Task 1. Housekeeping

Introduction
Laboratory technicians at SimuLab are responsible for maintaining the laboratory in a clean and organised condition, as a routine part of their job. However, an unusually large volume of urgent testing had to be performed in the Analytical Laboratory during the week and as a result the laboratory is not as clean and organised as it should be. When you arrive at work on Friday morning the Senior Technician asks you to ensure that all glassware and benches in the Analytical Laboratory are clean and to check the Analytical Laboratory stock solutions.

Step 1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Your first task is to clean the dirty glassware that has accumulated in the Analytical Laboratory during the week. Before beginning any laboratory work you must put on the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Go to the Laboratory Supervisor's office using the link below, then click on the OHS Manual to see the table of contents. Obtain the SOP: PPE Requirements - Routine Cleaning Schedule by clicking on it. This SOP outlines the PPE required when undertaking routine cleaning.

Reception

Put on the appropriate PPE for undertaking routine cleaning of the laboratory by clicking on the link below.

Activity: PPE Requirements - Laboratory Maintenance

Step 2. Clean the glassware

All laboratories require a well-stocked supply of clean glassware and equipment. It is the Laboratory Technician's job to ensure that all laboratory glassware is clean, undamaged and stored in the appropriate area ready for use.

Go to the Senior Technician's office using the link below, then click on the Methods Manual to see the table of contents. Obtain the following two SOPs by clicking on each one. You may wish to print them out.

  • SOP: Cleaning and Storage of Glassware
  • SOP: Storage of Laboratory Glassware
Reception

Check your understanding of the SimuLab procedures for the cleaning and storage of glassware by undertaking the following activity.

Activity: Cleaning and Storage of Glassware

Now that you are wearing the appropriate PPE and have obtained the SimuLab procedures for the cleaning and storage of glassware, go to the Analytical Laboratory and ensure that all glassware is clean and appropriately stored.

Activity: Management of Glassware in the Analytical Laboratory

You have ensured that all the glassware in the Analytical Laboratory is clean and appropriately stored, ready for when it is needed. You can now proceed to the next task, which is to clean the laboratory benches.

Step 3. Prepare to clean the laboratory benches

Use the link below to obtain the SOP: General Disinfection Procedures from the Methods Manual in the Senior Technician's office.

SOP: General Disinfection Procedures

The SOP: General Disinfection Procedures contains information about the SimuLab procedures for cleaning laboratory benches. After reading the SOP, go to the Analytical Laboratory and clean the benches using the link below.

Activity: Cleaning the Benches

Step 4. Making up an ethanol solution

You have been unable to clean the benches because the ethanol solution wash bottles are empty. You now need to make up two wash bottles containing 80% v/v ethanol solution so that the laboratory has an adequate supply of cleaning solution.

A safety requirement before using any chemical for the first time is that the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that chemical must be read. The MSDS will include information on the properties of the chemical, any health hazard information, first aid guidelines, precautions for use and also safe handling information. The chemical supplier must supply an MSDS with any chemical it sells.

If you would like more information about MSDSs, visit the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) website. Use the following link and then choose Web Visit - NOHSC MSDs Source and also Web Visit - NOHSC MSDS: what is adequate information? from the list given.

World Wide Web Catalogue

Use the following link to obtain the MSDS: Ethanol from the MSDS Folder in the Senior Technician's office.

MSDS: Ethanol

Use the following link to do an activity after looking at the MSDS: Ethanol.

Activity: MSDS for Ethanol

You notice from the MSDS that the PPE required when handling ethanol includes 'respirator as required'. You are unsure as to what this means, but need to ensure that you understand all the required safety procedures before handling ethanol.

Go to the Laboratory Supervisor's office using the link below, click on the person's image and choose the Ethanol Question in the list.

Laboratory Supervisor's Office

You are now ready to begin making up the 80% v/v ethanol solution but you cannot find a procedure for making the solution. You decide to ask the Senior Technician how the solution should be made up.

Go to the Senior Technician's office using the link below, click on the person's image and choose the 80% v/v Ethanol Solution Question in the list.

Senior Technician's Office

If you would like some further information before you make up your ethanol solution, go to the Resources and Training Room using the link below and click onto the Personal Study Books to see the table of contents. Obtain the following two Personal Studies by clicking on each one.

  • Personal Study: Concentration of Solutions
  • Personal Study: % v/v, w/v, w/w
Reception

With the information you have obtained from Personal Study: Concentration of Solutions, Personal Study: % v/v, w/v, w/w and the Senior Technician's answer to the 80% v/v Ethanol Solution Question you should now know how you will make up the 80% v/v ethanol solution.

Choose the reagents, glassware and measuring equipment that you will need to make up the 80% v/v solution by clicking on the link below.

Activity: Chemicals and Glassware for Preparation of Cleaning Solution

Make up enough 80% v/v ethanol solution to fill two wash bottles by clicking on the link below.

Activity: Make Up 80% v/v Ethanol Solution

Step 5. Label ethanol wash bottles

As part of your role in the laboratory you are responsible for the correct handling, storage and disposal of chemicals. Labels on containers are an essential source of information about chemicals in the workplace.

For information on the labelling of chemicals click on the link below.

Study Notes: Labelling of Chemicals

You will need to ensure that the ethanol wash bottles are labelled in accordance with SimuLab procedures. Click on the link below to obtain the SimuLab SOP: Labelling of Solutions.

SOP: Labelling of Solutions

Before you refill the empty ethanol wash bottles you will need to ensure that they are properly labelled. Click on the link below to check whether the empty ethanol wash bottles are appropriately labelled.

Activity: Check Wash Bottle Labelling

The ethanol wash bottles are not properly labelled. Click on the link below to label the wash bottles properly.

Activity: Labelling Ethanol Wash Bottles

Now that the wash bottles are labelled you can fill them with the 80% v/v ethanol solution ready for use.

You can now clean the benches in the Analytical Laboratory.

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