
and three (3) of the six (6) elected health and safety representatives.
3.2.6. The Committee may appoint such specialist sub-committees as it may from time
to time to determine to perform specific tasks on behalf of the Committee, the
membership of which includes at least one member of the Committee.
3.2.7. The Committee must meet at least quarterly.

3.3 DEPARTMENTAL SAFETY COMMITTEE

3.3.1 Departmental Safety Committee members

A list of current Department Safety Committee members is posted on the Health and
Safety Noticeboard located in the tearoom (C806/C807). Also see Appendices. All
matters of safety should first be taken up with your supervisor, who may then refer
them to the Departmental Safety Officer. If he/she fails to do so, you may of course
go direct to the Safety Officer yourself. The Departmental Safety Officer will then take
action where appropriate and/or refer the matter to the Departmental Safety

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Committee and the Departmental OHS Representative. Safety matters may be
brought to the attention of any member of the Safety Committee.

3.3.2 Reporting Hazards

All safety incidents, including near miss accidents, need to be reported using the
Incident Report form S3. (see Appendices).

3.3.3 Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Information

A notice board is located in the tearoom (C806/C807) to provide some EHS


information. Further information may be sought from the Department EHS officer or
committee members or from relevant authoritative websites (see Appendices)..

3.4 EMERGENCY EVACUATION PROCEDURE

The names of the Building Emergency Controller (white helmet) and Floor Wardens
(yellow helmets) are provided in Appendices. Ensure you know who your Floor
Wardens are.

3.4.1 FIRE AND EVACUATION PROCEDURES

In the event of a fire:


a. Raise the alarm by notifying personnel in the immediate vicinity

b. Notify the Building Emergency Controller (Appendices) or the Departmental


Manager (x45738) to have the alarm sounded and the Fire Brigade called.
Break glass fire points are located in the foyer area and at the far ends of
corridors on levels 8 and 9.

c. Turn off equipment and services, but leave lights on.

d. IF SAFE TO DO SO AND YOU HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATELY TRAINED,


initiate attack on the fire with the appropriate extinguisher:
Dry chemical (red with white stripe): all purpose
Foam (blue): flammable solids and liquids, NOT electrical fires

e. If in doubt at any time, GET OUT.

If the evacuation alarm sounds:


a. The evacuation alarm on levels 8 and 9 is an audible siren with a verbal
instruction to evacuate the building. The sounding of the alarm signifies a RED
ALERT. All staff who are not part of an evacuation team must leave the building
and remain outside until advised it is safe to do so.

b. On hearing the alarm, turn off all equipment and services in your area and
close all doors.

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c. Proceed immediately to the nearest fire stairs, located at the end of each wing
and descend to the ground floor and out of the building. Those in the centre of
the building in the Seminar Room or general offices should proceed down the
central fire stairs to the ground floor and exit the building.

d. Remain with other members of the Department at the appropriate Assembly


Point: the lawns along Royal Parade (West wing), the Rubbo Memorial (North
wing and Central area), and the car park (East wing).

e. Remain at the assembly point until advised it is safe to re-enter the building.

3.5 FIRST AID

Names and contact details of Departmental First Aid personnel are provided in
Appendices and at the First Aid boxes.

First aid boxes (primarily bandages only) are located in all the main corridors of the
Department. Make sure you know these locations. All accidents, no matter how
minor, including to undergraduates in teaching laboratories must be reported
immediately to the Departmental Manager so that a review of the circumstances
leading to the accident can be undertaken and any necessary procedure modifications
can be implemented to prevent a recurrence. All accidents must be recorded on S3
Incident Report forms kept in the Departmental Manager's office (W801). Completed
forms must be handed immediately to the Departmental Manager. Failure to report
could prejudice a future insurance claim which could have serious consequences.

3.6 OUT-OF-HOURS ASSISTANCE

All University Security Officers are qualified first aiders. If first aid is required out of
hours, contact Security (x46666).

3.7 OTHER EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

In case of bomb threats, suspicious or threatening persons or other emergency


situations, follow procedures given in the flip-card action sheets located near all
phones or contact University Security on x46666.

3.8 EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS

See Appendices.

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SECTION 4. GENERAL LABORATORY SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

4.1. INTRODUCTION

A laboratory, like many places of work, can be a dangerous place. Accidents can
occur due to either ignorance or human error. This handbook has been written in
order to minimise these two factors. It is hoped that, by reading it, less inexperienced
person coming into the Department will at least be forewarned of likely hazards. It is
also hoped that, by complying with procedures previously shown to minimise risk, all
department members will reduce human error to a minimum.

4.2. SAFETY

a. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE; ie labcoat or gown or


overalls) in the laboratories and animal rooms. Thongs should not be worn in
laboratories: wear shoes that provide protection from chemical spills. Gloves
and eye protection are required for certain tasks. Use them.

Wash your hands before going to meals or before leaving the laboratory for any
reason.

b. Avoid contaminating your hands, face, clothes, benches, chairs, stools,


notebooks, floors, door handles, switches, gas, water, pressure, vacuum or
other taps with bacteria, toxins or chemicals. Don't suck pencils or anything
similar in the laboratory.

c. The following precautions need to be observed at all times:

c(i) No food or drink should be consumed or brought into the laboratory.

c(ii) No smoking in the laboratory.

c(iii) Hands must be washed before consuming food or drinks. No laboratory coats
or gowns may be worn in the tearoom, student rooms, Seminar Room or
toilets.

c(iv) Labels should not be licked.

c(v) Rubber or plastic gloves must be worn when handling toxic materials. When
weighing these materials, request advice from your supervisor.

c(vi) Any material, dry or in solution, spilt on to the floor, bench or hands must
be cleaned up immediately by the appropriate safe method. Chemical Spill
Kits are attached to the corridor walls. Familiarise yourself with their location
and how to use them. If the spill poses a significant hazard seek advice on its
safe removal. All spills should be reported to your supervisor.

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c(vii) No person may remove a drug from the Department for any reason unless
permission has been obtained from a member of academic staff or the
Departmental Manager.

d. When working with inflammable or explosive materials, familiarise yourself with


the location of fire extinguishers etc.

e. Report any accident, however trivial it may appear, to your supervisor and to
the Departmental Manager, even if no injuries have occurred. Fill in an S3
Incident Report form.

f. Ensure you fully inform yourself about the hazards associated with any
laboratory protocol before you start the work. This should include (i) reading
the Risk Assessment for the protocol (see below), (ii) reading Material Safety
Data Sheets (MSDSs) for hazardous chemicals, (iii) obtaining training to ensure
you are competent to perform the protocol safely, and (iv) planning for
accidents and spills and being prepared and trained to handle them.

4.3 RISK ASSESSMENTS

Before beginning any laboratory work, the whole procedure and the conditions under
which it is to be performed (eg: out-of-hours or in collaborator's laboratories located
elsewhere) need to be formally assessed for risks and this risk assessment needs to
be documented. The Risk Assessment should identify the frequency with which
hazardous tasks are to be performed, the likelihood of an accident/adverse event
happening and the potential consequences of such an accident to both workers and
the environment. Forms for Risk Assessments can be found in the University EHS
Manual on-line.

Having assessed the risks of a laboratory procedure, it is necessary to identify ways of


reducing these risks to a minimum. This is done using a "hierarchy of controls", by
considering each of the following options in sequence to mitigate the risk:

Elimination: eliminate the hazardous step or chemical from the procedure altogether
Substitution: substitute a less hazardous step or chemical as an alternative
Engineering: use equipment to isolate the hazard (eg: fume cupboard, biological
safety cabinet, machine guards, safety cut-off switches)
Administration: eg: limit the duration or frequency of exposure to hazards in the
protocol by limiting how often the protocol is done or only allowing more
experienced personal to perform certain procedures.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPP): eye protection, gloves, labcoat, face visor,
UV face shield, respirator, particle mask, etc.

The risk reduction strategies to be used for each laboratory procedure, using the
above hierarchy of control, need to be documented with the Risk Assessment and be
implemented in the final safe work procedure employed.

Everyone following laboratory protocols must read and understand the Risk
Assessment for that protocol before they start the work and must follow all control
methods identified in the protocol for reducing risks.

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4.4 CHEMICALS/DRUGS

All chemicals pose serious safety hazards to their users and to others in the work
area. It is essential that all appropriate safety precautions are observed when
handling chemicals and drugs. All laboratory areas will have Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDSs) available. See Section 5 for further advice.

4.5 LIQUID NITROGEN AND DRY-ICE

When decanting liquid nitrogen into a smaller flask or handling dry-ice:

• "Cryogenic" safety gloves and face screen (visor) must be worn.


• Suitable clothing must be worn to cover feet and legs.
• Doors must be kept open for adequate ventilation.

Never use liquid nitrogen or dry-ice in coldrooms or other confined spaces.

4.6 VACUUM EQUIPMENT

Any glass equipment under vacuum (or pressure) such as freeze dryer containers,
vacuum decanters, etc. must be taped or boxed to guard against implosion. Safety
glasses must be worn when handling such equipment.

4.7 CENTRIFUGES

Special care must be taken when using centrifuges to ensure that tubes are balanced
and correctly placed in the rotor. This is particularly important on high speed and ultra
speed centrifuges. Before using ANY centrifuge for the first time see your supervisor
and the designated supervisor of the equipment and obtain appropriate instruction.
Rotors and rotor buckets should be inspected for damage or corrosion before each
use.

4.8 REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS

No food or drink may be stored in laboratory refrigerators or coldrooms. A refrigerator


is available in the kitchen (C806/C807) specifically for this purpose.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES are flammable solvents of any kind to be stored in a


refrigerator or freezer.

4.9 COMPRESSED GAS CYLINDERS

Gas cylinders must be strapped to a solid structure and not left free standing, even
when empty. Transferring gas bottles can only be done with a proper gas bottle trolley

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with the bottle firmly attached to the trolley. Only gas bottles correctly secured and
attached to a regulator for use are allowed indoors.

The use of gas bottles in confined spaces, such as a cold room, etc, necessitates
extreme caution to avoid possible risk of asphyxiation. Consult with your supervisor or
Departmental Manager before such use. Rental costs of gas bottles is high so do not
leave empty gas bottles in your laboratories.

4.10 GASEOUS ANAESTHETICS

Use of most gaseous anaesthetics is potentially hazardous. Some are explosive


(ether, cyclopropane, ethylene), particularly when mixed with oxygen in an anaesthetic
machine. Many are heavier than air and flow along the benches and floors to ignite at
suitable sparking apparatus such as switches, motors or thermostats. Others such as
halothane are not explosive but repeated exposure can lead to liver damage and other
health problems. When anaesthetising animals, excess anaesthetic should be voided
into a fume cupboard or other safe area. When using an anaesthetic box, a rubber
tube should carry the excess anaesthetic to a fume cupboard. Explosive gas mixtures
such as ether and cyclopropane are not permitted without the approval of the Head of
Department. Anaesthetics should only be administered using approved commercial
anaesthetic equipment.

4.11 LIFT BREAKDOWNS

In the event of being caught in a lift that breaks down, first try pressing the door open
button. If this fails, use the lift phone and follow the procedures provided in the lift.

DO NOT use the lift during fire evacuation.

4.12 AFTER HOURS WORK

Work outside regular work hours carries with it additional risks due to the absence of
others who can assist in the case of an accident. Consequently, all out-of-hours work
must be approved ahead of time by your supervisor, Department Safety Officer and
Head of Department. After hours work request forms can be obtained as described in
the Appendices). Out-of-hours work needs to be carefully planned to minimise high
risk activities. Risk Assessments need to be completed for all tasks with explicit
mention to the fact they will be performed out-of-hours. High risk activities must not
be performed when alone or after hours. Risks can be reduced by performing more
hazardous steps during normal work hours (eg: diluting concentrated acids) in
preparation for the out-of-hours work. People planning weekend work must inform the
Departmental Secretary (C808) of their intention by midday on Friday, so their
presence here at the weekend can be notified to University Security before the
weekend. People working in the Department out-of-hours must sign the out-of-hours
book (located on the Enquiries counter in the level 8 foyer) upon their arrival, giving
their name and work location, and must sign out when they leave. In the event of an
accident requiring first aid assistance out-of-hours, contact University Security
(x46666) - all the security officers are qualified first aiders.

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4.13 VISITORS

Staff and students may, when it is appropriate and safe to do so, bring one or more
children to the University to enable the parent to attend classes or the workplace.
Requests by staff or students to bring their child(ren) to the workplace or classroom
shall be treated sympathetically by supervisors and teachers. Staff should request
permission from the Head of Department and their Supervisor to bring their child(ren)
to work while students should request permission from their lecturers. The University
requires that children brought onto the campus be under the supervision of a parent or
guardian at all times.

We do not encourage people to bring visitors who are not official members of the
Department into the building outside working hours.

4.14 WITHDRAWING FAULTY EQUIPMENT FROM USE

Any faulty equipment or broken furniture must be reported to the Departmental


Manager (W801) or, if Core Equipment to, the person responsible for that equipment
(see Appendices). An unsafe tag must be attached to the faulty equipment or furniture
and it removed from use until repaired.

Unsafe tags may be obtained from the Department Manager (W801).

4.15 COMPUTER USE

All computers should be arranged following the University guidelines for workstations,
to ensure they are set up ergonomically. See Appendices for on-line information for
setting up workstations. Extended use of laptops should be avoided, since they are
hard to set up ergonomically.

4.16 PIPETTING

Long periods of hand pipetting can put considerable strain on hands, wrists and
shoulders that may lead to injury. Risk assessments (Section 4.3) should ensure that
measures are implemented to minimise potential injury from prolonged periods of
pipetting.

4.17 MANUAL HANDLING

Exerting force to move things, in activities such as pushing pulling, lifting and putting
things down, puts considerable strain on muscles and joints. People required to
perform such tasks should receive formal training in manual handling and these tasks
should be assessed using the University's manual handling check list in the University
EHS manual (see Appendices).

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5 CHEMICALS IN THE LABORATORY

All lab workers must receive training in the safe handling of chemicals before they
start working with them.

5.1 INFORMATION ABOUT HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH CHEMICALS

Chemicals, including drugs, have many different adverse effects on the body, ranging
from being innocuous to causing immediate burns or instant blindness or having long-
term accumulative toxicity. It is essential, therefore, that all due care be taken when
handling these substances in the laboratory.

Always check the label on the container to see whether the manufacturer
recommends any particular precautions to be taken with the product. Consult the
material safety data sheet (MSDS) for all chemicals you use before you use them.
MSDSs should be available for all hazardous chemicals in your work area. They can
also be obtained from the supplier of the chemical (often from their website), or they
may be found on the InfoSafe MSDS database available on-line through the University
(see Appendices). An accurate database of all chemicals must be maintained for
each laboratory: consult this to identify hazards associated with chemicals you will be
using. If you have any doubts about the correct way to handle a particular product, ask
your supervisor before you commence using it.

