A risk assessment is used to assess the risks and decide on the safety measures you need to adopt to complete an experiment; it mainly covers the equipment used (eg. centrifuge, use of UV transilluminators, power packs, etc), what the hazards are and what you need to do to complete your work safely. It is a balancing act between the risks posed by the procedure, weighed against the time and effort to implement the control measures. The higher the risk, the more that needs to be done to control the dangers posed.
Risk assessments MUST be completed for all standard procedures used in the laboratory.
The risk assessment should look at the risks involved (eg. UV source, high temperatures, manual handling, electrical hazard, etc) and explain how the risks are being minimised/controlled.
A standard form with full guidance notes on how to complete the risk assessment can be downloaded. A library of completed standard Risk Assessment forms for the MIB can be found below. It is advisable to check here first, as the procedure you wish to use may already have been assessed!
ALL risk assessments relevant to your work should be printed out as a hard copy, signed by you and your supervisor, and a copy put in your lab safety file. By signing the risk assessment, you are confirming that you understand the risks involved and will be following the appropriate measures to minimise the risks.
For biological projects, you will have a separate biological risk assessment form for the research project. This will be either a GM or Biological Agents form, and describes the whole project. These forms are found in the “Biological safety” section of the MIB intranet. Biological risk assessments must be approved by the EPS/MIB GM/biohazard committee before the work can commence. These forms must be read and signed by all members of the group working on the project. By signing the risk assessment, you are again confirming that you understand the risks involved and will be following the appropriate measures to minimise the risks.
For laser projects please refer to the Laser Safety section of the intranet.
Other types of risk assessment
There are special rules regarding young people working in the labs, and a separate risk assessment needs to be completed. Please contact Tanya Aspinall (65187) for further details.
A risk assessment must also be completed for pregnant women working within the MIB. This must be completed as soon as possible during the pregnancy, and is completed in strict confidence. Please contact Tanya Aspinall (65187) for further details.