JOSEPHY LABORATORY REGULATIONS
University of Guelph Department of MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR BIOLOGYSC2205 Revised Sept. 2004
In case of emergency, call the University emergency line ext. 2000 and contact Dr. Josephy (821-8293)Please keep this memo for future reference.
If you are in doubt about any procedure, stop and ask for advice before proceeding.
Procedures for Use of the Departmental Facilities
Use of the Medium Level Radioisotope Room (Macn 229)
- Log in as soon as you enter the room. This is essential for tracking room usage in case of accidents or spills.
- Absorbent benchcoat must be placed on any surface where you intend to use isotopes. This includes dispensing from stock bottles on the counter, as well as working in the fume-hood. Benchcoat and scissors are available in the room. This is common sense; would you rather spend hours decontaminating the counter-top in the event of a spill, or put contaminated benchcoat in a waste bag?
- Consider safety aspects when working in the room outside normal working hours. Remember that EHS personnel will not be available to help you in the event of an accident! Always consider the worst case scenario. If you are using high levels of isotope, what will you do if you drop the entire 10 mCi stock bottle on the floor? What if the fume hood ceases to function in the middle of an experiment with a volatile isotope? In case you think accidents can't happen to you, experience has shown that they are more likely to happen if you are tired, or working late at night.
- This room is not a dumping ground for waste! Other people working in the room do not appreciate being irradiated unnecessarily. If you start a waste bottle, you must label it. When it is full, tag it and get it picked up by EHS within a week. This room is not designed for long term storage of radioactive waste.
USE OF BIOCHEMISTRY EQUIPMENT ROOMSMost of our equipment is shared voluntarily. Remember that a faculty member may have sweated blood to get funding for the instrument. They will clearly not be thrilled when it is abused by users. When a key instrument, such as a counter or centrifuge, is down for repair, many labs will be unable to carry out any experiments. If you are responsible for damage caused by carelessness, your supervisor may be asked to pay for it from their research grant.
- Sign the log book IMMEDIATELY BEFORE beginning to use the instrument. If there is a problem during your run, how will we know who to contact if you haven't signed in yet?
- Use full names on logs and scheduling sheets. If there is a problem with your run, how will we find you? Also, biochemists are billed for some services, such as use of centrifuges and counters, so someone has to able to read your name, and the lab you work in, at a much later date when billing is being done.
- Inspect the instrument before and after use. If you notice something odd or different before you start, DO NOT SIMPLY GO AHEAD, you will probably damage the machine; always consult the facilities coordinator or a biochemistry faculty member. Substantial abuse was recently inflicted on centrifuges and rotors by people who blindly used them when they were obviously damaged.
- Always remember to turn equipment off. There have been many documented incidents of instruments being left on all weekend.
- Leave the work area clean. Take your paper towels, pipette tips, tissues, gloves, microtubes, scintillation vials etc. away with you, or dispose of them (sorted correctly) in the garbage. Housekeeping will not clean up after you, so if you don't, who will?
CENTRIFUGESAll rotors should be stored upside down with absolutely no moisture in or on them.
All spills in rotors and centrifuges should be cleaned up immediately with mild Beckman detergent and water only. This includes radioactive spills; under no circumstances use "decon", it destroys rotors. Do not soak rotors or parts.
AUTOCLAVEDo not autoclave any vessel where the volume of liquid is more than half that of the container; remember liquids expand when heated.
All liquids are to be autoclaved in deep trays ONLY, to contain possible spills. If anything is spilled, scrub it with a dry scouring pad, wipe the material from the interior of the autoclave, and clean the drain.
Remove material from the autoclave promptly to prevent smells from pervading the area. Not everyone on the third floor likes the smell of sweaty socks!
When including a biological standard in your run on request, place it directly in the CENTRE of the load. Otherwise, we will be unable to ascertain if the load has been properly sterilized.
MILLI-Q WATER SYSTEMThe system is being consistently left on with the valve wide open. People are presumably only turning off the timer. The instructions clearly indicate that this is unacceptable. A log book is now in place, and users are required to sign in.
Place the plastic tubing back in the container after you have finished using the system, otherwise the end can become contaminated. This has affected some research groups' experiments.
Please clean up any water that you spill on the counter or sink-top. Housekeeping does not do this, so the users have to keep the area clean.