MSDSs provide a lot of information, including the nature of physical and health
hazards associated with chemicals and suggested precautions to be used. They also
provide regulatory information, such as whether the chemical is classified as a
Dangerous Good, a Scheduled Poison, or a Hazardous Substance. These
classifications have implications for the transport, labelling, storage, use and disposal
of the chemical.

5.2 CLASSIFICATION OF CHEMICALS

Several pieces of legislation classify chemicals according to their properties. Many


chemicals are covered by several pieces of legislation (eg: the drug nicotine is a Class
6 Dangerous Good, a Hazardous Substance and a Schedule 7 Dangerous Poison).
Each classification carries with it special requirements for storage, labelling, disposal
and use and, in some cases, also for monitoring the health of workers handling the
chemical.

The main legislative classifications of chemicals are:


• Dangerous Goods (Dangerous Goods Act 1985; Dangerous Goods
(Storage and Handling) Regulations 2000; Road Transport Reform
(Dangerous Goods) Regulations 1997; and Australian Code for the
Transport of Dangerous Goods by Road and Rail (Sixth Edition) - ("ADG
Code"))

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Class 1: explosive
Class 2: gases
Class 3: flammable liquids
Class 4: solids that are flammable, spontaneously combustible or dangerous
when wet
Class 5: oxidising agents including organic peroxides
Class 6: poisons and substances that are harmful if they contact foodstuffs
Class 7: radioactive materials
Class 8: corrosives
Class 9: miscellaneous dangerous goods

• Scheduled Poisons (Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981;


Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances (Commonwealth Standard)
Regulations 2001; Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Drugs and
Poisons, No 19, 2004, as amended)
A specified list of drugs and chemicals allocated to specific schedules:
S1: Undefined category
S2: Pharmacy Medicine
S3: Pharmacy Only Medicine
S4: Prescription Only Medicine or Prescription Animal Remedy
S5: Caution
S6: Poison
S7: Dangerous Poison
S8: Controlled Drug (drugs of dependence)
S9: Prohibited Substance

• Hazardous Substances (Occupational Health and Safety (Hazardous


Substances) Regulations 1999; NOHSC List of Designated Hazardous
Substances 10005 (1999))
A very detailed list of specific chemicals classified as "Hazardous Substances".

• Carcinogenic Substances (NOHSC National Model Regulations for the


Control of Scheduled Carcinogenic Substances 1011 (1995)
A list of chemicals defined as carcinogenic and requiring special handling and
possibly health monitoring.

5.3 GENERAL ASPECTS OF SAFE HANDLING OF CHEMICALS

In the pharmacology laboratory, many of the drugs we work with are experimental and
their health risks are not known. Consequently all experimental chemicals and drugs
should be assumed to be hazardous and should be handled appropriately. All work
procedures should have a risk assessment done before they are performed and a safe
work procedure described for the protocol. Receive appropriate training and be
familiar with this before you start the protocol. Plan your work ahead and know which
chemicals you will be using and their associated hazardous properties and the
procedures you will use to control these risks. Also anticipate the waste you will be
generating and plan how you will manage its disposal.

Chemical spills and Chemical Spill Kits: If you have a chemical spill, no matter how
small, always clean it up immediately to minimise the risks to yourself and to others.

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You should be aware of the location of your nearest chemical spill kit (large green
plastic cases mounted on the wall in the middle of the north and west corridors and in
the prac lab). You should also be familiar with the kit's contents and how to use them
in the event of a chemical spill.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Always wear a lab coat and gloves when
handling and weighing chemicals and drugs. Ensure the gloves you use are
compatible with the chemicals you are handling: some gloves are permeable to some
chemicals and offer no protection. Wear a particle mask while weighing out powders
of toxic chemicals. Never suck solutions into pipettes by mouth; use a pipette pump or
similar device. When using cryogenic materials (dry-ice and liquid nitrogen) use
designated "cryogenic" gloves and a full face mask (visor).

Labelling: Always label all decanted chemicals and solutions with the full chemical
name, the date and your name, and use the appropriate hazard diamond stickers
(available from Departmental store) on storage containers of stock solutions or
decanted containers of chemicals.

Fume cupboards: Many chemicals should only be handled in fume cupboards. These
include anything that emits a vapour that is harmful (toxic, corrosive, flammable).
Fume cupboards must be kept free of extraneous material (eg: do not store chemicals
in fume cupboards): excessive material in fume cupboards obstructs air flow and
impairs their performance. All fume cupboards should be tested for their compliance
with performance standards every 6 months. Each time you use a fume cupboard,
ensure it has a sticker on it indicating it has passed both the velocity and smoke test
within the last six months.

Benchcote and spilltrays: To contain any potential spills when working with hazardous
chemicals, work in a spill-tray and on absorbent benchcote paper.

Dangerous goods: Many common chemical reagents are classified as Dangerous


Goods and have serious risks associated with their use. Ensure you have considered
these risks when performing the Risk Assessment (Section 4.3) for the protocol are
you are to follow and have incorporated appropriate measures in the safe work
procedure for the protocol to minimise or eliminate these risks.

Scheduled Poisons: All S4 drugs must be stored in locked containers to which general
access is prevented. In addition, S7 drugs must be in locked containers that are
anchored so they cannot be removed. All usage of Schedule 4 and 7 drugs must be
recorded, indicating the nature of the drug, the person using it, the date and the
quantity used. Scheduled 8 compounds must be stored in the departmental safe (see
the Department Manager, W801) and signed for each time they are used and special
records of their use kept. Ensure you know the legal requirements for records for the
scheduled drugs and poisons you are using.

Scheduled Carcinogens and highly toxic chemicals: Anyone planning work with
carcinogenic or highly toxic chemicals must first advise the Departmental Manager of
the chemicals to be used, so that they can be included in the Department’s register of
carcinogens in use. Special health monitoring may be required to check for your
exposure. Disposal of carcinogens has special requirements and in most cases this
will require all solutions containing the carcinogen to be kept and stored and then
disposed of through a licensed chemical disposal company (See Section 5.4).

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Gas cylinders: All gas cylinders must be strapped to immovable objects (eg: benches).
Use the correct regulator/valve on cylinders, depending on their type. Also check you
have the correct type of cylinder: in particular, carbon dioxide comes in at least two
types of cylinder, one of which has a siphon and produces dry-ice rather than CO2
gas. Gas cylinders are very heavy (often over 50kg even when empty). It is essential
they are transported only using a proper gas cylinder trolley. The Department has two
trolleys, located in the basement and accessible with a padlock key from the
Departmental Manager's office (W801). If you do not have adequate strength to move
gas cylinders alone, ensure you obtain assistance from another person. Always strap
the cylinder into the trolley before moving it. Never leave gas cylinders strapped on
trolleys unattended and never store gas cylinders on trolleys: they are unstable and
can easily be knocked over.

Cryogenics: Liquid nitrogen and dry ice pose special hazards in the laboratory due to
their capacity to cause "burns" by rapidly freezing tissue. Skin and eyes are especially
at risk. Always handle these materials using designated "cryogenic" gloves and full
face protection (visor). Both liquid nitrogen and dry-ice produce gases that create a
risk of suffocation if used in poorly ventilated spaces: never use these materials in
coldrooms or other small rooms with bad ventilation. Never transport large quantities
of these materials in the lift without someone else knowing you are doing so and
monitoring the lift in case of breakdown. Ensure they are always transported in closed
vessels to minimise evaporation of nitrogen and CO2.

Chemical combinations and combinations of chemical hazards with other hazards:


Many chemical react violently when mixed with other chemical classes. Be alert to the
possible reactions when combining hazardous chemicals (eg: acids with alkalis,
oxidizing agents (including some acids such as perchloric or nitric) with flammable
chemicals). Also avoid situations where a hazardous chemical is combined with
another hazard (biological hazard or radioactive substance): managing the combined
hazard, and the waste generated from such combinations, can be very problematic.

Storage: Consult the Faculty EHS Manual (see Appendices) Section 1.04 Chemical
Management for advice on chemical storage requirements. All chemicals have
special storage requirements. In particular there are specific needs for segregating
particular classes of dangerous goods from each other (because they can interact
vigorously), for storing certain scheduled poisons in locked (and possible immobile)
storage containers, and for storing other scheduled substances in the departmental
safe. Flammable liquids should be stored on spill-trays in yellow metal "Flammable
Solvents" cabinets. They must never be stored in fridges or freezers. Corrosives
should be stored also on spill-trays but in purple metal "Corrosives" cabinets. Storage
of oxidizing agents needs special attention since they must be stored away from all
other dangerous goods, including flammable material and corrosives.

Transport: Use approved ‘Winchester Carriers’ whenever transporting large bottles of


flammable, toxic or corrosive chemicals from one area to another. These are plastic
containers with sealable lids that contain spills should the bottle break.

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5.4 CHEMICAL WASTE MANAGEMENT

For legal, safety and environmental reasons, many types of chemical must not be
disposed of down the sink. This includes Dangerous Goods, Hazardous Substances,
Scheduled Poisons or radioactive materials. When chemicals can be safely disposed
of down the sink, ensure they are non-hazardous aqueous solutions within the pH
range of 6 to 10, and flush the drains with plenty of water.

The following is a list of categories of substances that must NOT be poured down the
sink.
• Carcinogens, mutagens and teratogens
• Drugs of addiction (Schedule 8)
• Heavy metal suspensions or solutions
• Pesticides and herbicides
• Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
• Chlorinated hydrocarbons
• Organic solvents
• Toxic substances
• Photographic chemicals
• Un-neutralised acids or alkalis.
• Cytotoxic chemicals and drugs
• Radioactive chemicals

5.4.1 Handling Packaging, Labelling and Storage


Handle all chemical waste with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE),
including labcoat, gloves, and face/eye protection and keep volatile toxic waste in a
fume cupboard while decanting.

All chemical waste must be stored in appropriate containers and labelled and stored
correctly. Labelling must include a description of the chemical, class hazard diamond,
Dept code (#534), date, worker's name and host lab name (see Appendices for
example). If the waste is incorrectly labelled it can not be accepted for collection.

All waste must be stored segregated, according to type and class. Aqueous waste in
metal drums must be neutralised to prevent drum corrosion: corrosive liquids should
preferably be stored in plastic waste containers. The maximum size for all chemical
waste containers is 20L. The containers used must be of an approved type where the
waste is a Dangerous Good. If the incorrect container is used, the contractor will
refuse to collect the waste. Disposing of chemicals in glass Winchesters not only
creates additional risks of these waste containers broking but adds substantially to the
costs of disposal. In addition, for Dangerous Goods (such as flammable solvents),
glass waste containers are not permitted. Use of Winchesters as waste containers
should be avoided and any additional costs may be passed on to the relevant lab.
High density polyethylene containers are preferred or smaller plastic screw cap
containers for small amounts of chemical waste. Contact the Risk Management Office
for further advice.

Long-term storage of chemicals and chemical waste, particularly toxic substances, in


fume cupboards is not allowed. Where small amounts are held on a temporary basis,
this is acceptable. All waste containers must be capped and fully labelled. The

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practice of evaporating wastes in fume cupboards is costly and environmentally
damaging and is not acceptable.

Empty containers that have had hazardous materials stored in them must be free of
any residues and have any hazard diamonds or labels removed or made unreadable
before disposal.

Do not allow multiple full waste containers to accumulate in the workplace. As soon as
a waste container is full, it should be sealed, labelled and removed to the appropriate
storage location.

5.4.2 Specific waste

Laboratory chemicals surplus to requirements


Unwanted laboratory chemicals in solid (or liquid form) are scheduled for removal in
January each year. Details of the collection service will be circulated in the preceding
months. If Departments have unstable chemical material or toxic substances which
they are unable to store in a safe manner until the end of year collection, they should
contact the Risk Management Office (RMO). Additional unscheduled collections of
chemical waste can be arranged at any time on demand.

Organic Solvents
Solvents must be separated into two broad categories: chlorinated and non-
chlorinated. The two categories should not be mixed as this may prevent later
recycling of the solvents. Solvents should be collected in unbreakable containers,
either 20L metal drums or high-density polyethylene containers. Use plastic
containers if the solvent also contains acids (eg: HPLC solvents with TFA). When full,
the drum/container should be sealed, labelled (date, worker's name, lab name, Dept
code #534, type of solvent, appropriate hazard diamond if relevant, and either "Waste
Non-Chlorinated Organic Solvent" or "Waste Chlorinated Organic Solvent" - see
Appendices) and transported to the Department's chemical storage bunker in the
basement (key from W801).

Non-chlorinated solvents include:


• Hydrocarbons (eg: isopentane, hexane)
• Alcohols (eg: ethanol, methanol)
• Ethers (eg: diethylether)
• Aldehydes
• Ketones (eg: acetone)
• Acetonitrile
• Histolene
• Aminopropylsilane
These chemicals are generally Class 3.1 and 3.2 Flammable liquids. Some may have
the sub-risk of 6.1 (a) Poison or 6.1(b) Harmful.

Chlorinated solvents include:


• Carbon tetrachloride
• Chloroform
• Methylene chloride (Dichloromethane)
• 1,1,1-Trichloroethane

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• 1-Chlorobutane and 2-Chlorobutane
• 1,2-Dichloroethane
• Ethylene dichloride
These chemicals are generally Class 6.1(a) Poison or 61(b) Harmful but some may
have a subrisk of 3.1 or 3.2 Flammable Liquids. These should be kept segregated
from other wastes.

Oil
Waste oils are generated by vacuum pumps, plant and machinery, oil-based heating
baths, workshops etc. The oil should be segregated by type, placed in 20L metal
drums, correctly labelled (worker's name, host lab, date, Dept code #534, and
description of oil and relevant hazard diamond) and delivered to Department's
chemical storage bunker in the basement (key from W801).

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)


At no stage should polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or other halogenated compounds
be mixed with other waste. These require special disposal through the Risk
Management Office.

Carcinogenic waste
Where possible carcinogens should be chemically inactivated before disposal (eg:
diaminobenzidine and phorbol esters can be inactivated with bleach). Following
inactivation and in the absence of other chemical hazards, the aqueous waste can be
disposed of with plenty of water down the sink. Waste containing carcinogens that
cannot be easily inactivated must be kept and stored in appropriate, fully-labelled
containers and then disposed of by arrangement with the Departmental Manager.

Acrylamide
Polymerised acrylamide gels should be collected in fully-labelled, purple cytotoxic
waste containers. When full, seal and transfer to the Radioactive Waste room W825.

Formalin/formaldehyde solutions
Store in fully-labelled, chemical-resistant plastic bottles with the lid firmly screwed
shut. When full, dispose of through the Department Manager (W801).

Ethidium bromide
Ethidium bromide (both in solution and in gels) must be disposed of as cytotoxic
waste. Gels should be disposed of in purple cytotoxic waste containers (available
from the Department store) Small volumes of liquid containing ethidium bromide can
be absorbed onto benchcote or absorbent paper before disposal in the same cytotoxic
waste container. Alternatively, a convenient way to remove ethidium bromide from
solutions is by using a commercially available kit, involving a one step filtration method
using an activated carbon matrix.

