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Definition of a Laboratory

A laboratory is a place, building or part of a building used for scientific and related work that
may be hazardous. The work conducted in a laboratory may include teaching or learning,
research, clinical or diagnostic testing and analysis. A laboratory may have associated areas
including preparation, instrumentation, decontamination, wash-up and storage rooms, or a
workshop in an engineering area (eg mechanical, electrical, aeronautical and civil engineering).

Laboratories are commonly used for scientific disciplines ranging from biology, chemistry,
physics, botany and zoology to medicine, psychology, dentistry, engineering, agriculture and
veterinary science.
Laboratory Design and Construction
Laboratory design and construction plays an essential and critical role in ensuring that
laboratories and associated areas are safe places to work and visit.Safe design principles are
fundamental to laboratory design and are detailed in the WorkCover publication Safe Design of
Buildings and Structures. These principles consider the safety of those who construct, maintain,
clean, repair and demolish a laboratory building or structure, as well as those who work in or
visit the laboratory. Laboratory personnel, project managers, design managers, architects,
engineers, and others involved in the laboratory design and construction process, have an
important role to play in identifying health and safety risks that could arise throughout the life
cycle of the laboratory building or structure and where practicable, eliminating or reducing risks
during the design and construction phase. Management of health and safety in laboratories is
therefore an ongoing responsibility shared by a number of people who control the design,
construction, use and maintenance of these areas.General requirements to be considered when
planning for the construction of a new laboratory or refurbishment of an existing laboratory are
detailed in AS/NZS 2982 - Laboratory design and construction Sections 1 to 7. Laboratories
that are to be used for biological or radiological work have additional requirements as detailed in
Sections 8 and 9 of this Standard. AS/NZS 2982 is to be used in conjunction with the Building
Code of Australia (BCA) and NSW Work Health and Safety (WHS) legislation and other
relevant Australian Standards.


The Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) was established in 1996,

an agency under the ambit of Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI). They

are governed by the Standards of Malaysia Act 1996 (Act 549) and appointed as National
Standards Body (NSB) as well as the National Accreditation Body.
Their two main functions are the development and promotion of Malaysian Standards
(MS) and accreditation of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) such as certification bodies,
laboratories and inspection bodies. Skim Akreditasi Makmal Malaysia or Laboratory
Accreditation Scheme of Malaysia is one of three schemes offered by Accreditation Division,
STANDARDS MALAYSIA. To date they have accredited over 550 laboratories in various fields.
STANDARDS MALAYSIA has also been accepted to be one of the International Laboratory
Cooperation Mutual Recognition Arrangement (ILAC MRA) Signatories since 2003. The aim of
ILAC MRA is to increase use and acceptance by industry as well as government of the results
from accredited laboratories, including results from laboratories in other countries. In this way,
the free-trade goal of "a product tested once and accepted everywhere" can be realized. This
means that the test or calibration reports from STANDARDS MALAYSIAs accredited
laboratories is widely accepted and recognized internationally.


To protect students,staffs,lecturers from any accidents.
To prevent damage to MIU property
To prevent damage to adjoining property
To reduce insurance premiums
To comply with government regulations.

A. Requirements for Use and Storage of Chemicals

1.MSDS sheets for all chemicals.
2. Flammable solvents must be kept in cabinets.
3. Flammable solvents and combustible organics must not be stored with oxidisers or any
oxidising acid
4. Bulk flammable solvents in the laboratory must be kept to a minimum use DG stores for
bulk solvent.
5. Flammable liquids must not to be stored or used near sources of ignition.
6. Flammable liquids must be decanted and used in fume hood.
7. No waste solvents are to be stored outside flameproof cabinets
8. Where liquids are stored inside cabinets there should be some form of secondary containment
flameproof cabinets have sumps which provide secondary containment.
9. Individual winchesters of liquid should be transported in a carrier.
10. Fume hoods must not be used for storage of chemicals with the exception of highly toxic
gases or chemicals that leak toxic fumes.
11. Recirculating fume hoods must be clearly labelled with limitations of use.
12. All gas cylinders must be secured.
13. Cylinders of flammable gases must be used with a flashback arrestor when attached to a
source of ignition.
14. Cylinders of flammable, toxic and oxidising gases must have cylinder key attached to
cylinder when in use.
15. Particular care must be taken when storing and handling toxic and flammable compressed
16.Highly toxic chemicals must be stored in a secure area or locked cupboard/refrigerator if the
laboratory is not secure. register should be kept of these toxic compounds

Controlling the Risk in the Design and Construction of Systems

The Fixed Wiring

The fixed wiring in any building is to be designed, installed and maintained to IEE standards, by
competent electricians. Research staff and others must not make any connections or
disconnections directly into this system. Faults must be reported promptly to the Maintenance

When reorganising laboratory layout, it is essential to check that the sockets are still accessible,
or that other arrangements are made to ensure that the electrical supply to apparatus in the room
can be cut off speedily.

