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5. General Rules for Work with Chemicals

Always label all preparations and reagent vessels clearly with the chemical name, use an appropriate warning symbol and state if the substance is carcinogenic or allergenic. Remember that even waste bottles should be labeled in this way. The label must be marked with the appropriate Pictogram. The labelling on bottles or jars should follow Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Even test tubes, beakers, etc. which will be stored should be appropriately marked.

All work with substances which are flammable or hazardous to health should be carried out in fume hood or using similar protective equipment.

Vessels used for chemicals that are hazardous to the environment should be sanitized before regular cleaning. The hazardous substance should be removed during the sanitation to prevent that the substance enters the waste water system.

Knowledge of the dangers associated with various substances, including the risk of fire or explosion, their toxicity, substances that cancel unwanted effects and various precautionary measures is essential.

Material safety data sheet (MSDS) is an important component of occupational safety and health. It is intended to provide workers and emergency personnel with procedures for handling or working with that substance in a safe manner, and includes information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point, etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures. 

Material safety data sheet (MSDS) are available in the KLARA chemical database. Visit the KLARA system

Look up the chemicals Risk and Safety phrases (R and S) on Prevent´s website, and the Hazards and Precautionary phrases (H and P) according to  Classification, Labelling and Packaging CLP/GHS.

A risk assessment analysis must be carried out when working with hazardous substances and any necessary risk reducing measures must be carried out before any work begins.

In accordance with the Work Environment Act, appropriate regulations must be available at the workplace. Examples of such guidelines are:

AFS 2011:19 Chemical working environment hazards (Kemiska arbetsmiljörisker) and amending regulations (2014:5; 2014:43; 2017:4)

AFS 2015:7 Occupational exposure limit (Hygieniska gränsvärden). 

Information on valid guidelines can be found online at the Swedish work environment authority’s web page

For further information about legislation and regulations pertaining to the work environment, handbooks about laboratory work, safety leaflets, etc., refer to the allocated shelf containing work environment information in Kemicentrum library.

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