Heavy metals
Solutions containing heavy metals must not go down the sink. Such solutions must be
kept and stored in sealed, fully-labelled, plastic waste bottles and dipspoed of through
the Departmental Manager when full. Some heavy metals (Cadmium IV) are
carcinogenic and need special precautions in handling, disposal and record keeping,
and possibly health monitoring too.

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Cytotoxic chemicals (eg: glycol methacrylate, methylbenzoate)
Absorb liquids on absorbent paper and place in purple cytotoxic waste bins stored in
fume cupboard. When full, seal, label fully, including appropriate hazard diamond,
and place in Radioactive Waste room W825.

Corrosives
Aqueous acids and alkalis should be carefully neutralised (wear labcoat, gloves and
face/eye protection) and then disposed of with plenty of water down the sink.

Oxidising agents
Special arrangements need to be made to dispose of oxidising agents. If you will be
generating waste containing significant quantities of oxidising agent, consult with the
Departmental Manager (W801) before you start the work.

Drugs
Small quantities of drugs, of the quantity commonly used in pharmacology
experiments, may be disposed of down the sink after substantial dilution. This must
not be done with carcinogens, heavy metals or highly toxic chemicals. These must be
saved and stored in appropriate containers, labelled and disposed of through the
Department Manager.

S8 Scheduled poisons
There are special requirements for the disposal of S8 scheduled drugs. Such waste
must be saved and stored in fully-labelled sealed containers and delivered to the
Departmental Manager for disposal. Detailed records of all such waste generated
need to be kept.

Radioactive chemicals
See Section 7.4.

Other chemicals
If you anticipate generating other types of hazardous chemical waste, seek advice
from the Departmental Manager, Departmental Safety Officer and the RMO before
you start the work.

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SECTION 6. BIOLOGICAL HAZARDS

6.1 ANIMALS IN THE RESEARCH LABORATORY

In order that laboratory animals be treated in a humane way, the State Government
has legislated for their protection. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 is
wide-ranging in its powers covering rodeos to vivisection. In order that the University
and the Department abide by the Act, a number of procedures have been
implemented based on the NH&MRC/CSIRO joint publication "Australian Code of
Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes", 7th edition, 2004.

Anyone working with animals must receive training in the safe handling of animals
before they start the work. In addition, all work on animals or on tissue derived from
laboratory animals must comply with both the Code of Practice and the Act and must
be approved by the appropriate Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee before any
work commences. Seek advice on applying for AEEC approval from departmental
members of the AEEC committee.

The set of guidelines below are based on the principle that the lives of animals,
especially vertebrate animals, should be treated with respect and care and their
welfare should be catered for at all times. These guidelines cover all areas of
research and teaching which necessitate either the death of or experiments on
animals. Although it is not possible to specify in advance the precise circumstances in
which the use of animals is justified, the impact of proposed research and teaching on
the lives and welfare of animals should be taken into account when deciding whether
the experiment is sufficiently important to be carried out. Accordingly, experiments on
animals should not be performed except to seek knowledge that is new and
significant, or to achieve essential scientific and/or educational objectives that cannot
be gained in any other way. Experiments using animals should be conducted only
when the aims of the research or teaching cannot be achieved by methods or
techniques other than animal experimentation.

6.1.1 GUIDELINES FOR THE CARE AND USE OF ANIMALS FOR RESEARCH
AND TEACHING PURPOSES

1. All animals used for research purposes must be lawfully acquired, and their
retention and use must comply with relevant Commonwealth, State and
Territory laws and regulations.
2. Projects should be designed so that statistically valid results are achieved with
the minimal number of animals.
3. Animals used in experiments must be kept in appropriate conditions, and
husbanded (housed, fed, watered, cleaned, handled and transported) in a
fashion least likely to cause stress or discomfort and in accordance with
acceptable standards.
4. Neuromuscular blocking agents should not be used without appropriate
anaesthesia unless the experimental procedures can be demonstrated not to

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cause pain or distress. When such blocking agents are used, the animal must
be continuously monitored for signs of pain or distress.
5. In experiments not involving surgical interference or painful procedures
requiring anaesthesia, every care should be taken to minimise the degree of
discomfort or stress to which animals are subjected.
6. Any animal unable to recover from an anaesthetic without subsequent suffering
which cannot be relieved quickly must be destroyed painlessly.
7. Investigations conducted under anaesthesia which involve serious disturbance
of, or interference with, structure or function, and which do not require
subsequent recovery of the animal, must be terminated whilst the animal
remains anaesthetised.
8. An animal that has previously been used in one experiment may not be re-used
for another, except with the written permission of the Ethics Committee.

6.1.2 RULES FOR THE BIOLOGICAL RESEARCH FACILITY (BRF: LEVEL 9)

Access to the BRF is restricted. Any person needing access must contact the BRF
Manager to discuss their requirements and to receive obligatory training in the proper
procedures for use of the facility. This is to ensure safe handling of animals and to
ensure strict compliance with quarantine and other hygiene requirements to prevent
infection of valuable animal colonies.

1. Entry is restricted to staff and students of the Pharmacology Department who


have a specific task to carry out in the area.
2. The area will be locked at all times. Access is by magnetic swipe card available
from the BRF Manager after undertaking an induction session on the
procedures to be used in the facility. Induction sessions are arranged by the
BRF Manager.
3. Procedures to be used in the facility are listed in a file in the foyer of the BRF
for easy reference. These procedures MUST be followed at all time.
4. Any strangers in the Facility should be challenged immediately. Any problems
out of hours should be reported to Departmental Manager on x45738 or the
BRF Manager on x46801.
5. Animals must be treated with respect and handled according to ethical
principles laid down in the NHMRC Code of Practice. The BRF Manager can
provide training in animal handling procedures.
6. All procedures to be performed in the Biological Research Facility must first be
cleared with the Facility’s User Group Committee.
7. All cages must be labelled with Ethics Approval Number of the project. Any
projects without an Approval Number should be submitted to the AEEC as soon
as possible. This is of particular importance as no animals may be ordered
from the Animal House without an ethics number.
8. All spillage's of feed, litter, or blood stains, etc, on to the floor or benches must
be cleaned up at once. It is the responsibility of the investigator to clean up
their experimental area after use.
9. No children are allowed into the Facility.
10. No animals to be removed from the Facility and taken home as pets.
11. Protective clothing (laboratory coats, etc) must be worn at all times, according
to the procedures described in the BRF procedure guide.

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6.2 HAZARDS OF ANIMALS AND ANIMAL MATERIAL IN LABORATORIES

6.2.1 QUARANTINE

Quarantine regulations are designed to limit the danger to the community or to other
animal populations of introducing non-endemic diseases to Australia. Personnel
should familiarise themselves with the disease risks that imported animals may
present. See also Section 6.3.

6.2.2 PHYSICAL HAZARDS

Injuries can arise from poorly-designed equipment or can be inflicted by animals. The
risk of bites or scratches from animals can be minimised by:

a. Handling animals in the correct manner -


When you work with animals you should know the proper methods of handling
them. It is inhumane not to handle or carry them correctly. If you don't know
how a particular species can be handled with the minimum of stress to the
animal and the maximum safety of the handler, the BRF Manager can advise
you. Books on the subject are also available. Avoid direct manual contact with
any areas of skin disease or superficial abscesses and report these when they
are observed. If you are ever in doubt whether an inoculated or diseased
animal is safe to handle, wear gloves which can be discarded much more easily
than the skin of your hands can be disinfected. Courses on the handling and
use of lab animals are run regularly by the University.
b. Providing and using properly designed equipment to restrain animals.
c. Using sedative drugs where appropriate.
d. Immunization
The risk of developing tetanus is low but is nevertheless a hazard that attends
scratches or bites from animals, particularly when faecal matter is present. As
tetanus is very easy to prevent, arrangements have been made to immunise
those people wishing it. See that your immunisation is kept up-to-date.

6.2.3 ABATTOIR MATERIAL

People who work routinely with material collected from an abattoir should
consult the University Health Service (x46904/5) to discuss the possible need
for immunization against Q fever.

6.2.4 INFECTIOUS DISEASES

Special hazards exist with certain species of animals which are known to harbour
disease-causing organisms which can be transmitted to man (zoonoses). While
zoonotic diseases are not usually found in animals held under laboratory conditions,
personal hygiene procedures should be such that transmissions could not occur. The
following precautions may be necessary:

a. Pregnant women should not be permitted to work with cats or to clean out litter
trays, because cats can be carriers of Toxoplasma gondii. Sporulating
oocytes are passed in the faeces of cats. Infections of the pregnant mother can
cause serious illness or death of the unborn child.

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b. Tuberculosis - The risk of developing the disease is again very small and
usually it is transmitted from primates. Nevertheless for your safety if you
handle monkeys it is important that you should have your chest x-rayed
regularly. You should have a Mantous/x Test to assess your natural protection.
c. Psittacosis (ornithosis) may be transmitted by a wide variety of psittacines
(parrots, etc) and other species of birds, domestic poultry and pigeons. The
disease is spread mainly by inhalation and dead or sick birds should be
handled with care.
d. Ectoparasites and fungal infections of the skin are common in laboratory and
farm animals and may be transferred to animal handlers directly or indirectly,
e.g. cats may harbour ringworm fungi on their coat without discernible lesions;
Sarcoptes mites are found on a wide range of mammals, specially dogs and
pigs; various species of Australian wildlife may carry ticks of which the most
important is Ixodes holocyclus which is capable of causing paralysis in man.
Use of protective clothing, including gloves, will prevent transmission of many
of these and similar agents to animal handlers.
e. Infection with enteric organisms, e.g. Shiqella from laboratory primates, and
salmonella from other species, can be prevented by high standards of personal,
animal and equipment hygiene. Such precautions will prevent ingestion of
Echinococcus or Toxocara eggs passed in the faeces. These can cause
hydatids or visceral larva migraines in humans.
f. Several diseases can be spread by contact with infected urine or placental
material from farm livestock, including brucellosis (aborted foetuses, placental
and vaginal discharge of cattle and pigs), biriosis (ingestion of infected water,
food, milk and meat), Q fever (infected placenta) and leptospirosis (infected
urine with infection through abraded skin and moist membranes).

Experiments using, or necropsy of, animals infected with highly contagious organisms
should be carried out in ventilated safety cabinets in a designated biohazard area,
using protective clothing, including gloves. Necropsy or waste material for disposal
should be sealed in black plastic bags, properly labelled and then deposited in the
deep freeze unit located within the front door of the BRF on level 9. A supply of black
plastic animal bags is available from the Departmental store.

Animals inoculated with radioactive material, including radioactive isotopes, or which


have been implanted with devices emitting radiation, have to be housed so that they
do not present a danger to either personnel or the environment. Carcasses and
bedding need to be disposed of and cages decontaminated in compliance with
regulations governing the handling and release of radioactive materials into the
environment.

6.2.5 OTHER HAZARDS FROM ANIMALS

• Allergens
Laboratory staff may develop allergies to the fur, serum, urine and other tissue
products of laboratory animals. In order to minimise risk and problems associated
with animal-induced allergy, it is advisable to:

1. Routinely use protective clothing in animal facilities. They should not be worn
outside the facilities.
2. Use protective gloves and a particle mask when handling tissues.

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3. Carry out prolonged procedures on laboratory animals in a class II biohazard
cabinet or chemical fume cupboard, to minimise your exposure to allergens.
4. Insist that individuals with a history of susceptibility to allergens avoid or
minimise contact.

• Tumours
Tumours and other biological material, especially that of human origin, which may
contain potentially infective agents should be regarded as pathogenic and handled
accordingly.

6.3 IMPORTATION OF ANIMALS, ORGANISMS AND OTHER BIOLOGICAL


MATERIAL

6.3.1 INTRODUCTION

Before arranging the importation of any biological material, including microorganisms


(including bacteria and viruses), animals and plants and extracts from any of these,
you should consult with the Departmental Biological Safety Officer and with the
University's Gene Technology Regulation Officer in the MRIO (Melbourne Research
and Innovation Office) (see Appendices for details). You may require approval from
the University's Institutional Biosafety Committee as well as permits from the
quarantine authority before you can import your material.

The importation into Australia of all organisms and biological material requires prior
approval of the Australian Quarantine Inspection Services (AQIS). Living organisms
and biological substances manufactured from human, animal, plant or microbial
sources can be contaminated with pathogens including viruses. Processing and
treatment methods do not always ensure freedom from contamination. Information
concerning the multi-country origin, processing and testing of biological products is
frequently difficult to obtain and so a quarantine policy has been developed to ensure
the safe use and disposal of these products. It is important therefore that ALL
biological material be regarded as potentially infectious and handled safely and
disposed of in the correct manner. Heads of research groups are responsible for
ensuring all their staff are informed of the AQIS regulations and making sure they are
forewarned of any hazards they may encounter when using biological material.

The Department has a legal obligation to ensure that correct permits and procedures
are available and followed for the importation, handling and disposal of such material.
There are restrictions also on the forwarding of material obtained with AQIS permits to
other users within Australia.

The Department may already have an AQIS permit that covers the importation of
material of interest to you, so discuss your needs with the Departmental Manager.
AQIS permits define what material may be imported, the quantity and form of the
material, from whom, by whom, for what purpose, and how waste is to be disposed,
and may also impose restrictions on any of these parameters. Approvals expire after a
defined period and therefore need regular renewal. Permits from AQIS are required
BEFORE you import any of the following items:

• Live micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses)


• Cell lines

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• Animals (e.g. new strains or transgenic animals)
• Plants or plant products (eg: seeds)
• DNA, RNA, plasmids etc (material requiring importation approval from the
OGTR (Office of the Gene Technology Regulator)
• Genetic material derived from pathogenic micro-organisms or from other
sources which cannot be guaranteed free of pathogenic micro-organisms.
• Body fluids, blood proteins, hormones, enzymes or other extracts of human,
animal or plant origin
• Biological products required for administration to humans, animals or plants will
be regarded as potentially high risk products and a separate application
must be accompanied by full details of origin, processing, innocuity testing
and use in Australia.

6.3.2 RECORD KEEPING

Records must be maintained recording all imports of biological products which have
been obtained, used, destroyed or sent to another institution. These records must be
made available on demand to AQIS. The following information should be recorded:

1. The name/description of the product.


2. Details of the order;
a. Order number, date of order, date received;
b. Suppliers;
c. Amount purchased;
b. Catalogue/product identification number.
3. Name of research worker and how the substance was used.
4. How the material was disposed of after use.

6.3.3 WASTE DISPOSAL OF IMPORTED BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL

All imported animals, plants and biological material is regarded as potentially


infectious and therefore must be disposed of as infectious material.

All solid waste of this type must be autoclaved before being placed in the deep freeze
unit located in the BRF on Level 9 for this purpose.

Discarded sharps that may be contaminated with imported blood, body fluids,
microbiological materials, plant material etc should be placed in designated and
appropriately labelled sharps containers.

