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Getting started - for new members of the Department

Getting Started ....

First - welcome to the Cavendish Laboratory. It has a long and distinguished history, and we hope you will find your time here fruitful and enjoyable. In order to maintain our good record for safety we have some rules, and on this part of the Cavendish website you will also find a host of information to help you to work safely.


A routemap to get you started....

If you are unsure of anything, contact Saba Alai, Tel 37397, Room no. 220, or e-mail sa792 "at"

When do you need this? What do you need?
On your first day A copy of the single-page handout 'Cavendish Laboratory Safety Notes'. You will have been given a printed copy by the Department Secretary on your first day. Click here for a copy, if you have lost it.
Familiarisation with the department emergency arrangements. Click here to look at them
Within three months of joining You need to attend an induction course in the Department. These are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month. Check on the training page here for the list of dates. You can also look at the handouts before the session. The course lasts one hour for the basics, and an additional one hour to learn about risk assessment, which is required by all who do experimental work or are going to supervise or manage the work of others.
Before you start any experimental work

You must carry out a risk assessment; the blank form is here. The skills for risk assessment form part of the Induction Course. 

Much of the guidance that you need in order to be able to make decisions about control measures is to be found in the Department codes of practice, found listed in the ''Risk assessment resources and guidance' section in the left hand side tool bar to this page. 

Don't forget that there are also a number of specialists to help you. A list of names is found here.

Some Department rules:

Working at night

You must not work alone at night on anything that is more risky than studying at your desk. If you wish to do experimental work, make arrangements so that you are never alone. The highest risk activities, such as work with HF, are NOT PERMITTED at night. 
Before working at night, be sure that you have a good knowledge of the emergency arrangements. See here.

You must sign in if you are here after 6pm, before 8am and at weekends. The sign-in facility is web-based. The page is here.

Electrical work If you make or modify any electrical equipment you need to have it checked by a NAMED COMPETENT person. This is to ensure that it meets all the safety requirements required by law. Your research group should be able to put you in touch with a person who can do this for you.
Radiation work We have a number of radioactive sources. Please ensure that you notify the Safety Officer, Jane Blunt WELL IN ADVANCE of bringing another to the site. This is to ensure that we do not violate our licensing agreement. There are also several security arrangements to be made. 
Before using radioactive sources or radiation generators you will need to undertake a short course.
Lasers For all lasers of Class 3R, 3B and Class 4, new users need to register with the Department Laser Safety Officer, Richard Gymer, telephone 37264. If a new laser is brought on site Richard must be informed and risk assessments MUST be carried out. The Department laser page is here.
Biological work If you wish to work with tissue or other biological materials please contact the Department Biological Safety Officer, Dr Kevin Chalut, as soon as possible, to ensure that we have the necessary capabilities and we do not violate our permissions with the HSE

You must not drill into any wall or attempt to access the voids above the ceiling tiles for any reason, due to the risk of disturbing loose asbestos fibres. Please tell Maintenance promptly of damage to any structure, fitting, or the floor tiles. Please ensure that any work you need doing is channelled through Maintenance, so that it is done safely.

More information on asbestos can be obtained from these pages.

There is more information on the Department basic safety rules here.

This page was updated on 26 January 2014