Legal Responsibilities of Undergraduates

You are reminded that it is your responsibility, under the Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974, while working in this laboratory:

To take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and of other persons who may be affected by your acts or omissions.
As regards any duty or requirement imposed on the Department by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate, so far as is necessary, to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.
Not to interfere with, or misuse anything provided, in the interests of health, safety or welfare.

It is also your responsibility, under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Act, 1994, to be aware in advance of the hazards associated with the particular materials and equipment used in each experiment that you undertake. These are listed immediately before the detailed instructions for each experiment. You must read and understand this cautionary information before starting an experiment; that you have done so will be verified by the demonstrator. The information provided also includes advice as to the remedial and protective action to be taken in the event of an accident involving a chemical being swallowed, inhaled, splashed on the skin, or splashed in the eye. Except where otherwise indicated in the experimental instructions, these eventualities are covered by the standard treatments.

Failure to observe any of the above may result in legal action being taken against you by Inspectors of the Health and Safety Executive.

Within the department, your principal responsibilities may be summarised as follows:

You must co-operate in observing regulations provided for your safety. You must familiarise yourself with the location of the nearest EXIT routes from the laboratory. There are three of these, marked with notices:
  1. the main north entrance near the vending machines.
  2. at the south end of the laboratory
  3. beyond the locker area to the east.


You must also locate and know how to operate the emergency shower on the west wall of the laboratory near the service hatch, and also the eye baths. You should also locate and familiarise yourself with the firefighting equipment - fire extinguishers, sand-buckets and fire blankets for tackling small fires, and the fire alarms themselves, which are located on the south wall, next to the door, and by the main north entrance to the laboratory.

You must not interfere with any safety equipment provided, expose yourself or others to hazards as a result of deliberate carelessness, remove any material from the laboratories without the permission of a demonstrator, work in the laboratory at any time unless a demonstrator is present or bring visitors into the laboratory.


You must make yourself aware, through the cautionary information provided, of the potential dangers involved in the handling of the chemicals used in the experiments.