Animal carcases should be placed in black plastic animal bags and left in the freezer
inside the main door to the BRF (level 9) for disposal.

Glassware and plasticware should be sterilized chemically to destroy any pathogens


they may have been contaminated with.

All solutions that have been in contact with imported biological material (eg: used
culture medium) must be sterilised either by autoclaving or chemically before disposal.

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6.4 USE OF BIOLOGICAL SAFETY CABINETS FOR HANDLING BIOHAZARDOUS
MATERIAL

Before using biological safety cabinets, discuss your work plans with the Departmental
Biosafety Officer (see Appendices).

6.4.1 BIOLOGICAL SAFETY CABINETS

The biological safety cabinet is the principal device used to provide containment of
infectious aerosols generated by many procedures such as
- Centrifugation
- Vortexing
- Sonication
- Blending
- Opening containers or ampoules
- Aerosols from organ baths

The type of cabinet required depends on the degree of hazard. The Department
presently has only Class II Biological Safety Cabinets for safe work with biohazardous
materials. These cabinets protect the worker from material they are working on as well
as keeping the material being worked on sterile (ie: protects it from contamination by
the air in the laboratory). This is achieved by the front of the cabinet having a sterile air
curtain that prevents air from the inside of the cabinet getting out into the lab and visa
versa.

WARNING
In addition to the Class II Biological Safety Cabinets, the Department also possess
some horizontal laminar flow cabinets. Such cabinets blow filtered sterile air across
their work surface and out into the laboratory into the face of the worker. These
cabinets DO NOT protect the worker from the material they are working on: instead
they only protect the experimental material from contamination from the laboratory.
They must never be used for work with infectious material. Their use should be
limited to the preparation of sterile media, the assembly of sterile components into
complete units (e.g., media filtration units), for work on non-hazardous material (eg:
non-infectious animal tissue or cells) or other similar operations.

6.4.2 CLASS II BIOLOGICAL CABINETS (rooms W821, W822, N813 and others)

Class II Biological Safety Cabinets can be readily identified from a sticker on their front
saying "BIOLOGICAL SAFETY CABINET CLASS II". This type of cabinet provides
and maintains a work zone free of airborne particulate and biological contamination
and also provides a protective barrier between the product and the operator. An air
barrier between the work zone and the environment is created across the full width of
the front opening of the cabinet by induction of air into the sump through the forward
section of the grille. This provides protection of personnel, the product being worked
on and the environment.

There are several causes of disruption to performance affecting Class II cabinets, in


particular:

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1. The use of bunsen burners inside the cabinet: At low flame the disruption to
laminar flow is considerable. At high flame great volumes of air can be expelled
from the front of the cabinet because of hot up-flowing currents interacting with
the down-flowing air. Use of bunsens inside Class II cabinets should be
avoided.
2. Strong air current discharged from air conditioners or ventilation systems can
disturb the barrier air flow of Class II cabinets in particular.
3. The movement of people near the front of a cabinet again causes disruption to
Class II cabinets. The air barrier of this cabinet can be destroyed and a suction
created at the front opening, causing air to be drawn out of the cabinet.

Anyone needing to use Class II Biological Safety Cabinets must ensure they receive
training in how to turn them on and off and in how to perform procedures within them
without contaminating the lab with the biohazardous material they are working on.

Each time you use a Class II Biological Safety Cabinet, ensure it has on the front a
sticker showing its performance has been NATA-certified within the last 12 months.

If you use a vacuum line to suck solutions off cultured cells (eg: in a Class II Biological
Safety Cabinet), the vacuum line must be fitted with a trap containing disinfectant to
inactivate biological material and the air vented from the pump to the lab must pass
through a filter to prevent possible expulsion of contaminated aerosols into the lab.

6.5 AUTOCLAVES

The basic essential in steam sterilisation (autoclaving) is that the whole of the load
comes into contact with saturated steam for the required temperature and time. The
time required for complete sterilisation of a load varies with the nature and size of the
load and the size and type of the steriliser.

NO ONE should attempt to use the autoclaves unless properly instructed in their use.
Autoclaves are potentially very hazardous and severe scalding and burns can result
from incorrect use.

All biological material (excluding carcases) must be autoclaved before final disposal.
Waste must be placed in autoclave bags and have autoclave tape attached to the
bags. Care should be taken when loading the autoclave to ensure maximum steam
penetration and draining of condensate. Bags must be left OPEN when placed in the
autoclave. Glass bottles of liquid waste for sterilisation need to have their screw lids
loosened to allow access of steam. NEVER autoclave liquids containing bleach since
it gives off toxic chlorine gas. Place small items in wire baskets: do not use large
solid-walled containers that might hinder steam penetration. Place large empty
containers on their sides.

Loads should be monitored at least monthly with appropriate spore strips to confirm
their sterilising effectiveness, as autoclave tape only gives an indication of
temperature reached and not the period maintained at that temperature. Sterilization
is the result of both temperature and time and will also depend on the nature of the
load and how it is packed into the autoclave. Typically sterilization is achieved after 15
min at 121°C or 5 min at 131°C.

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All details of user, load type, temperature and run time must be entered into the log
book.

Thermal protective gloves must be used when placing bags into the autoclave and
when removing bags after sterilisation.

Autoclaves are classified as boilers or pressure vessels and require registration and
inspection under state law. (Department of Labour and Industry in Victoria). Each
time you use an autoclave, check it has a current certification sticker on it recording
compliance with the inspection requirements.

6.6 GENETICALLY-MODIFIED ORGANISMS

New regulations are in place that control the importation, storage and handling of
genetically modified material. The Gene Technology Act 2000 defines the conditions
for conduct, management and containment of work on genetically modified organisms.
This includes manipulation of plasmids in bacteria all the way through to the
generation of genetically modified animals and plants (knock-outs and transgenics).

Before any work may commence that involves work on genetically modified
organisms, you must consult with the Departmental Biological Safety Officer and with
the University's Gene Technology Regulation officer at the MRIO (see Appendices).
You must obtain any permits required for your work before it commences. You must
also do this before you import or get sent any genetically modified organisms from
colleagues or commercial suppliers, since permits are required to store such material
within Australia and to import it from any other country. Serious penalties apply for
failure to get prior approval for handling such materials.

The Act also defines three levels of work ("dealings") involving genetically modified
organisms. These require increasingly more stringent containment facilities for the
increasing levels of dealing. At present, the Department has no PC2- or PC3-rated
physical containment laboratory facilities and as such is limited in the level of GMO
work that may be conducted here.

6.7 HUMAN CELLS, TISSUE AND BLOOD - SAFETY PROCEDURES

Laboratory work with human cells, tissue and blood and human products (such as
purified enzymes, hormones or antibodies) carries with it the potential exposure of
laboratory personnel to human pathogens. Many of these are of a minor nature, and
many others are not readily transmitted. However some are not only relatively easily
transmissible from tissue samples or blood, but are also of serious clinical
consequences to those infected.

Consequently, all work on human cells, tissue, blood and products must follow
strict compliance with appropriate safety procedures to ensure the potential
risks of infection are minimized. This also applies to human cells in culture
(including primaries and cell lines such as HEK293 cells).

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Anyone working on human subjects or on human material of any sort must
receive proper training before such work begins.

All work on human subjects or on material obtained from patients or from autopsy
requires prior approval from the relevant Human Ethics Committees of both the
University of Melbourne and the institution (eg: hospital) providing the material.

The guidelines below aim to provide practical suggestions on how to handle human
cells, tissue, blood and products safely.

6.7.1 HAZARDS ASSOCIATED WITH WORKING WITH HUMAN CELLS, TISSUE,


BLOOD AND PRODUCTS

A number of infectious agents are known to be capable of being transmitted from


isolated samples of human tissue and blood to people handling them. The probability
of human cells, tissue, blood and products being infectious, the ease with which these
agents can be transmitted and the severity of the consequences vary considerably
between different types of tissue, the manipulations being performed, and the nature
of the infectious agent.

Some human pathogens are known to survive for many hours in dried splashes of
human blood. Others are known to be capable of surviving formaldehyde sterilization
procedures. Some are only readily transmissible by direct inoculation of contaminated
material through needle stick injuries or through incisions. Others are transmissible by
inhalation, by ingestion or by splashes into the eye. Some human viruses are present
in an infected individual at very high concentrations in certain tissues but not other
tissues. Still other viruses are present at their highest concentrations in the body
before antibody reactions have developed, and hence before such individuals may
test positive for the presence of the virus. Although the occurrence of most infectious
agents in human tissue and blood samples may be extremely low, infection by certain
agents may be fatal.

With these varied risks of exposure and consequences of infection, the only
acceptable laboratory procedures for handling human cells, tissue, blood and
products are those that assume all such material is infected and hence those
that minimise the risks of exposure to infectious agents at all times.

6.7.2 LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND UNIVERSITY REGULATIONS

The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985 requires that all procedures in
the workplace are, as far as is practicable, safe and without risks to health for all
people in the workplace. The latter include not only those working directly with
hazardous materials, but also those who may share the same work area (e.g., visitors,
cleaning staff, staff responsible for waste disposal, service contractors such as
plumbers, etc).

University regulations require strict compliance with all aspects of the Occupational
Health and Safety Act.

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6.7.3 MINIMIZING THE HAZARDS

The primary consideration in handling human cells, tissue, blood and products in the
laboratory must be to take all available measures to minimise the risks involved.

All procedures involving human cells, tissue, blood and products should involve:

1: Careful advanced planning of all steps involving human material,


including how all wastes that are generated will be disposed. This must
include a detailed risk assessment and the development of a detailed
safe work procedure for the task to be performed.

2: Adequate training of workers in the safe handling and disposal of human


material.

3: Knowing first aid procedures to be followed in the event of needle stick


injuries, scalpel cuts or a spill of contaminated liquid.

4: Always wearing a lab coat, gloves, face mask and eye protection and
covering any skin abrasions or sores with a suitable dressing when
handling material of human origin.

5: Minimizing the quantity of tissue or blood to be handled.

6: Working in a restricted, designated area of a laboratory.

7: Having appropriate (possible dedicated) equipment and procedures for


working with human material.

8: Avoiding procedures, where possible, that generate additional hazards


(e.g., production of aerosols or excessive quantities of waste, production
of biohazardous waste that is also radioactive and/or contains hazardous
chemicals). Never pipette by mouth.

9: Knowing as far as possible the infection status of the human material


being handled, and not using material known to be infected unless
essential to the study.

10: Ensuring all persons in laboratories working with human material are
aware of the availability of free immunisations against some human
pathogens offered by the Department, and that the University
recommends such people be immunised. For advice, contact the
University Health Services (ext 46904/5). Note not all immunised people
become protected, so strict infection control measures are still essential.

11: Limiting access to areas where human tissue work occurs to those
qualified, trained and required for such work. Visitors should not have
unsupervised access to such areas.

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6.8 SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHEN HANDLING BIOHAZARDOUS MATERIAL

The following precautions must be used when handling any type of biohazardous
material, including bacterial and human material:

(a) Lab coats, gloves, face masks and eye protection:

A clean lab coat and gloves must be worn. Lab coats contaminated with biological
material should be sent for laundry promptly. When physically handling such material
or performing manipulations that can cause splashes or sprays of contaminated
material (e.g., dissecting, homogenizing, organ bath work, washing contaminated
equipment or benches), a surgical mask and eye protection should be worn to
minimise the chance of face contamination.

Lab coats and gloves provide significant protection of the worker from contamination.
However they also provide a very easy way for spreading contamination from one
work area to another, or onto clean equipment or lab notes. Therefore, contaminated
lab coats and gloves should be changed for clean as soon as possible, to minimise
the spread of contamination. Remove gloves before handling lab notes, clean lab
equipment, cupboards, telephones, etc. Do not leave the lab wearing gloves: gloves
should not be worn in the corridor or lifts. Used gloves should be disposed of as
contaminated waste.

Under no circumstances should contaminated lab coats be worn outside the lab.

(b) Aerosol containment (homonegisers, centrifuges, organ baths, vortex


mixers):

All possible steps should be taken to minimise the production of aerosols that could be
contaminated with biohazadous material. Aerosols provide a ready means for the
transfer of contaminated liquid droplets, which not only may pose a hazard to people
in the work area, but also may contaminate otherwise clean items in the lab such as
notebooks, benches or equipment.

If bacteria or human cells, tissue, blood or products require to be vortexed or


homogenised, this should be performed in capped tubes or in a homogeniser with a lid
(e.g., Waring blender). If an open homogeniser must be used, this step must be
performed in a Class II Biological Safety Cabinet, which should be fully
decontaminated afterwards. Homogenisation in denaturing conditions may not
destroy pathogens quickly and should therefore not be relied upon to protect against
contaminated aerosols.

Centrifugation of biohazardous material must be done in a rotor with sealed buckets or


in a sealed rotor, and in tubes with lids. Procedures should be planned and rehearsed
for handling the situation of a tube breakage during centrifuging (see section 6.10(c)).

Supernatants from homogenisations and centrifugations and the contents of organ


baths must not be removed by direct aspiration by water vacuum. The former should
be removed by decanting or by manual aspiration with a Pasteur pipette. Organ baths
should be drained by gravity or roller pump into a covered container, or by gentle
vacuum into a suitable in-line trap.

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Organ baths and other experimental preparations (e.g., myographs) containing human
tissue that are continuously aerated with carbogen must not be left open to the lab.
Such preparations should be enclosed in such a way as to prevent aerosols escaping
into the work area. Carbogenated organ baths with overhead transducers may need
to be designed with removable lids that restrict the escape of aerosols.

(c) Use of scalpels and needles:

Dissection of human and other biohazardous tissue provides a significant opportunity


for self-inoculation with human pathogens. The efficacy of transmission of many
human pathogens is maximized by this type of transfer. Consequently, special
attention must be given to avoid handling methods that increase the risks of cuts or
needle stick injuries.

Scalpel cuts may be minimized by holding tissue with forcepts (not by hand) while it is
being cut. Always attach scalpel blades to a suitable handle: do not hold them by
hand. If the tissue being dissected is to be pinned out using syringe needles or tissue
pins, it should only be handled with forceps at this step. Used tissue pins and needles
should be disposed of in a biohazards sharps container immediately, so as not to be
left on the work area as a potential hazard. If the tissue requires attaching by cotton
thread to transducers or organ bath hooks, only handle the tissue with forceps while
using suture needles to thread the cotton through the tissue, and use suture needle
forceps to hold the suture needle.

Never attempt to re-cap syringe needles: place them directly in a biohazards


sharps container after use.

Do not re-use needles for multiple experiments. Ensure stock drug solutions do not
become contaminated by syringe needles used to make multiple drug additions to
experimental tissues. Discard all contaminated needles immediately into a biohazards
sharps container and use fresh ones.

(d) Cryostats and microtomes:

The sectioning of human and other biohazardous tissue not only involves the use of a
large blades but also can create small particles of tissue. Care is required to minimise
the chances of being cut with a contaminated blade or of producing hazardous
airborne particles. This applies also to fixed human tissue, since some pathogens
survive common fixatives, including formaldehyde.

