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4.5. Risk assessment

Before performing an experiment ask yourself, “What would happen if….?” Answering the question requires you to understand the hazards associated with the chemicals and equipment involved.

Each experiment should begin by identifying the properties of the chemicals in the experiment. Use Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to find information about the substance / mixture. Chemical manufacturers are required to provide updated SDSs.

A risk assessment must always be carried out before starting a new experiment, should always be documented in writing and shall be available where the work/experiment is performed.

Risk assessment for work with Chemicals containing unknown properties must be carried out in the same way as for hazardous chemicals.
When possible substitute more hazardous substance for a less hazardous one.

In the risk assessment you should even consider what would happen if a power outage, water outage or evacuation were to occur during the experiment and what measures should be taken as a result.

Use the risk assessment function in the KLARA system (preferred), it is also acceptable to use a simplified form which you can download here on the website. (Download the Exel-sheet here).

Risk Assessment Steps

Planning your work:

  • Chemicals
  • Solutions
  • Equipment
  • Laboratories
  • Method (preparation, transport, execution, termination)
  • Cleaning and waste

Risk identification:

  • Identify hazards, i.e. anything that may cause harm.
  • Check SDS for chemicals.
  • Are there any legal requirements?
  • Experimental conditions where risk is increased.
  • Decide who may be harmed, and how?
  • Assess the risks and take action for exampel exchange hazardous chemicals, use personal protection, education, etc.

Make a record of the findings.

Review the risk assessment.

Approved and signed by the person in charge.