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Sicherheit im Labor

Minimum safety instructions (intentionally in English), ver.14.08.2019


The following regulations apply to ALL laboratories.

Our new building CH is large and the labs are at very remote locations. Leave the lab-doors open, when you are in and alone. This gives you the chance to be found quickly in case of an emergency. If the door is closed, nobody will know, that you are there, and nobody will have a look into your lab. In case you want to go to the infrastructure areas or our dungeons: Tell somebody that you are going there, and tell this person, when you will be back. Only then we can search for you if you do not show up again.

Never forget: Your cell phone will not work everywhere in our building and especially not in our dungeons.

Have all emergency telephone numbers at hand and inform your supervisor in case of safety problems immediately .

Check escape routes and keep them clear at all times.

Familiarize yourself with the location of the next fire extinguisher. Warning: there are a number of CO2 fire extinguishers in the lab area. Excessive use will cause a displacement of oxygen.

Check and obey the specific safety precautions relating to particular experiments, especially if chemicals, cryogenics, lasers, and high voltage power supplies are involved. 


Handling cryogenic liquids: 

Before handling any containers with cryogenic liquids, check the pressure gauge and make sure that the container is NOT pressurized. If you find a pressurized cryo-container, you must contact the next cryo-trained person immediately and ask, whether this is intended or not. 

The use of cryogenic liquids can become EXTREMELY dangerous very quickly and therefore requires special training. If you are not cryo-trained, stay away ! 

NEVER enter the liquid nitrogen storage room if the alarm is on. If you ignore this rule, you are dead within seconds. Inform your supervisor about the alarm immediately.

Stay away from the He-recycling system without SPECIAL training.


Laser operation : 

If laser radiation is present (laser warning light on) wear protecting goggles all the time or stay out of the lab. 

Never work with laser beams without special training.

Finally do not forget: very often, laser radiation is invisible and thus, even more dangerous.


High voltage power supplies :

Make sure you know all the dangerous high voltages sources in your labs: AFM piezo voltage supplies, and the power supply of mercury lamps in the mask-aligners look harmless, but they are NOT. If you open and touch the power supply of the e-gun evaporator in the Leybold vacuum chamber, the residual charge in the capacitors will kill you immediately. (2kV, 5A DC!)


Chemistry labs :

Handling HF (Hydroflouric acid, Flußsäure) is extremely dangerous and therefore allowed for specially trained persons only. If you are not trained, stay away and don’t even think of touching the HF bottle ! 

Hot KOH and mixtures of H2O2 and Sulfuric acid (“piranha solutions”) are extremely aggressive. If you are not trained for using these liquids, stay away.

Organic solvents on hotplates may overheat. If this happens, they explode spontaneously (“Siedeverzug”) and spilled solvent may start to burn.

Safety glasses with side shields must be worn at all times. If you wear contact lenses they must be covered with safety goggles which provide a total seal around the eyes. Eye injuries must be prevented at all costs!

A long-sleeved knee length laboratory coat and shoes which enclose the feet must be worn. Thongs, sandals and open style shoes are prohibited. Long hair must be contained. 

There is to be no drinking, eating, smoking or chewing of gum in laboratories.

Pipetting by mouth is prohibited.


Finally : All accidents must be reported to your supervisor and the institute head.