As far as possible, all procedures on a cryostat or microtome should be performed


with the blade removed or with blade guards in place. Only install the blade when
ready to begin cutting, and decontaminate by swabbing with 70% ethanol and remove
it before decontaminating the cryostat or microtome. Do not manipulate or retrieve
items in a cryostat with the blade in place and exposed.

Keep the quantities of discarded sections and offcuts in the work area to a minimum.
All unwanted sections and offcuts from the tissue should be removed from the
instrument with a swab soaked in alcohol and placed in a biohazard autoclave bag for
autoclaving.

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6.9 FREEZING CELLS IN LIQUID NITROGEN

Warning: Cryovials stored in liquid nitrogen have a low risk of exploding


without warning when being thawed. This is because some liquid nitrogen may
have entered the vial during storage. The trapped liquid nitrogen rapidly
expands 700-fold when it evapourates to gaseous nitrogen as the vial warms up.
Since liquid nitrogen boils at
-196°C, this occurs extremely quickly once the vial is removed from liquid
nitrogen into the warm air of the lab.

To minimize this risk, in future all cryovials must be sealed in Cryoflex tubing as
described below before being frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen tanks.

Procedure for storing cryovials vials in liquid nitrogen.


1. Dispense cells in appropriate cyro-protectant (eg: glycerol, DMSO) into
cryovials. Use only vials with an internal thread, such as Nunc CryoTubes
#366656 or #368632.
2. Cut a length of Nunc Cryoflex (Nunc #343958) to extend 2cm beyond the ends
of the vial.
3. Slide Cryoflex over the vial and centre the vial within the tubing.
4. Heat tubing gently in a heat gun or flame to shrink tubing around the vial.
5. Heat each end of the Cryoflex tubing and firmly crimp-seal with forceps to seal
the vial within the Cryoflex tubing.
6. Freeze the vial as normal. Transfer to a cane or cryobox (use 9x9 dividers for
tubes in Cryoflex) in a liquid nitrogen tank for storage. Vials sealed in Cryoflex
may be stored in the liquid phase of liquid nitrogen.

Notes.
(a) Cryovials for storage in liquid nitrogen must be used no later than 3 years after the
date of sterilization, which is printed on the boxes they are supplied in.

(b) On thawing cells, remove vial from Cryoflex by cutting through the tubing around
the lid-vial junction with a scalpel.

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6.10 THAWING CRYOVIALS FROZEN IN LIQUID NITROGEN

Warning: Thawing a cryovial stored in liquid nitrogen has a low risk of the
vial exploding without warning. This is because some liquid nitrogen may have
entered the vial during storage. The trapped liquid nitrogen rapidly expands
700-fold when it evapourates to gaseous nitrogen as the vial warms up. Since
liquid nitrogen boils at
-196°C, this can occur extremely quickly once the vial is removed from liquid
nitrogen into the warm air of the lab and being handled.
It is therefore crucial that all workers thawing vials stored in liquid nitrogen
wear:
full-face visor, long-sleeved lab coat and padded cryo-gloves when performing
this task, and ensure all other workers in the work area are also wearing such
personal protective equipment.

Procedure for thawing cryovials vials stored in liquid phase of liquid nitrogen.
1. Wear full-face visor, long-sleeved lab coat and padded cryo-gloves. The
latter are important (i) to insulate the cryovial from your warm fingers, and (ii) to
prevent bruising or cuts to fingers in the rare event of a vial exploding while
being held.
2. Know precisely where in the liquid nitrogen tank the vial you wish to thaw is
located. Check the inventory for the tank and your lab notes to verify the vial’s
location.
3. Remove the lid from the liquid nitrogen tank and visually locate the canister
carrying the required cane. Lift the canister out of the liquid nitrogen sufficiently
to pick up the required cane: allow the canister to drop back into the liquid
nitrogen.
4. Working quickly, lift the required cane sufficiently to identify the vial to be
thawed, remove it from the cane, and drop the cane back into the canister in
the liquid nitrogen.
5. Immediately transfer the vial to a class II biosafety cabinet and crack the seal
on the vial by slightly undoing the lid. Once the pressure has been released,
proceed to thaw the cells quickly, either by placing the vial in a 37°C water bath
or by running the base of the vial under running warm water. As soon as the
cell suspension is thawed, spray vial with ethanol and transfer back to a class II
biosafety cabinet. Transfer thawed cell suspension to fresh culture medium and
spin down. Resuspend cell pellet in fresh medium for propagation.

Notes.
(a) Cryovials for storage in liquid nitrogen must be used no later than 3 years after the
date of sterilization, which is printed on the boxes they are supplied in.

(b) An alternative procedure may be used if the cyrovial is stored in liquid nitrogen in a
box rather than a cane. The day before thawing, while wearing full-face visor, long-
sleeved lab coat and padded cryogloves, move the whole box (keeping the lid on)
from the liquid phase of the liquid nitrogen to a higher position in the storage rack so
the box is now located in the vapour phase. On the following day, thaw the vial
following the above procedure. By equilibrating the vial in the vapour phase, which is

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almost 20°C warmer than the liquid phase, any liquid nitrogen in the vial evapourates.
This greatly reduces the risk of explosion at the time of thawing. Although a similar
procedure may be used for cyrovials stored in canes in the liquid phase of liquid
nitrogen, the handling required to move an individual exposed vial to a high position on
a cane itself carries a risk of the vial exploding. Consequently there is unlikely to be
any reduced risk compared with directly thawing the vial with the above procedure.

6.11 BIOHAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT

The following guidelines are described for human material but also apply to other
biohazardous materials such as microbiological waste. All waste must be clearly
labelled with the name of the worker, their host lab name, the date, the dept code
#534, the nature of the waste (eg: HUMAN TISSUE), and must be in designated
Biohazard containers (either Biohazard autoclavable waste bags or Biohazard plastic
sharps containers). In addition, full sharps containers must have their weight recorded.
Do not accumulate biohazardous waste in the work area. As soon as waste containers
are full, seal, label and deliver to the relevant disposal storage area.

(a) Tissue, including histology sections:


If possible, human tissue should be returned for disposal to the hospital from which it
was obtained. If local disposal is necessary, the tissue must be placed in a biohazard
autoclave bag (available from the department store), autoclaved (see below) and then
placed in a sealed bag in the labelled waste bin in the BRF on level 9. The waste bag
must be labelled as human material. Inform the BRF Manager every time you have
human tissue for disposal through the BRF.

Sections of human tissue on microscope slides should be decontaminated by


autoclaving (see section 5.5) or by soaking in bleach (mix one 25g sachet of Diversol
5000 in 1 litre water to give 5000 ppm available chlorine, and soak slides for 1 hour).
They should then be placed in a biohazards sharps container for disposal. Diversol
5000 (sodium dichloroisocyanurate) is available from the Department store.

Under no circumstances may human tissue be placed in ordinary lab waste bins or
flushed down the sink.

(b) Animal carcases and tissue


Place animal carcasses and tissues in black plastic animal bags (available from
Department store) and place in the freezer inside the BRF on level 9.

(c) Human blood:


Liquids with high protein contents, such as whole human blood, plasma, serum and
culture medium containing serum are not efficiently sterilised with bleach. These
wastes should be sterilised by autoclaving (see section 6.5), and then disposed of by
placing them in sealed bags with absorbent material (swabs/ paper towelling) in the
appropriate waste bin in the BRF on level 9.

(d) Contaminated solutions:


All solutions that have been in contact with biohazardous material or human cells,
tissue or blood or which contain human products or imported biologicals (eg:
antibodies or enzymes) must be decontaminated before disposal. These include
solutions used for homogenisation, in organ baths, for tissue washes and incubations,

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cell culture solutions and solutions aspirated off cultured cells (eg: in vacuum line
traps). Untreated liquid waste must not be flushed down the sink.

The simplest means of decontamination is to treat liquid waste with fresh bleach. The
bleach must be fresh since it rapidly loses its strength on storage. It is recommended
that liquids are treated by mixing one 25g sachet of Diversol 5000 per litre of liquid
waste (to give 5000 ppm chlorine). Allow to stand for 1 hour, then discard down a
sink. During the decontamination, the waste should be covered with a lid or placed in
a fume cupboard to reduce the irritation from chlorine fumes. Wear gloves at all
stages when handling either contaminated waste or wastes containing bleach. Note
that some solutions are not compatible with bleach: alternative decontamination
procedures need to be planned for these.

The use of pre-prepared liquid bleach solutions is not recommended since they rapidly
go off and lose their sterilizing strength. If fresh liquid bleach is available, it should be
diluted to give 5000 ppm (ie: 2% available chlorine) by diluting 1 in 5 in liquid to be
decontaminated. In contrast to liquid bleach solutions, sachets of Diversol 5000 have
a very long shelf life.

Liquids with a high protein content, such as whole human blood, plasma or serum,
cannot readily be sterilised with bleach. These liquids should be autoclaved prior to
disposal. Alcohol should not be used for sterilizing contaminated liquids, since its
sterilizing efficiency is lost on even modest dilution.

(e) Contaminated sharps and disposable items:


Scalpel blades, needles, tissue pins, disposable plastic pipettes, glass Pasteur
pipettes and pipette tips should be disposed of in a yellow biohazards sharps
container (available from department store) as soon as possible after their use. Full
biohazards sharps containers should be sealed, fully labelled and delivered promptly
to the radioactive waste store room (W825 inside W824) for disposal. Where
possible, use plastic Pasteur pipettes and plastic tubes in place of glass.

Contaminated plastic Pasteur pipettes, plastic tubes, tissue culture items, gloves and
benchcoat should be placed in a biohazard autoclave bag, autoclaved and placed in
the appropriate waste bin in the BRF on level 9.

(f) Disinfection of benches, sinks, equipment, instruments and glassware:


Alcohol is a very inefficient means of killing many pathogens, especially viruses,
mycobacteria and bacterial spores. However, for most benches and certain apparatus
it is a suitable disinfectant and it is not as irritant or as corrosive as diluted bleach.
Surfaces should be swabbed with 70% solution of ethanol in water. Other proprietary
solutions such as Cavicide are also suitable. Soiled work surfaces with dried deposits
on them cannot be efficiently sterilised with alcohol. Note that 70% ethanol is
flammable.

Working surfaces in biohazard hoods and fume cupboards should be wiped down with
swabs soaked in 70% ethanol. Do not spray ethanol into hoods.

For general disinfection of benches, glassware and sinks, 70% ethanol or a


proprietary solution such as Cavicide should be used. Alternatively, a dilute bleach
solution may be used (one 25g sachet of Diversol 5000 per 10 litres water). After
benches are wiped down with diluted Diversol 5000, they should be washed with clean

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water. If benches, sinks or glassware are contaminated with splashes of blood,
serum, urine or faeces, a higher strength of Diversol 5000 is recommended (one 25g
sachet per litre of water). Contaminated glassware should be soaked in Diversol 5000
solutions for 1 hour before being rinsed and put through normal glassware washing
procedures. Items being soaked in bleach solutions should be in covered buckets or
placed in a fume cupboard to reduce irritation from the chlorine fumes. Use gloves
when decontaminating items contaminated with human material or when handling
bleach solutions.

Bleach is very corrosive on many metal surfaces. To clean stainless steel


instruments, it is recommended these are soaked in a fume cupboard in Cidex or
Glutarex (proprietary glutaraldehyde solutions), before being washed. Alternatively,
instruments can be placed in a stainless steel tray in half an inch of cold water and
then autoclaved in this before being washed. Contaminated instruments should not
be washed in a sink without first being sterilised by such a procedure. Other stainless
steel items, such as cryostat blades and tissue homogenisers, should be sterilised
using swabs soaked in 70% ethanol or by soaking in glutaraldehyde solutions, such as
Cidex or Glutarex. If they can be autoclaved, these items should be soaked in cold
water and then autoclaved immersed in cold water, as for surgical instruments.

Vacuum lines should be cleaned by sucking through 70% ethanol at the end of every
experiment.

The contents of vacuum line traps should be sterilized by mixing with bleach (Diversol
5000 or diluted fresh liquid bleach) to give 5000 ppm available chlorine, and left to
stand for at least 1 hour before disposal down a sink.

(g) Autoclaving:
DANGER: Under no circumstances should solutions containing bleach be
autoclaved. A small, manual autoclave for sterilizing biohazardous waste is available
in the Sterilization Room W823. Items to be autoclaved must be placed in an
autoclavable biohazard bag and tagged with autoclave indicator tape (available from
the Department store). The person generating the biohazardous waste must take
responsibility for correct packaging of the waste in autoclave bags, for autoclaving it,
for emptying the autoclave promptly when the sterilizing cycle is complete, and for
placing the autoclaved biohazardous waste in the labelled waste bins in the BRF on
level 9. Appropriate instruction must be obtained before use of the autoclave. The
autoclave has a small capacity: do not overfill autoclave bags. In addition, a larger
autoclave is available in the BRF, to be operated only by BRF staff. If you expect to
have human material for autoclaving in the BRF autoclave, it is essential you discuss
this with the BRF Manager before you generate it. See section 6.5 of this Handbook
for further information about autoclaving.

6.12 SPILLS AND ACCIDENTS WITH BIOHAZARDOUS MATERIAL

(a) Needle stick injuries and cuts:

Accidental skin punctures, cuts and skin contamination with potentially


infectious materials must be treated immediately.

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Wash with soap and water and then apply an iodine/chlorine alcoholic skin antiseptic
solution (e.g., Betadine). Cover with a appropriate dressing. Seek medical advice
without delay, either by attending the University of Melbourne Health Service (ext
46904/5) at 138-146 Cardigan St, Carlton, or by going directly to emergency at the
Royal Melbourne Hospital. Urgent immunisation may be indicated.

Place the sharp object concerned in a closed container and take it with you to
the University Health Service or the Hospital.

As soon as possible after such an accident, notify the Departmental Manager (W801)
of the incident and complete a University of Melbourne Incident Report form (Form
S3).

(b) Splashes with contaminated solutions:


Wear gloves when dealing with contaminations. Splashes of unbroken skin should be
treated as above for needle stick injuries and cuts (section 6.10(a)). Splashes of
contaminated liquids into the eye should be treated immediately by washing the eye
through with sterile saline or clean water. Seek medical advice without delay, either
by attending the University of Melbourne Health Service (ext 46904/5) at 138-146
Cardigan St, Carlton, or by going directly to emergency at the Royal Melbourne
Hospital. Urgent immunisation may be indicated.

Take a sample of the contaminated solution with you to Student Health or


Hospital.

(c) Spills of contaminated liquids:


Wear gloves and a lab coat when cleaning up spills. If contaminated liquids are spilt in
a way that creates aerosols (e.g., by dropping on the floor), the area should be
evacuated for 30 min to allow the aerosol time to settle before a clean up is attempted.

