General Safety Guidelines

Keep your bench tidy at all times; an untidy bench is not only a safety hazard, but it may also prevent you from obtaining accurate results. Always replace the stoppers on reagent bottles immediately after use and replace the bottles in their places on the shelves. Leave all bags, clothing, etc., that are not needed in the lockers provided. The lockers may be secured by padlocks that can be purchased locally. (There have been thefts from unsecured lockers in the past.) The department can accept no responsibility for any loss or damage to clothing or personal possessions.
Make sure that the passageways between the benches and the exits from the laboratory are clear of all obstructions. If you are working with dangerous or unpleasant reagents (normally in a fume hood) let students nearby know.
Pipetting by mouth is forbidden. Pipette fillers are provided and, if you are in doubt about how to use one, consult a demonstrator. Do not return unused material to the stock bottle from which it originally came. Treat such material as waste.
Should you have to apply any force to glassware (e.g. when inserting thermometers into corks or bungs) then wrap a piece of towelling round your hand. Cuts from shattering glass are the most common source of accidents in the laboratory. Never taste any chemical sample. Many organic liquids and some inorganic materials are toxic by absorption through the skin, ingestion or inhalation. Skin contact with such liquids should be avoided by the use of gloves as discussed below.
Many organic liquids are volatile and highly flammable. Do not heat such liquids or their solutions in open vessels or over a naked flame, and do not place bottles of flammable liquids near to such a flame or pour them out on a bench upon which such a flame has been lit. Ether distillations must be carried out using an electrically heated water bath set up in a fume cupboard. There are many pieces of expensive equipment housed in the laboratory. Under no circumstances should you attempt to use any such equipment without first familiarising yourself with the instructions. If in doubt, consult a demonstrator.

Read through the instructions for each experiment carefully before starting. The instructions will include references to any procedure known to be potentially hazardous, but if you are unsure of the dangers involved in a particular procedure, consult a demonstrator. Further, you are required to read and digest the cautionary information provided in the introduction to each experiment concerning the hazards associated with the handling of the particular chemicals and apparatus employed. You must not eat, drink or smoke in the laboratory. This Department operates a No Smoking policy. Always wash your hands before eating or drinking outside the laboratory.