General Safety Rules for the Microbial Pathogenesis Laboratory


The microorganisms used for instruction in this course are pathogenic for humans or animals. The safety of every student depends upon the conscientious observation of rules that must be followed by all who work in the laboratory. Certain precautions must be followed to avoid endangering well being, that of neighbors and those who clean the laboratory. Any student who is in doubt about how to handle infectious material should consult an instructor. Laboratory attendance is mandatory. There will be no way to make up missed work. The following rules must be observed at all times.

  1. Always wear a laboratory coat when working in the laboratory classroom.

  2. Put nothing in mouth which may have come in contact with infectious material.

  3. Smoking, eating and drinking in the laboratory are not permitted at any time.

  4. Mouth pipetting is not permitted under any circumstances. Use the safety pipetting devices which are provided. Dispose of used pipettes in the appropriate receptacle. Any infectious material which may accidentally fall from pipettes to the laboratory bench or floor should be covered with a disinfectant and reported to any instructor immediately.

  5. Any spilled or broken containers of culture material should be thoroughly wet down with a disinfectant and then brought to the attention of an instructor. There are no penalties for accidents, provided they are reported promptly.

  6. Report at once an accident which may lead to a laboratory infection.

  7. The microscope issued to you is both an expensive and delicate instrument--treat it accordingly. Always, at the end of each laboratory period, carefully clean oil from the objective and condenser lenses, align the low power dry objective with the condenser and rack condenser up and body tube down. You will be held personally responsible for any defect found on microscope when it is recalled at the semester's end.

  8. When finished for the day, dispose of all used glassware and cultures in the appropriate receptacle, clear workbench and wash the top with a disinfectant. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory.

  9. Do not throw refuse of any kind into the sink. Use the containers provided.

  10. Be sure all burners are turned off at the end of the laboratory period. Double check to be sure that handles on all gas outlets are in the off position.

  11. The inoculating needle should be heated until red hot before and after use. Always flame needle before you lay it down.

  12. Always place culture tubes of broth or slants in an upright position in a rack. Do not lay them down on the table or lean them on other objects. They may roll onto the floor and break.

  13. All culture containers which are to be incubated should bear the following notations: 1) initials (or last name of the student), 2) specimen (name of organism or number of unknown) and 3) date. When using Petri plates, these notations should be entered on the bottom half, not the lid. Unless otherwise directed, all plates are to be inverted, all plugged tubes should have the plugs firmly set into the tubes, and all screw cap tubes should have the caps loosened one-half turn to permit gas exchange.


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