Spills of blood, serum, plasma, urine, faeces or other liquids contaminated with human
material should be covered with paper towels. Pour on just enough of a solution of
bleach to thoroughly saturate the paper towels. The bleach should be sufficient to
give 5000 ppm available chlorine: either dilute one sachet (25g) of Diversol 5000 in a
litre of water, or dilute fresh liquid bleach 1 part in 5. Leave to soak for at least 30
minutes, then remove paper towels to a biohazard waste bag. Using additional paper
towels and more bleach solution, wipe the area clean, then thoroughly re-clean the
area with detergent and hot water. Place the contaminated paper towels in the
biohazard waste bag and dispose of as for autoclaved human tissue waste, in the
labelled waste freezer in the BRF foyer on level 6.

When spinning human samples in a centrifuge, inspect centrifuge buckets for leakage
of tubes through the transparent rotor or bucket lid before opening. If the rotor lid is
removed before discovering a breakage, replace the lid. Notify the departmental
Safety Officer. Consult the centrifuge manual for the removal of the rotor with its lid
still on. Take the rotor to a class II biohazard cabinet and leave for 30 min to allow the
aerosol time to settle in the rotor. Open the rotor and remove unbroken tubes to a
rack inside the biohazard cabinet. Decontaminate unbroken tubes using swabs
soaked in bleach (2% available chlorine: either Diversol 5000 25g sachet diluted in a
litre of water, or liquid bleach diluted 1 in 5). Follow the manufacturer’s recommended
procedure for sterilizing the rotor, preferably by autoclaving the rotor with the lid off,

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and for cleaning the centrifuge chamber. Note: bleach solutions may severely
damage rotors: follow manufacturer's instructiuons for decontaminating the rotor.

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SECTION 7. RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

Do not perform ANY work with radioactive materials until (i) you have discussed your
work with the Departmental Radiation Safety Officer (see Appendices), and (ii) you
have received proper training in safe work procedures for radioactive materials.

7.1 GENERAL ASPECTS OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS

7.1.1. LEGISLATION, STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES

Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 1985


Victorian Health (Radiation Safety) Regulations 1994
Australian Standard: Safety in laboratories, Part 4: Ionizing radiations
NH&MRC Recommendations for limiting exposure to ionising radiation (1995)
Worksafe Australia National standard for limiting occupational exposure to ionizing
radiation
(NOHSC: 1013 (1995))
University of Melbourne Environment Health and Safety Manual
Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Safe Work Procedures Manual

7.1.2 UNITS AND DEFINITIONS

Absorbed dose: Measured in gray (Gy). Amount of energy absorbed by tissue or other
medium. 1 Gy = 1 joule/kg.

Activity: Measured in becquerel (Bq). 1 Bq = 1 disintegration per second (1 dps).


Previously the unit of radioactivity was the curie (Ci). 1 Ci = 3.7x1010 Bq.

Activity reference date: Date to which the stated activity refers. Since radioactive
materials are decaying continuously, the amount of radioactive material is decreasing
continuously. Consequently, it is necessary to define the date (and even the time) on
which any stated activity refers. From this the activity at any other date can be
calculated, based on the isotope's half-life.

Annual Dose Limit:


For members of the public: equivalent dose limits of 1 mSv for the whole body,
15 mSv for lens of the eye, 50 mSv/cm2 for skin, and 50 mSv for hands and feet.

For occupational exposure by those working with radiation: equivalent dose limits of
20 mSv for whole body, 150 mSv for the lens of the eye, 500 mSv/cm2 for skin,
500 mSv for hands and feet. Also 2 mSv to lower trunk of pregnant workers once
pregnancy declared. The annual dose limit of 20 mSv is to be averaged over 5 years,
with no year exceeding 50 mSv. Note 20 mSv/year is roughly equivalent to 10 µSv/h
for a 40 h working week.

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Annual Limit on Intake (ALI): The quantity of a radioactive isotope which, if taken into
the body during one year, would lead to a total effective dose accumulated over 50
years following the intake, equal to the relevant annual dose limit. Clearly, this varies
greatly with half-life, type of radiation emitted, biological half-life, etc.

Biological half-life: Time taken for half of the amount of an element or compound to be
eliminated from the body. The elimination is by a combination of excretion from the
body (unchanged or in a metabolised form) in urine or faeces or by exhalation. The
biological half-life can be very long if the element has a long half-life and is deposited
in tissues that turn over very slowly (eg: bone).

Dose rate: Measured typically in Gy/h or Sv/h. Rate at which an absorbed, equivalent
or effective dose is delivered.

Effective dose: Also measured in sievert (Sv). Takes into account the different
sensitivities of different tissues in the body to radiation, by multiplying the effective
dose by a tissue weighting factor. More sensitive tissues have a higher tissue
weighting factor and so have a higher effective dose at any given absorbed dose of
radiation than a less sensitive tissue. Examples of tissue weighting factors are: skin
0.01, thyroid 0.05, breast 0.05, gonads 0.2.

Equivalent dose: Measured in sievert (Sv). Takes into account the different biological
effectiveness of different kinds of radiation in causing harmful effects to tissue, by
multiplying the absorbed dose by the radiation weighting factor. Beta particles gamma
and X-rays all have weighting factors of 1, alpha particles are 20 and neutrons range
from 5-20, depending on their energy. 1 sievert = 1 joule/kg.

Half-life: Time taken for half the quantity of a radioactive isotope to decay.

Ionizing radiation: Radiation that has sufficient energy to be able to cause ionization of
material through which it passes or by which it is absorbed. Includes alpha and beta
particles, neutrons and gamma and X-rays. In contrast, UV, visible, IR, micro- and
radio-waves are non-ionizing radiation.

Radioactive concentration: Relates amount of radioactivity to volume (e.g., Bq/ml).

Radiotoxicity group: Hazard rating for internal contamination by radioisotopes, based


on their specific activity (which influences the quantity of radioactive material that
could be inhaled or ingested) and its Annual Limit on Intake (ALI: which reflects the
ability of the isotope, when taken into the body, to cause damage to tissue and
organs). Group 1: very high hazard. Group 2: high hazard (includes 125I and 131I).
Group 3: moderate hazard (includes 32P and 45Ca in the more hazardous group 3a,
and 33P, 22Na and inorganic 35S in the less hazardous group 3b). Group 4: low hazard
(includes 3H, 14C, organic 35S).

Specific activity: Relates the amount of radioactivity to the amount of material (e.g.,
Bq/g or Bq/mole).

Surface dose rate: Dose rate (in Sv/h) on the surface of a package or at the surface of
a source. Surface dose rate limits on packaged radioactive waste (see later section)
are designed to prevent workers accumulating annual doses over the annual dose
limit.

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7.1.3. TYPES OF IONIZING RADIATION

Note: some biomedical laboratory isotopes emit more than one type of radiation (e.g.,
131 22
I, Na).

Alpha particles – nuclear particle containing two protons and two neutrons (ie: nucleus
of a helium atom). In relative terms, alpha particles are quite massive and have little
penetrating power. Consequently they cannot pass through the dead layer of the skin
and therefore do not pose a hazard when outside the body. Internal contamination
with alpha emitters is very serious. No common biomedical laboratory isotopes emit
alpha particles.

Beta particles – electrons with a range of energies from <0.1 MeV to >3 MeV. More
penetrating than alpha particles. Most beta particles have sufficient energy to
penetrate the dead layer of skin and therefore pose an external as well as an internal
radiation hazard. Beta particles are a very common form of radiation from biomedical
laboratory isotopes. Higher energy beta particles can cause the production of X-rays
when they are decelerated by hitting a solid object: such X-rays are called
Bremsstrahlung (breaking radiation) - see below.

Gamma rays – very short wavelength electromagnetic radiation emitted from the
nucleus of an atom. They often accompanying beta radiation and have energies up to
a few MeV. They are more penetrating than alpha or beta particles. The only isotoptes
in common use in biomedical laboratory isotopes emitting gamma rays are 125I and
131
I.

X-rays – short wavelength electromagnetic radiation emitted by energy changes in


inner electrons. They are normally produced when accelerated electrons are quickly
slowed down by striking a metal target, such as in an X-ray machine.

Bremsstrahlung – low energy X-rays emitted as secondary radiation by the absorption


of high energy beta particles. The energy of the Bremsstrahlung formed increases with
the atomic mass of the absorbing material, so low atomic mass material (Perspex,
aluminium) minimises the production of Bremsstrahlung. Bemsstrahlung can be a
serious problem for high activity sources of 32P and other high energy beta emitters

Neutrons – neutral particle emitted from the nucleus of an atom with great penetrating
power. They can make other materials radioactive. No common biomedical laboratory
isotope is a neutron-emitter.

7.1.4. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION

When ionizing radiation interacts with matter, it has the ability to remove electrons
from atoms. If this occurs in living tissue, the damage produced may be so slight as to
be innocuous or so serious as to be lethal. When radiation doses are very high, they
can cause deterministic effects that become evident soon after the dose. These
include nausea, diarrhoea, hair loss, and reduced red blood cell counts. Such effects
have a threshold below which they do not occur. In contrast, other effects of radiation
may not become evident for a considerable time and are seen as an increase in the

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probability of the effect happening. These are called stochastic effects and include a
variety of types of cancer. They do not have a threshold, so the increase in probability
of a harmful effect is continuously related to dose

7.1.5. PRINCIPLES OF RADIATION PROTECTION

The primary aim of radiation protection systems are:


• to prevent deterministic effects
• to control stochastic effects to a level deemed acceptable
The first is fairly easy since doses for deterministic effects are very high. The second
aim is more difficult since there is no minimum threshold below which an effect is not
seen. The principles that are used in radiation protection for regular work practices are
therefore:
• Justification of the work practice: the exposure to radiation must produce
sufficient benefit to the exposed individuals or to society to offset the radiation
detriment it causes
• Optimisation of protection: the ALARA principle – all radiation doses must be
kept as low as reasonably achievable (social and economic factors being taken
into account)
• Limitation of dose and risk: individual exposure to radiation and risks of
exposure must be subject to defined limits.
Annual Dose Limits for skin, hands and feet and the lens of the eye are equivalent
dose limits to prevent deterministic effects. The Annual Dose Limits for the whole body
are effective dose limits to limit the occurrence of stochastic effects to acceptable
levels. Additional principles apply for intervention and emergency situations

7.1.6. HAZARDS FROM IONIZING RADIATION

External hazards: Arise from sources of radiation outside the body that can irradiate all
or part of the body with sufficient energy to affect eyes, skin or underlying tissue: The
key to limiting external hazards is control. Such hazards are controlled by:
Limiting the exposure time
Maximising the distance between the source and the worker
Using suitable shielding

Internal hazards: Arise from radioactive material entering the body through inhalation,
ingestion, injection, or absorption through the skin or wounds. Tissue surrounding
radioactive atoms will be irradiated by the emitted radiation. This is particularly serious
when radioactive atoms are incorporated into tissues with slow turnover. The key to
limiting internal hazards is prevention. One can minimise the hazards of internal
exposure by:
Using the isotope of least radiotoxicity appropriate for the work
Containment: limiting the laboratory area where radioactive work is done
Cleanliness: good housekeeping

7.1.7. PRINCIPLES OF WORKING SAFELY WITH RADIOACTIVE ISOTOPES

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Radiation hazards can be minimised by a combination of work practices that include:
Minimise time of exposure
Maximise distance between worker and any radiation source
Use of appropriate and adequate shielding
Minimising the quantity of radioactive material used
Choosing radioisotope of lowest radiotoxicity
Containing the work area for radioactive work
Knowing the properties of the radioisotope being used
Detailed planning of the work, including planning all steps, planning for spills
and planning waste management
Good housekeeping

General laboratory safe work procedures apply.


• Read, understand and follow all safe work procedures for your work
• Know spill procedures and be rehearsed and prepared to use them
• Always wear a lab coat, gloves, and any other special personal protective
equipment required
• Always cover cuts and abrasions with a waterproof dressing
• Do not eat, drink, apply make-up, smoke or chew the ends of pens/pencils in
the laboratory
• Do not pipette any solutions by mouth
• Do not allow lab books/journals to be contaminated by material on the lab work
bench
• Do not answer the phone or open doors or cupboards with gloved hands
• Use disposable paper handkerchiefs.
• Report any spills or contaminations to your supervisor and complete an S3
Incident Report form

In addition:
• Know the properties of your isotope and any special procedures that are
required for its use: remember – each isotope has different properties and
poses different hazards
• If you know you are pregnant, declare this to your supervisor since special
limits apply to pregnant workers
• Know how to monitor your work area for your isotope
• Always have a suitable contamination monitor at hand
• Minimise or avoid any procedures that may generate additional hazards (ie:
production of volatile radioactive materials, radioactive sharps, radioactive
biohazardous material, radioactive carcasses)
• Plan ahead so as to minimise exposure times
• Always wear your personal monitoring devices (TLD badge, finger monitors)
• Perform radioactive work in a designated and labelled radioactive work area
• Label all relevant solutions, apparatus and waste as being radioactive, as a
visual reminder/warning
• Work that may generate aerosols or volatile radioactive material must be
performed in a suitable, designated fume cupboard
• Work on absorbent paper (Benchcote, absorbent side up)
• Work so that any spill is contained (on Benchcote in a spill tray)

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• Shield all radioactive material and waste with adequate and appropriate
shielding
• Minimise the accumulation of radioactive waste in the work area
• Monitor your work area frequently for contamination and clean up any spills
immediately
• Monitor any item for contamination before you remove it from the radioactive
work area
• Monitor yourself for contamination frequently during the work and change
gloves frequently, to minimise the spread of contamination
• After completion of work, monitor yourself and wash hands before moving to
other work
• Report any contaminations of the work area or people to your supervisor and
departmental RSO, and complete S3 Incident Report form

The exposure to external radiation is linearly related to the time of exposure, and
inversely related to the square of the distance from the source. Direct handling of
radiation sources can cause high exposure rates to the fingers: use forceps or tongs
where practical.

Shielding must be used for all work and waste where the isotope is an external
radiation hazard. Using incorrect shielding (e.g., lead shielding for high activity 32P
work) can increase the hazard.

Do not use 131I if 125I can do the job.

All work on radioactive material should be performed in a designated area that is


labelled for radioactive work. The work should be performed on absorbent material
such as Benchcote (absorbent-side up) and in a lined tray such that any spills are
contained. All equipment in which radioactive material is being handled or processed
(eg: fraction collectors, chromatography columns) should also be placed on Benchcote
in a spill tray.

It is a legal requirement that all persons working with radioactive material are properly
trained before they do so. This includes knowing the specific hazards of the work
being undertaken, of the isotope being handled and the steps involved. Inexperienced
workers must not undertake hazardous procedures (eg, radioiodinations), without
training and direct supervision by a senior, experienced person.

