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General safety

  • Are the laboratory/ workshop regulations up to date and displayed in the area?

  • Is the floor space clear of debris or clutter?

  • Is the area tidy and well kept (n.b. Ceiling tiles in place, no obvious damage to walls, Windows, blinds)?

  • Is the floor surface free for spillages, in good condition and not slippery?

  • Are the lighting levels satisfactory for safe working?

  • Is the plant and equipment located in an appropriate location within the laboratory/ workshop (e.g. Enough space, air flow around fume cabinets)?

  • Is the ventilation adequate (general ventilation, LEV)?

  • Is the temperature comfortable(adjustment available)?

  • Are welfare facilities including wash hand basin, soap, towels available and clean?

Risk assessment

  • Have risk assessments been carried out for the activities in the are that pose a risk of injury?

  • Have COSHH assessments been completed for potential exposure to hazardous substances in the area?

Personal protective equipment

  • Is the signage for PPE requirements displayed?

  • Is the PPE in good condition?

  • Are outdoor clothing and non essential personal items removed and stored away from the laboratory/ workshop?

  • Are laboratory coats/ workshop overalls worn by all staff and students in the laboratory/ workshop?

  • Are protective gloves in use and of the right resistance for the type of work?

  • Is RPE provided and has face fit testing been undertaken (staff)?

  • Is suitable eye protection available and worn where required?

  • Have any harnesses or fall protection items been inspected and records kept?

Electrical safety

  • Are there any trailing cables that could cause a person to trip?

  • Have all items of portable electrical equipment been tested and labelled with the date of the test?

  • Are there any apparent faults with any electrical equipment, including damage to plugs, cables and sockets?

  • Are any extension leads used only for temporary supply and low power equipment?

Manual handling

  • Has manual handling been eliminated where possible or minimised so far as is reasonably practicable?

  • Are lifting aids maintained in a good condition?

  • Are items stored sensibly with easy access I.e. Heavy items used frequently stored at waist level?

  • Are steps provided for reaching higher shelves (BSEN 131)?

Emergency procedures

  • Are all fire exits and escape routes, fire alarm points and firefighting equipment clearly visible, unobstructed and appropriately signed?

  • Are all fire doors kept closed when not in use mad never wedged open (unless on magnetic hold back)?

  • Are fire alarm action notices displayed?

  • Is the storage of flammable materials kept to a minimum?

  • Are there any exposed ignition sources?

  • Are first aid notices displayed in the area?

  • Is an eye wash or emergency shower accessible and in date or flushed?

  • Is a spill kit available for the type of spill hazard in the area?


  • Are machines adequately guarded to prevent contact or entanglement?

  • Is the equipment maintained in a good condition and records kept?

  • Is the equipment stored correctly?

  • Are emergency stops clearly visible and working?

  • Is there warning signage on hazardous equipment?

  • Are keys to secure areas being securely held?

  • Is the use of equipment restricted to those who are trained/ authorised to use it?

  • Have pressure vessels been labelled with the safe working pressure and been inspected?

  • Have items of lifting equipment been marked with the safe working load and been inspected to the correct timescale?

  • Are centrifuges clean and have working interlocks?

  • Is there a system in place to control apparatus or experiments running out of hours?

  • Is there a procedure for the decontamination of equipment prior to testing, maintenance, repair or disposals?

Chemical safety

  • Is safety information available for all chemicals in the area?

  • Are chemicals labelled clearly and appropriately?

  • Are chemicals stored correctly, segregating incompatible chemicals?

  • Are flammables and corrosives stored in appropriate containers and in flammable cabinets?

  • Are flammable cabinets at least 3m away from any potential sources of ignition?

  • Are there approved methods of chemical disposal?

  • Are gas cylinders stored correctly and securely?

  • Have all gas cylinders and regulators been logged on an inventory and are regulators within their 5 year life span and have been tested regularly?

  • Are fume cabinets clean, uncluttered and not used for storage?

  • Are fume cabinet sashes undamaged, opened to the correct height and closed when not in use?

  • Are fume cabinet test results in date?

  • Are fume cabinet low indicators functioning?

  • Is LEV sufficient to reduce airborne contaminants and is the annual test date still valid?

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