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Laboratory Rules for the Department of Chemistry, Biology (CB) and Process Technology (VT)


  • Following rules are valid for all laboratories of the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Process Technology.

Applicable regulations

Lone work

  • Working alone in the lab is only allowed under the following conditions:
    • Advance notice to the technical team of the day and time period (e.g. IPA work in the laboratory).
    • An operational mobile phone in the reception area of the provider
    • Emergency numbers programmed for speed dialling, no silent mode

Knowledge of these regulations is a prerequisite for teaching and participation in laboratory courses and for working on research projects in any of the university’s laboratories.

General policies for the CB, VT

  • Presence in the laboratories is only allowed for people working there or for students attending laboratory classes (no visitors!)
  • In general, guided tours through the laboratories should be avoided. In the case of laboratory tours, the tour participants must be equipped with the necessary safety equipment (lab coat and safety goggles). The guide should ensure that
    • people working in the laboratory are not disturbed by tour participants
    • and that no dangerous situations arise because of the tour. The tour guide should see to it that the normal operation of the laboratories is not disturbed.
  • Every instructor in the Department of Chemistry, Biology and Process Technology shall inform himself/herself and the students about the safety equipment in the laboratories (the location of the emergency power stops, fire extinguisher, first aid case) and the escape route.
  • Storage or consumption of food (including chewing gum), beverages and tobacco is not allowed in the laboratories (danger of poisoning).
  • Putting on or removing make-up in the laboratories (including hand lotion) is not allowed.
  • Wearing of large jewelry pieces in the laboratories is not allowed.
  • Shoulder-length and longer hair must be tied into a pony tail.
  • The data safety sheets of all chemicals are in the technicians’ office (A|O1-015) or in the research laboratory (B|O1-019).
  • Pregnancies must be reported to the Head of Studies, the study programme office or the teacher(s) of the course. Pregnant women must not work or spend time in the laboratories. Otherwise, the employment restrictions and prohibitions for expectant and nursing mothers according to the Maternity Protection Act § 4 & 4 a apply. More detailed information can be found in Maternity Protection.
  • Poisons may only be provided to students by the professors after receiving precise instructions to their use. The retrieval of any poison must be noted in the poison registry and its designated use, amount withdrawn, date and the person’s name must be given.
  • The laboratories with the room numbers A|O1-016, A|O1-017 and A|O1-018 have a permit for biological safety level S1.
  • If biological safety level S1 laboratory exercises are held in the aforementioned laboratories, the professor must provide the students with separate safety instructions. These instructions must contain an explanation/definition of biological safety level S1, including key points, such as waste removal, the wear of additional safety equipment (gloves, masks etc.) and storage/labeling of genetically modified materials.
  • Working with poisonous, corrosive or otherwise harmful materials is only allowed under supervision.

Things to be considered at the beginning of a laboratory day

  • Bags and clothes must be stored in the lockers outside of the laboratories (all lockers must be emptied at the end of the lab).
  • Well-planned, deliberate working is a prerequisite for a safe and successful laboratory course. Laboratory protocols must be read before the laboratory exercise and any questions raised before starting to work.
  • At the beginning of the laboratory exercise, all students are assigned a laboratory cabinet, which must be returned at the end of the lab day (the inventory of the lab cabinet must be controlled by the professor).
  • During the lab course, the students – in their own interest – have to behave in a way to minimize the possibility of accidents.

Things to be considered in the laboratory

  • Obligatory Dress Code:
    • Safety goggles must be worn in all laboratories when handling chemicals.
    • A white non-flammable lab coat must be worn buttoned up at all times.
    • Closed-toe shoes must be worn in the laboratories (no flip-flops or sandals)
    • Long trousers/pants must be worn at all times in the laboratory
  • Each person is expected to act responsibly when handling chemicals (poisons, chemicals that are environmental toxins), especially flammable chemicals and when working with expensive instruments and equipment.
  • Students must follow the laboratory protocols provided and are not permitted to conduct experiments according to their own unevaluated protocols.
  • Never leave experiments unattended!
  • Bunsen burners must be turned off after each use (do not use the minimal flame setting).
  • All flasks used must be labeled with name, date and content (no abbreviations). The content of unlabeled or incorrectly labeled flasks will be discarded by the laboratory technicians.
  • The students are not allowed to carry glassware, chemicals or samples out of the laboratories without being prompted to do so by the professor (pay attention to the colored labels of the glassware)
  • Electrical cords and tubings must only be used in mint condition (broken lab equipment must be reported to the professor).
  • Micropipettes must be hung in the pipette racks (do not lay them on work surfaces)
  • Computers may only be used for the laboratory exercise (no internet surfing or checking of e-mail accounts)
  • Broken glassware must be reported to the professor and noted in the glassware book present in each lab.

Things to do at the end of the laboratory day

  • Used glassware must be cleaned and and dried off with paper towels (the dishwasher is only to be used when prompted by the professor).
  • Waste materials must be disposed of according to the professor’s instructions (organic waste container, heavy-metal container etc.).
  • Any instruments and chemicals used during the lab must be returned to their respective storage places.
  • All solutions must be stored in screw cap bottles. The bottles must be labeled properly. The contents of unlabeled or incorrectly-labeled bottles will be discarded by the laboratory technicians.
  • All gas taps and water outlets must be turned off before leaving the laboratory.
  • The laboratory cabinet must be turned over to the professor after its inventory has been checked and everything has been cleaned (no glassware outside the lab cabinet)
  • The laboratory cabinet must be locked.
  • The chemical room and the room with the scales must be cleaned thoroughly.
  • In the microbiology and biotechnology laboratories, at the end of each lab day all waste bags must be collected and autoclaved to minimize the exposition of biological material with the environment.

What to do in case of an accident? Measures in the event of an accident

  • The university is not liable for personal injury to and material damage caused by students. The university is liable according to Austrian Federal law. Any further claims for compensation made against the university are invalid.
  • If the accident involves chemicals, inform the professor immediately.
  • If someone is injured, contact emergency medical personnel (144: who, what, where? Then, send someone to guide them from the front entrance to the injured party).
  • In the event of an uncontrolled fire, inform the professor immediately, e.g. "There is a fire in room …..”. Then, evacuate the laboratory via the escape route, unless other instructions are given by those in charge.
  • If someone catches fire, wrap them in a fire blanket or hose them off under the emergency shower and await further instructions from those in charge.

Accident avoidance:

  • No running or pushing in the laboratories
  • No misuse of laboratory equipment (i.e. spray bottles)
  • No chairs between the laboratory tables (blocked escape routes, danger of tripping)
  • All chemicals and laboratory equipment must be handled considerately and responsibly.