7.2 NOTES ON SPECIFIC RADIOISOTOPES


14
C
Radiotoxicity group: 4.
Type of emitter: beta (0.156 MeV).
Half-life: 5730 years.
Monitoring for contamination: Thin end-window Geiger-Müller detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 3.4x107 Bq (~1 mCi).
Maximum range of emission in air: 24 cm.
Maximum range of emission in water: 0.28 mm.
Shielding: For high activity work, Perspex 3 mm thick.

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Special hazards: Some labelled organic compounds can be absorbed through gloves.
Need to avoid production of 14CO2, which poses a hazard by inhalation. This can
occur by microbial growth in the stock solution of 14C-labelled compound. Quantities of
14
C up to 37 MBq (1 mCi) pose little external radiation hazard since the low energy
beta particles no not penetrate the dead layer of skin.
45
Ca
Radiotoxicity group: 3a.
Type of emitter: beta (0.26 MeV).
Half-life: 163 days.
Monitoring for contamination: End-window Geiger-Müller detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 2.8x107 Bq (~0.8 mCi).
Maximum range of emission in air: 52 cm.
Maximum range of emission in water: 0.62 mm.
Shielding: Perspex 10 mm thick.
Special hazards: 45Ca is deposited in bone, which has a long biological half-life.
Consequently, 45Ca is classified as having substantial toxicity and special attention
needs to be paid to prevent internal contamination. Quantities of 45Ca up to 37 MBq (1
mCi) pose little external radiation hazard since the low energy beta particles barely
penetrate glass tubes, gloves and the dead layer of skin.
3
H
Radiotoxicity group: 4.
Type of emitter: beta (0.018 MeV).
Half-life: 12.4 years.
Monitoring for contamination: swabs counted by liquid scintillation counting.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 1.1x109 Bq (~30 mCi) as water, 4.8x108 Bq (~13
mCi) in organic form.
Maximum range of emission in air: 6 mm.
Maximum range of emission in water: 6 µm.
Shielding: None required.
Special hazards: Because of its very low beta energy, tritium cannot be monitored
directly. It therefore poses a serious problem in that the work area can become
contaminated and this may not be quickly recognised. Consequently, good
housekeeping and special monitoring of the work place by taking frequent swabs is
essential. Certain tritiated compounds in common lab use (eg: 3H-thymidine) get
incorporated into cellular DNA upon internal contamination. Consequently, ALI for
organic forms of 3H are lower than for 3H2O.
125
I
Radiotoxicity group: 2.
Type of emitter: gamma (0.027 MeV), and X-rays (~0.03 MeV).
Half-life: 59.6 days.
Monitoring for contamination: Scintillation detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 1.3x106 Bq (~35 µCi).
Shielding: For low quantities (up to 0.37 MBq, 10 µCi) such as would be used for a
single radioimmunoassay, none is usually required. For larger quantities (such as
used for radioiodinations), lead (3 mm thick) or lead-impregnated Perspex/glass is
required. The half-value layer for lead shielding is 0.02 mm.
Special hazards: Acidic conditions, cold storage, or oxidation can convert inorganic
iodide (125I-) to molecular iodine (125I2) which is volatile and hence poses a serious
inhalation hazard. Internal contamination with 125I is serious since it is concentrated in

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the thyroid gland causing high local irradiation. All procedures (eg: radioiodinations)
that generate molecular 125I-iodine must be performed in a ventillated enclosure (fume
cupboard) that is designated for such use. Opening a vial containing high radioactive
concentrations of sodium 125I-iodide can create airborne droplets that carry substantial
quantities of radioactivity. Organic forms of 125I may be absorbed through gloves. Any
spills should be rendered chemically stable by treating with alkaline sodium
thiosulphate before decontamination. The low energy X-rays pose no hazard.
131
I
Radiotoxicity group: 2.
Type of emitter: gamma (0.36 MeV) and beta (0.61 MeV).
Half-life: 8 days.
Monitoring for contamination: Scintillation detector or end-window Geiger-Müller
detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 9.1x105 Bq (~25 µCi).
Shielding: 10 mm Perpex adjacent to the source, with a thick lead layer external to the
Perspex (ie, on the side away from the source). The Perspex will stop the moderate
energy beta and the lead is required to attenuate the gamma and any Bremsstrahlung
from the Perspex. Half-value layer for lead for 0.36 MeV gamma is ~2 mm.
Special hazards: 131I is an energetic gamma emitter and moderate beta emitter that
poses a serious external radiation hazard that is not easily shielded. The use of 125I as
a safer alternative should be considered before procedures with 131I are instigated.
Acidic conditions, cold storage, or oxidation can convert inorganic iodide (131I-) to
molecular iodine (131I2) which is volatile and hence poses a serious inhalation hazard.
Internal contamination with 131I is serious since it is concentrated in the thyroid gland
causing high local irradiation. All procedures (eg: radioiodinations) that generate
molecular 131I-iodine must be performed in a ventillated enclosure (fume cupboard)
that is designated for such use. Opening a vial containing high radioactive
concentrations of sodium 131I-iodide can create airborne droplets that carry substantial
quantities of radioactivity. Organic forms of 131I may be absorbed through gloves. Any
spills should be rendered chemically stable by treating with alkaline sodium
thiosulphate before decontamination.
22
Na
Radiotoxicity group: 3b.
Type of emitter: gamma (1.27 and 0.51 MeV) and beta (0.54 MeV positrons).
Half-life: 2.6 years.
Monitoring for contamination: Scintillation detector or end-window Geiger-Müller
detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 6.3x106 Bq (~170 µCi).
Shielding: 10 mm Perpex adjacent to the source, with a thick layer of lead external to
the Perspex (ie, on the side away from the source). The Perspex will stop the
moderate energy beta and the lead is required to attenuate the gamma and any
Bremsstrahlung from the Perspex. The half-value layer for lead shielding for 1.27 MeV
gamma is ~10 mm.
Special hazards: 22Na is a very energetic gamma emitter and moderate beta (positron)
emitter. It poses a serious external hazard from both beta and gamma radiation and,
because of the high energy of the gamma, requires special care to ensure shielding is
adequate. This particularly applies to shielding 22Na waste, since the bulk of waste
makes this problematic. The 2.6 year long half-life also increases the hazard of this
isotope. Handling 22Na should be done using tools to avoid close contact with hands,
and the eyes should be shielded from the beta radiation. Work with 22Na should be

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discussed carefully with the local RSO and the University RPO before being
undertaken.
32
P
Radiotoxicity group 3a.
Type of emitter: beta (1.7 MeV).
Half-life: 14.3 days.
Monitoring for contamination: Geiger-Müller detector for the beta, scintillation detector
for the secondary Bremsstrahlung.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 8.3x106 Bq (~225 µCi).
Maximum range of emission in air: 6 m.
Maximum range of emission in water: 8 mm.
Shielding: 10 mm Perpex. With high activity sources of 32P (>37 MBq, >1 mCi) , the
Perspex generates Bremsstrahlung (low energy X-rays) upon absorbing the beta
particles. Consequently, high activity sources of 32P require shielding with 10 mm
Perpex adjacent to the source, with a layer of lead (3-6 mm) external to the Perspex
(ie, on the side away from the source) to attenuate the Bremsstrahlung from the
Perspex.
Special hazards: 32P is the highest energy isotope commonly used in biomedical
laboratories. The high energy beta can present a substantial skin and eye hazard.
Never work over an open container of high activity 32P. Minimise extremity exposure
(fingers and hands) by handling vials with tongs and using pipette shields.
Contamination of gloves can cause a high local exposure to underlying skin. For high
activity work (protein labelling in cell culture), finger dosimeters should be worn.
33
P
Radiotoxicity group: 3b.
Type of emitter: beta (0.25 MeV).
Half-life: 25.4 days.
Monitoring for contamination: Geiger-Müller detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 8.3x107 Bq (~2.2 mCi).
Maximum range of emission in air: 49 cm.
Maximum range of emission in water: 0.6 mm.
Shielding: 10 mm Perpex.
Special hazards: 33P poses little external radiation hazard since the low energy beta
particles barely penetrate the dead layer of skin.
35
S
Radiotoxicity group: 3b (inorganic) or 4 (organic).
Type of emitter: beta (0.167 MeV).
Half-life: 87.4 days.
Monitoring for contamination: Thin end-window Geiger-Müller detector.
Annual Limit on Intake (by ingestion): 1.5x108 Bq (~4 mCi) for inorganic 35S, 2.6x107
Bq (~0.7 mCi) for organic forms.
Shielding: 3mm Perpex.
Special hazards: Care needs to be taken to avoid the formation of sulphur dioxide
(35SO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H35S). Radiolysis of 35S amino acids during storage
and use may lead to the release of volatile forms of 35S. The low energy beta particle
pose little external radiation hazard since they do not penetrate the outer dead layer of
skin.

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7.3 MONITORING RADIOACTIVE EXPOSURE AND RADIOACTIVE
CONTAMINATION

Personal monitoring: Ensure the Departmental Radiation Safety Office (see


Appendices) assesses your need for personal radiation monitoring before you
start with with radioactive materials. Thermoluminescent detector (TLD) film
badges are useful for recording accumulative exposure of workers to radiation. They
provide a measure of accumulated expose and can identify problems in work practices
that increase individual exposure. Low energy beta emitters such as 3H cannot be
detected by TLD badges, since the energy of their emissions does not penetrate air or
the film badge coating. Other isotopes have such low energy emissions that a TLD
badge is unlikely to pick up any significant exposure, and use of these isotopes at
normal laboratory activities does not usually pose a significant external radiation
hazard (eg: 14C, 35S, 33P, 45Ca). In contrast, workers using 32P and 125I should be
monitored with TLD film badges. In addition, certain types of high activity work (e.g.,
labelling cells with 32P-phosphate) may require monitoring of extremity doses with
finger monitors. Consequently, the need for any individual worker to have a TLD film
badge or finger monitors to record their external radiation exposure will need to be
assessed by the Departmental Radiation Safety Officer on an individual basis,
depending on their work.

Hand-held contamination monitors: These are useful for monitoring sources of


radiation in the work area on a moment-to-moment basis. Typically they provide a
visual and audible readout of dose rate in an uncalibrated "clicks-per-second" mode.
Contamination monitors are of several types and it is essential that the correct type is
used to check for contamination or the adequacy of shielding. A Geiger-Müller
detector is required to detect beta particles. Low energy beta particles (such as from
14
C and 35S) require a thin end-window Geiger-Müller detector, since their low energy
prevents their efficient detection by detectors with normal end-window thickness. In
contrast, gamma radiation and Bemsstrahlung radiation require a scintillation detector.
Always check the battery before use.

Dose-rate monitors: These monitors typically provide exposure rates both in


uncalibrated "clicks-per-second" and in calibrated units of µSv/h. The latter dose rate
is essential for accurate monitoring of exposure rates and in particular for the
monitoring of surface dose rates of waste packages. Such monitors must be calibrated
annually by a licensed tester. Always check such monitors have a calibration sticker
dated within the last 12 months before using. Always check the battery before use.

7.4 MANAGING RADIOACTIVE WASTE

Waste with an activity greater than 30 Bq/g is considered to be radioactive and must
be disposed of as radioactive waste. Managing and disposing of radioactive waste is
expensive and time-consuming, so all radioactive work should be designed to
minimise the production of waste. University regulations require all radioactive waste
be disposed of through the waste management procedure detailed below.

Disposal of sealed sources: Sealed radioactive sources, including equipment such


as scintillation counters, must by law be disposed of by returning them to the supplier.

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Since 1987, suppliers are required to take responsibility for sealed source disposal.
Such disposal should be coordinated by the departmental RSO and University RPO.

Maximum activity for disposal: No waste package may be disposed of unless its
surface dose rate is less than 5 µSv/h. In addition, the maximum activity of each
isotope is as follows:
14
C 3.4x106 Bq (0.09 mCi)
3
H 1x108 Bq (2.7 mCi)
125
I 1.3x105 Bq (0.0035 mCi)
131
I 9.4x104 Bq (0.0025 mCi)
22
Na 6.3x105 Bq (0.017 mCi)
32
P 8.3x105 Bq (0.022 mCi)
35
S 2.7x106 Bq (0.073 mCi)

Segregation: Different types of hazards must be handled separately. This means not
only separating waste containing different isotopes, but also segregating waste based
on their physical form or other hazards they pose. Radioactive sharps (needles,
scalpel blades), must be disposed of in approved plastic sharps containers. Liquid and
solid waste should be kept separate. Different classes of waste organic solvents must
be kept separate. Radioactive waste that is biohazardous (e.g., labelled human cell
lines) must be treated to destroy the biohazard before being disposed of as
radioactive waste. Carcasses from animal injected with radioisotopes pose special
disposal issues: their disposal must be planned and discussed with the departmental
RSO and university RPO before such work begins.

Waste packaging: Note: glass containers and non-standard drums are not
acceptable.
• Wet bags: For non-sharp, dry material, double-lined grabage bags ("wet-
bags") should be used. Bags should not be filled to more than 80% of their
capacity. They should have no protrusions that could cause the bag to rip. They
should be sealed with tape (not staples, which would add a sharps hazard).
The weight of the sealed bag must be <10 kg.

• 20 litre bins/drums: For scintillation vials, volatile liquids, broken glass and
scintillant, 20 litre plastic bins with green lids or metal drums should be used.
Liquid waste should be disposed of in drums with screw lids, or should be fully
absorbed in vermiculite before disposal in plastic bins. Waste in metal drums
must be neutralised to prevent corrosion of the drum.

• Sharps containers: Blades, needles and syringes must be disposed of in


plastic (not cardboard) sharps containers. All such containers must be weighed
before disposal.

Labelling: All radioactive waste must be labelled, both during its accumulation and
upon preparation for disposal. Radiation warning stickers and tape are available from
the departmental store. In addition, solid waste (wet bags, sharps containers) should
carry the approved label "Low level solid radioactive waste", while waste organic
solvent drums should be marked with the approved label "Waste organic solvent – low
level radioactivity" (see Appendices for an example). In both cases, the label should
state:
Isotope
Approximate quantity (activity in Bq or Ci)

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Date
Host laboratory name/worker's name
Name of Department and Department code number
For sharps containers, their weight

Shielding: All radioactive waste should be stored in a manner so as to minimise the


exposure of workers to radiation. This means removing waste from the work area to
an approved storage area prior to disposal, and adequate and appropriate shielding
(lead-lined waste bins or perspex bins) at all times. Note that the storage of energetic
β-emitters such a 32P behind lead is dangerous. The following are guidelines for
suitable shielding of commonly used radioactive materials:
14
C Unshielded quantities up to 1mCi (40 MBq) do not present a significant external
exposure hazard. The maximum range of the low energy β emitted is only 22cm
in air and the radiation barely penetrates the outer skin layer.
3
H Unshielded quantities up to several mCi (40 MBq) do not present a significant
external exposure hazard. The maximum range in the low energy β emitted is
only 5mm in air and the radiation cannot penetrate the outer skin layer.
125
I The γ radiation from quantities of 125I up to 1 mCi can be efficiently shielded
using 5mm lead. Note Na125I must not be stored at 4°C, with oxidising agents or
in acid conditions since these condition encourage formation of volatile 125I2.
32
P The energetic β emission of this isotope has a range of 6m in air. Due to the
high energy of this emission and its range, waste containing 32P must be
shielded. For quantities up to several hundred μCi (up to 0.4 MBq), waste
should be completely surrounded by 10mm of Perspex. Perspex absorbs the β
particles and generates very little secondary radiation. Storage of 32P directly
behind lead results in significant amounts of secondary radiation being produced
from the lead: this is dangerous and should be avoided at all times. Quantities of
32
P of around 1 mCi (40 MBq) and above should be stored behind 10mm
Perspex, which is itself surrounded by 3-6mm lead to shield the secondary
radiation.
33
P The moderate energy β emission from 33P have a maximum range of 55cm in air
and can be efficiently absorbed by 10mm Perspex as for 32P.
35
S Unshielded quantities up to 1 mCi (40 MBq) do not pose a significant external
radiation hazard. The low energy β emission only penetrate 24cm in air and
barely penetrate the horny layer of the skin.