In a room where electrical testing is routine - such as an electronic workshop, emergency (red)
buttons should be installed on the benches which cut off power in the event of an emergency.

Bake-out tape for vacuum apparatus, equipment for use with water, equipment with leads that
may trail over metal workshop floors, or equipment for use out of doors, must all be used in
conjunction with an RCD (residual current device).

New Equipment

When equipment is brought into the department, a plug should be fitted by a competent person if
the equipment does not already have one, and the correct fuse must be fitted. The equipment
must be inspected visually for damage or faults, and it is strongly recommended that it is also

electrically tested. It must be given an identity number, entered into the database, and given a
date for recall.

Equipment must be purchased to suit the environment in which it will be operated. For example,
special equipment is normally required for work outdoors and work in potentially explosive

Equipment must be used as directed by the manufacturer's instructions. Changes to the mode of
operation, or modifications to the equipment, are only permitted if the user performs a risk
assessment to assess and control any risk introduced by such a change.

Equipment brought from home must also be tested - and this includes the kettle you brought
down from the attic to make yourself that nice cup of coffee in the long hours waiting for your
equipment to cool down, and the radio with the mains adaptor so that you can listen to your
favourite station!

The plugs on equipment brought into the department must be of a normal British type. In
particular Schuko plugs must not be used, with the sole exception that Research groups may
make special provision for visitors to the department by providing suitable adaptors.

Apparatus Designed, Constructed or Modified In-house

Apparatus must be constructed to good engineering standards. Before constructing equipment, a

risk assessment should be done to explore the possible modes of failure of the equipment, and
whether they present danger. The danger should be controlled at the design stage wherever
practicable. The risk assessment should include the following phases of life of the system:
construction, testing, commissioning, operation and maintenance. A functional diagram and a
circuit diagram should be drawn up, and records kept of any modifications made. There are some
core British Standards that may be used in construction, and advice may be obtained from the
Department Electrical Specialist or one of the people nominated to verify the safety of apparatus
built in-house.

Live parts must be insulated and enclosed, and suitable earth bonding provided to protect against
shock from fault conditions. Any exception to this must be discussed with the Electronics
Section. Enclosure must be to the correct IP rating. The mains earth wire must be connected to
the metal case by a screw and nut, not less than 4 mm, and either a solder tag or crimped
terminal. This screw must not be used for fixing other parts.

Appropriate connections must be used, preferably choosing them such that it is not possible to
connect them to an inappropriate source. (e.g. prohibiting the use of 240 V mains connectors for
any purpose other than a 240 V connection). If the wire for the mains supply is to be brought
directly into an enclosure, it should be through a well fitting cable gland and clamped securely.

Wire appropriate to the load must be chosen. A table is given in the Appendix.

To remove guarding or enclosure around dangerous parts must need the use of a tool - wing-nuts
are not permitted. The guard or enclosure should have a label fixed to it to indicate the danger
within. Where it may be necessary to open a cabinet to make adjustments, any live parts should
be insulated or placed behind barriers, suitably labelled, to avoid inadvertent contact.

When equipment has been constructed in house it MUST be checked by a named competent
person before it is brought into service. This person will wish to see the risk assessment that you
carried out, the functional diagram, the circuit diagram and the equipment itself. He/she will be
using the department assessment form as a guide.

Layout of Equipment in the Laboratory

If possible, conductors should not be placed on the floor, since they are vulnerable to damage
from water, liquid nitrogen, dropped items, and abrasion from people walking over them.

Conductors that must go on the floor should be placed in a conduit or protected by some other
means to prevent damage to the cable and avoid the trip hazard. Armoured cable may be used so
long as the trip hazard is controlled.

If water is to be used in proximity to electrical apparatus, the junctions must be of high integrity
(not jubilee clip or bent wire), and the layout must be planned so far as is possible to avoid water
reaching the electrical apparatus in the event of a leak. Bear in mind that flowing cold water can
attract condensation, which in certain weather conditions will accumulate and drip.

In EXTREMELY exceptional cases, live conductors may remain bare, provided they are out of
reach. Before installing a system in this way, the department Electrical expert MUST be
consulted and written approval obtained.

It is bad practice to have electrical energy supplied to a rack from more than one source, due to
the possibility of a person believing that he has made the system dead, when parts of it are still
live. Ensure that it comes from one source wherever practicable, and if it is not practicable
ensure that it is very clearly labelled. The means to turn off the power must be accessible and it
must be obvious, either by its position or by a clear label.

Daisy-chaining extension blocks is also bad practice - blocks are available for up to 12 outlets.
However, it is also essential not to overload the incoming cable. The power requirements must be
quantified. The use of multi-way adaptor blocks is PROHIBITED in the laboratories. See the
pictures below that clarify what is meant!