Rules of the Laboratory
We wish to make the point that this laboratory is like no other you have as
yet encountered at Griffith because of the nature of the biological material
being studied, namely micro-organisms. Although many of the micro-organisms
you will be handling are not pathogenic and are often normal flora in the
human body, unusual circumstances may arise in which such organisms can
establish an infection. For instance, a cut in the skin, or low resistance
of the host due to a viral infection. In this sense all micro-organisms are
potentially pathogenic and must be handled in accordance with some strict
rules which are set out below. These rules must be adhered to, for the sake
not only of yourself but of all others in the laboratory including our
precious laboratory staff and demonstrators as well as all students.
There is another point to be made in this regard. The most common problem
in bacteriological technique is contamination by an unknown, unwanted
organism. This is why we must insist that the bacterial count in the
laboratory be kept as low as possible. Special care must be taken when
dealing with spore forming organisms such as Bacillus and Clostridium, since
spores last a long time and are especially resistant to all kinds of chemical
and physical agents. For the sake of the experiments also, then, we must
carry out the proper procedures as listed below.
- Laboratory coats and covered footwear must be worn at all times in
- NO smoking, eating or drinking will be permitted in the laboratory.
- Hand disinfection facilities are provided in the laboratory. You are
advised to use them not only when leaving the laboratory, but also
during classes involving live cultures.
- Each students bench space must be wiped before and after the laboratory
session with dilute sodium hypochlorite solution. Spills of stains or
reagents must be wiped up immediately.
- Accidents of any kind, spilled strong acids/bases, cuts, burns,
handling cultures e.g. breakages of tubes or spillages of cultures must
be reported to the demonstrator immediately.
- There is mouthwash provided in case of swallowed organisms, use it
immediately. All the cultures used are potentially pathogenic.
- Always practice aseptic techniques in handling and transferring cultures
and media. No spilt liquid medium or solid agar is to be left on the
bench or floor to grown unknown organisms.
- All cuts or open wounds must be covered with a bandage or bandaid
during the laboratory session. This is particularly important with
any injury to the hands.
- Properly label all materials to be used in the experiment. Label all
petri dishes and test tubes to be incubated with the date, your name,
experiment number and organism (if known) and place in the basket
provided. Any unlabeled items will be discarded.
- Microscopes must always be returned to their proper storage case when
not in use. Any damage or defect in the microscope should be reported
to your demonstrator promptly.
- The equipment needed for the experiments will be found in your bench area.
Be sure to inventory the equipment and take care in its use. No additional
equipment will be provided.
- The following procedures must be followed for discarding unwanted material:
- Waste paper to be placed in bin provided in labs.
- Slides to be discarded into jar of lysol disinfectant.
This jar is to be used solely for slide discard.
- Plastic petri dishes must be discarded in autoclavable bags
provided at various sites in the laboratory. There is no
need to remove labels from these plates. These bags are
also used to discard other disposable plastic products e.g.
plastic tubes, plastic pasteur pipettes, swabs.
- Graduated pipettes are to be discarded into the containers
of Hypochlorite which are provided on each bench.
- Glass pasteur pipettes into labelled containers.
Convenor: Dr. Bharat Patel
HTML'd by Troy Baalham
[Created: 12 Sept 1995]
[Modified: 20 May 1995]