Disposal: Radioactive waste in appropriate, labelled containers, should be taken to


the radioactive waste storage room on the 8th floor (room W825 inside W824) where
waste is stored until it is removed. Ensure waste remains properly shielded in this
waste room. Radioactive waste is collected from the University on the third Thursday
of each month. Collection is organised by the University RPO in conjunction with the
departmental RSOs. No waste should be disposed of without the knowledge and
approval of the departmental RSO.

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7.5 HANDLING RADIOACTIVE SPILLS

Accidental spills do happen. It is essential to anticipate spills, be prepared for them (ie,
have a plan/procedure for dealing with them) and to know what to do if they occur (ie,
rehearse). Work should be designed so that the extent of spread of a spill is physically
limited, by use of appropriate spill trays under all radioactive work. The priorities in
handling spills are:
Evacuate personnel from the immediate vicinity
Prevent people from being contaminated
Limit the spread of the contaminated spill
Isolate the area (close doors, windows, turn off ventilation if necessary)
Seek assistance from area supervisor and Departmental RSO (see
Appendices)
Treat contaminated people first, then follow clean-up procedure
Fill in S3 Incident Report form

A spill kit should be available in all areas working with radioactive material. This should
include plastic disposable gloves, protective eyeware, absorbent material to soak up
spills, forceps, plastic-lined waste disposal bags ("wet bags"), scissors, radioactive
labels (eg: "Caution - Radioactive Material" tape), decontamination solution (such as
Decon 90). In areas handling 125I and 131I, there should also be an iodide-stablising
solution comprising 40g NaOH, 2g KI, 25g sodium thiosulphate per litre water. In the
case of a spill of 125I or 131I, the spill should be first treated with this solution to prevent
the possible formation of volatile iodine, before the clean-up.

Minor spills should be cleaned up immediately by absorbing the spill in tissues or


paper towels, which should then be disposed of in wet bags as radioactive waste. The
spill area should be decontaminated and then monitored both with a suitable
contamination monitor and by swab tests that are counted.

For larger spills, after appraising the hazard, the spill should be cleaned up by
removing contaminated solids using forceps of tongs, liquid spills absorbed onto
tissues/paper towels and the area then decontaminated and monitored as above.

First aid: For personal contamination: remove clothing, irrigate eyes with saline of
distilled or tap water, rinse mouth with water several times, wipe contaminated skin
with paper towels (keep waste separate) and then wash with soap and water, wash
wounds under running water and encourage bleeding. Avoid spreading contamination
into wounds or the eyes or mouth. After decontaminating, treat any wounds with first
aid procedures. If personal contamination occurs, the level of contamination may need
suitable monitored over several days, under the guidance of the University RPO.

Reporting incidents: Any radioactive spills should be reported immediately to the


departmental RSO and by completing an S3 Incident Report form. If radioactive work
results in contamination of a worker or of the work area or release into the
environment of radioactive material above a certain level (defined in the Health
(Radiation Safety) Regulations 1994), there is a legal requirment that a report be
made to the Chief General Manager of the appropriate regulatory authority.

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SECTION 8. WASTE MANAGEMENT

8.1 General Principles in Waste Management

A variety of types of potentially hazardous waste are generated in the Department.


Appropriate management of these is necessary to minimize both personal and
environmental risks. You should be familiar with the types of waste your work will
generate and how you will handle these wastes before you start any work.

The production of all waste should be minimised and the accumulation of waste in the
work place in particular must be avoided. When waste containers are full, remove
them to correct storage locations outside the immediate work area.

Waste of different types (eg: solids/liquids) and presenting different hazards (eg:
flammable v radioactive) should be kept separate, since combining hazards creates
additional risks and makes disposing of the waste more difficult.

Waste must be appropriately stored (both appropriate storage container and storage
location) and labelled at all times and must be kept segregated from other types of
hazards. Labelling must include a description of the waste material, Dangerous
Goods hazard diamonds, quantities, name of the worker and their host laboratory, the
date and the Dept code #534. In addition, sharps container labelling should give their
net weight. Incorrectly labelled waste containers cannot be disposed of.

8.2 Specific waste management procedures

Some waste management procedures have been identified in the relevant previous
sections dealing with specific laboratory hazards. Refer to these sections as indicated
below:

Chemical waste: Section 5.4.

Biological/biohazardous waste (including animal carcasses, animal tissue,


abattoir tissue and human tissue/cells): Section 6.9.

Radioactive waste: Section 7.4.

Glass: Glass should be placed in designated metal glass waste bins provided in most
laboratories. Glass bottles and Winchesters must be cleaned of any chemical
residues and have Hazard diamonds removed before disposal. Keep coloured and
clear glass segregated. When full, metal glass waste bins should be taken on a trolley
to the basement (level 1) and their contents tipped into the correct glass waste drums
in the garage. Wear heavy duty gloves and eye protection.

Sharps: Full sharps containers should be sealed and taped shut. They should be
labelled with the worker's name, host lab, date, Dept code #534, their net weight and

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"Human material" if appropriate, and then placed in the Radioactive Waste room
W825 for collection.

Liquid nitrogen: Small quantities of liquid nitrogen should be left in exposed


containers and allowed to evaporate. Larger quantities should be recycled by pouring
back into the liquid nitrogen tank in room W821.

Dry-ice: Many deliveries are received on dry-ice. To provide a convenient and free
source of this for others, a polystyrene Esky is kept in the middle -70°C freezer in
room W824 for unwanted dry-ice. Place unwanted dry-ice here. If it is full, leave your
unwanted dry-ice in a closed Esky on the floor in this room, for use by others.

Gas cylinders: Empty gas cylinders should be removed promptly to the basement
cylinder storage area for return to the supplier. Use a proper cylinder trolley (located
in the basement - key available from Departmental Manager/Administrative Assistant
(W801). Ensure all cylinder remain secured to benches or to the cylinder storage rack
by chains at all times.

Computers: Old or dysfunctional computers that are no longer required should be


taken to the basement (level 1) and placed next to the caged area to the left of the car
parking bays. They are collected from here for recycling. Empty printer cartridges
should be delivered to the Administrative Assistant (W801) for recycling.

Paper: Boxes for recycling clean paper are located in the Mail Room (C814).

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SECTION 9. APPENDICES

The most up-to-date version of these Appendices can be found at:


http://www.pharmacology.unimelb.edu.au

9.1 APPENDIX A: RESPONSIBLE STAFF FOR CORE EQUIPMENT AND


FACILITIES:

Before using any Core Equipment, obtain permission and formal training in its safe
use from the person indicated below.

Equipment Room Person responsible Phone No


& Room No
Autoclave W823 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Cell culture rooms/facilities:
W821 W821 Dr Graham Mackay 43932/W808
W822 W822 Ms Elizabeth Guida 46893/W816
N813 N813 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Centrifuges:
Beckman J2MI W812 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Sorvall RT7 N805 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Sorvall RT6000D W812 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Coldroom W827 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Computer/printers (Dept):
Janus printer C814 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Paton printer E802 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Corrosives cabinets:
W828 W828 Dr Graham Mackay 43932/W808
N805 N805 Ms Trudi Harris or 48509/N808
Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Counters:
Wallac β-counter W824 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Packard β-counter W824 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Packard Cobra γ-counter W824 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Packard Top Count W809 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Cryostat/freezing microtome N803 Ms Shenna Langenbach 48509/N801
Darkroom W806 Ms Jessica Jones 48506/N804
FACS machine N813 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
FAX machine C814 Office Admin Staff 44209/C808
Flammable solvent cabinets:
W824 W824 Dr Graham Mackay 43932/W808
N805 N805 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
FLEX Station plate reader W824 Ms Elizabeth Guida 46893/W816
Freeze-dryer/vacuum W824 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
centrifuge (MAXI dry lyo)

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Freezers -70°C:
W812 W812 Ms Trudi Harris or 48509/N808
Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
N805 N805 Ms Trudi Harris or 48509/N808
Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
W828 W828 Ms Trudi Harris or 48509/N808
Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Fume cupboards N805 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Graduate Student Room E802 Ms Kath Jackman 48006/N903
Ms Christine Koulis 45741/N919
Honours Student Room E803
Ice Machine W812 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Kodak Imaging Station N803 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Library E808 Office Admin Staff 44209/C808
LITE (Local Information Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Technology Expert)
Lockers E801A Ms Jenny Steen W801
C817 Ms Jenny Steen W801
Microplate reader ("Victor") N803 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Microscopes:
Olympus W809 Dr Liz Tudor 48636/W831
Zeiss W809 Dr Liz Tudor 48636/W831
MilliQ water system W812 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Orbital shaker/incubator W828 Dr Graham Mackay 43932/W808
Oven W823 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801

Paper shredder C814 Mrs Fanoula Mouratidis 44209/C808


Photocopiers C814 Mrs Fanoula Mouratidis 44209/C808
Radioactive waste room W825 Ms Trudi Harris 48509/N808
Seminar Room Bookings
Michael J Rand Room Office Admin Staff or 44209/C808
Mrs Fanoula Mouratidis 47842/C808
Staff Room (tearoom) C806 Mr Victor Iwanov 45738/W801
Surgery N908 Dr Christine Wright 48219/N906
Tutorial Room Bookings
E809, E810, E811 Office Admin Staff or 44209/C808
Mrs Fanoula Mouratidis 47842/C808

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9.2 APPENDIX B: DEPARTMENTAL SAFETY PERSONNEL

ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND SAFETY CONTACTS


AND OTHER EHS CONTACTS

Dept EH&S Officer: Trudi Harris N808 x48509


Dept Elected EH&S Representative:
Dept Biological Safety Officer: Rosa Gualano N804 x48506
Dept Radiation Safety Officer: Trudi Harris N808 x48509
Departmental Manager: Victor Iwanov W801 x45738
Departmental Administrative Assistant: Jenny Steen W801 x45742
Dept BRF Manager: Damaris Delgado BRF x46801
Dept Student Reps: Kath Jackman N903 x48006
Christine Koulis N919 X45741

PHARMACOLOGY DEPARTMENT
ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND SAFETY COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Trudi Harris - Chair N808 x48509


Rosa Gualano – Biological Safety Officer N804 x48506
Trudi Harris - Radiation safety Officer N808 x48509
Alastair Stewart- Academic Staff Representative N801 x45675
Kath Jackman- Graduate Student Representative N903 x48006
Sonya Panneborg- BRF Representative BRF x46801
- Research Staff Representative
Carol Horsman/- Teaching Staff Represenative E806 x46993
Melissa Patterson and Environmental Officer
Victor Iwanov- Administrative Staff Representative W801 x45738
Alison Hunt-Sturman- Faculty EH&S Representative W620 x49982

PHARMACOLOGY DEPARTMENT FIRST AID OFFICERS

Medical Staff-
Ken Winkel N913 x47753
Norman Saunders N811 x43775
David Crankshaw W804 x48505
First Aid Staff-
Victor Iwanov W801 x45738
Carol Horsman E805 x46993

Student Health Services - 138-146 Cardigan St, Carlton x46904/x46905

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PHARMACOLOGY DEPARTMENT FLOOR WARDENS

Level 8C
Warden: Jenny Steen
Deputy: Fanoula Mouratidis

Level 8N
Warden: Trudi Harris
Deputy: Rosa Gualano

Level 8E
Warden: Carol Horsman
Deputy: Melissa Patterson

Level 8W
Warden: Victor Iwanov
Deputy: Ross Vlahos

Level 9N
Warden: Christine Wright
Deputy: Michael Lew

Level 9E (BRF)
Warden: Damaris Delgado
Deputy: Sonya Pannenborg

Updated: 23/03/06 67
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9.3 APPENDIX C:
USEFUL WEBSITES AND OTHER SOURCES OF SAFETY INFORMATION

Faculty EH&S Officer: Alison Hunt-Sturman W620 x49982

Department of Pharmacology Handbook (most up-to-date version of this Handbook)


http://www.pharmacology.unimelb.edu.au

Faculty of Medicine Dentistry and Health Sciences EHS web page


http://www.mdhs.unimelb.edu.au/forstaff/ehs

University EHS Manual


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/ehsm

University Risk Management Office (RMO) (x43444)


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/rmo/

University Emergency Management


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/emergency/

Emergency contacts at University Risk Management Office


Chemical Emergency: John Carmichael x47896 - mobile 0414 878 428
Radiation Emergency: Steve Guggenheimer x47010 - mobile 0411 111 265

University Gene Technology Regulation Officer & biohazards advice:


Paul Taylor: pmt@unimelb.edu.au x42047
http://www.research.unimelb.edu.au/ethics/biohaz/index.html
University Radiation Protection and Safety Officer:
Steve Guggenheimer: s.guggenheimer@unimelb.edu.au x47010
University EHS Advisor:
John Carmichael: j.carmichael@unimelb.edu.au x47896

University Security (x46666)


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/security/

Material Safety Data Sheets on-line


http://infosafe.unimelb.edu.au/infosafe

Reporting of Accidents and Hazards (S3 Incident Report form)


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/ehsm/Incident_S3web.pdf

Hazards Identification, Assessment and Control


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/ehsm/3.html/#3.1

Guidelines for setting up computer workstations ergonomically


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/ehsm/Keyboard_assess.pdf

Withdrawing unsafe equipment from use


http://www.unimelb.edu.au/ehsm/5.html#5.6.1

Out-of-hours Permission request form


http://www.unimleb.edu.au/ehsm/after_hours.pdf

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9.4 APPENDIX D: EXAMPLES OF LABELS FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE

The University Of Melbourne

10% NEUTRAL BUFFERED


FORMALIN (10%NBF) WASTE
Department Code: 534 (Pharmacology)

Laboratory:

Packaged by: Weight:


Volume:

Date Started: Date Finished:

The University Of Melbourne

LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE


(SOLID / LIQUID) (DELETE AS REQUIRED)

Department Code: 534 (Pharmacology)

Isotope: Tritium [3H]

Quantity:

Laboratory:

Date:

Updated: 23/03/06 69
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