Biomakespace Forum

Biosafety Information

(Matt) #1

Jenny has been collating safety information for the biomakespace here.

Here are some notes from a recent meeting we had with Tom from London Biohackspace and a link to the Biohackspace Github.

Of particular interest are the Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs.

Below is a list things Tom highlighted that the London Biohackspace do, which could be a useful starting point for ensuring our safety github repository has all the key info on.

  1. Incident reports are completed when there are accidents such as spills and notes can be made about what caused the accident and how it was dealt with.
  2. Biohackspace have put their SOPs on github (see above)
  3. New electrical equipment is PAT tested
  4. No flammables are stored above head height (e.g. ethanol and isopropanol)
  5. They have a spill kit for containing spills of GM material.
  6. New users sign a form after the safety induction - this records that they understand they are responsible for accidents and spills that they cause.
  7. members can bring a guest once they have completed spill kit training, the member is responsible for spills in this case.
  8. They use red dot stickers to label any GM contaminated objects e.g. plasticware, and green dots for non-GM containers.
  9. Most users store their work in labelled tupperwares
  10. Best practice is to name start date, list contents and expiry date all containers.

List of basic training that needs to be completed for new members:

  1. Pipette workshop
  2. Aseptic technique
  3. Making plates
  4. Pouring gels
  5. Jargon and common calculations

Some clarification on GM legislation:
Experimenter is responsible for ensuring there is a risk assessment for their project.
The Biological Safety Officers responsibility is to advise employer if the experimenters project is safe or not.

That’s it for now, if anyone has any questions let me know and I can email Tom to follow up.

Let me know your thoughts!

(Thomas Hodder) #2

So just to clarify, on a couple of those points.

Use of the spill kit is covered as a section in the general safety induction: Safety induction SOP

We cover safety precautions when using electrical equipment in the “laboratory equipment” section of the safety induction, however we don’t at this time do PAT tests on the equipment. This is something that I’d like to fix in future as most of the equipment is donated, repaired and bought from online auctions, so it’s impossible to know if its been previously serviced correctly, or has been subject to spills or faults, but we do inspect and test the equipment before making it available for general lab use, so it’s something to think about and probably detail in a SOP.

Regarding the basic training items… (Pipette workshop, Aseptic technique, Making plates, Pouring gels, Jargon and common calculations) my experience was that a proportion of people who join up, have no lab experience whatsoever, and consequently, struggle to get started. (I had no biolab experience since high school, so I speak from experience!) So I think really really basic workshop sessions are very valuable, probably as a separate thing from the safety induction though.

(Matt) #3

Hi Tom! Thanks for the continued input, it was super helpful speaking to you and thanks for messaging on here! I’d be happy to run some very basic intro to lab skills sessions once we’re up and running. Hope its all good with you, keep in touch!


(Matt) #4

Tom - do you guys have an eyewash station in the biohackspace?


(Thomas Hodder) #5

Yeah, we have one wall mounted near the sink;

(Thomas Hodder) #6

It looks like you can get them for a reasonable price from hardware stores;

(Tony Naggs) #7

Thanks for the suggestion, and Screwfix is particularly good place for us to get fittings & supplies as they have an outlet just 1.5 miles from Biomakespace. So it easy to pickup stuff even without a car. :slight_smile:

(Matt) #8

useful info, thanks guys!