Occupational Health & Safety

Looking to play videos or audio recordings such as lectures? If you are having trouble playing them try using the free player VLC. It can be downloaded for many types of devices including mobile OS. Links are below:


Google Play Store (Android)




RefME is a platform I have talked about before as a useful piece of kit for managing your referencing. RefME has been purchased by another reference manager which has both free and premium (pay to use) versions called Cite this for me. RefME will shut down in due course so it might be worth considering moving to another manager. Cite this for me is a very simple to use reference manager but there are quite a few programs out there which offer both free and premium versions. A list of my top reference managers can be found below:

Zotero has chrome plugins to assist reference capture.

January 2017 Exam Timetables are now available here:


Áine, one of my colleagues who helps out in our practicals found a quiz on bacterial growth kinetics. It’s only short but I found a few more at the same location. Well worth having a go of to test your knowledge:

Growth Kinetics Quiz

Cell Biology

Lab Safety

Lab Balances

As an update to a previous post on this please note there is a newer and more often updated free desktop publishing software known as Libreoffice. Not everyone has or can afford Microsoft Office but there are plenty of free packages out there that do much the same as Microsoft office and are similarly easy to use. You can get a free office suite of programs from many companies and organisations but one of my favourites is Libre Office. Select the version open office for your system here:



If anyone would like to use an app instead of their browser when doing my in class revision quizzes feel free to download the app for Android or iPhone/iPad below.





There’s a Moodle mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. It might be useful accessing information away from your PC/Mac. The apps are available from the links below:




If you’re looking for past papers for any subject you are studying you can get them from the ITT Dublin Library website at this link:




Here’s a nice “peer reviewed” article published in 1999 on “Antiseptics and Disinfectants: Activity, Action, and Resistance”. Well worth a read if you’re interested in understanding more about disinfection.

Antiseptics and Disinfectants: Activity, Action, and Resistance

The pdf version of the article is available at the above link to.

Please note as previously mentioned, if any CLP images come up in the exams they will be based on the new images being brought in this June by the EU. You can familiarise yourself with them here:

New CLP regulations – June 2015


Take the CLP quiz from the ECHA!

The HSA has a website called BeSmart.ie. The site, stands for Business electronic Safety Management And Risk assessment Tool, helps small business owners/managers to prepare risk assessments and a safety statement for their workplace. The system prepares risk assessment documents based on how you answer a series of questions. If you want to check it out without registering just click the “guest user login” on the home page here then enter the business type and choose a hazard.

To go with the new CLP regulations coming in to law from June 1st 2015 the European Chemicals Agency has created a quiz to test you on your knowledge. Check it out here: http://echa.europa.eu/clp-quiz


The European environment state and outlook report (SOER)  2015  delivers a comprehensive assessment of the European environment’s state, trends and prospects, in a global context. It highlights a number of factors of concerns in relation to the pharmaceutical industry in it’s 20 year plus outlook citing:

Emerging pollutants, such as from pharmaceuticals and personal care products, may be a future concern, as may be algal blooms and pathogenic microorganisms.

Chemicals from pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and other consumer products can have adverse effects on the environment and on human health. Endocrine disruption, which impacts the body’s hormonal system, is of particular concern. Unfortunately, the environmental pathways and potential human health impacts of these chemicals are poorly understood, especially when people are exposed to mixtures of chemicals, or when exposure occurs in vulnerable population groups such as pregnant women, small children and people suffering from certain diseases (EEA, 2011d; Larsson et al., 2007; EEA, 2012f; EEA/JRC, 2013). Reducing chemical pollution at source has become an important resource efficiency measure, as advanced wastewater treatment and treatment of drinking water is energy and chemicals intensive.


From June 2015 the EU will harmonise CLP labelling under the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency). The regulations will apply to the classification and labelling of both substances and mixtures. Earlier EU legislation will be repealed. The head of the ECHA stated, “An enormous number of products must be re-labelled to comply with CLP, including consumer items such as paints or detergents, as well as industrial mixtures.”

Some of the new symbols can be seen here:


Many of the symbols previously used will be changed for example:




A leaflet is available from this link and offers a brief guide to the new classifications:




Duties of employers and employees under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. Taken from the HSA website.

Employer Duties
The core of the legislation is the risk assessment approach and the legal duty on employers to prepare a written health and safety document referred to as a Safety Statement. Employers (including self-employed persons) are also responsible for creating and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace.

Employer’s duties include:

  • Managing and conducting all work activities so as to ensure as reasonably as practicable the safety, health and welfare of people at work
  • Designing, providing and maintaining a safe place of work that has safe access and egress, and uses plant and equipment that is safe and without risk to health
  • Providing information, instruction, training and supervision regarding safety and health to employees
  • Providing and maintaining welfare facilities for employees at the workplace
  • Preventing risks to other people at the place of work including, for example, visitors, customers, suppliers and sales representatives
  • Have plans in place for emergencies

Employee Duties
Employees, including those employed on a part-time or temporary basis, also have duties including:

  • Comply with relevant laws and protect their own safety and health, as well as the safety and health of anyone who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
  • Ensure that they are not under the influence of any intoxicant to the extent that they could be a danger to themselves or others while at work
  • Cooperate with their employer with regard to safety, health and welfare at work
  • Use in the correct manner any item provided for protection
  • Participate in safety and health training offered by their employer
  • Report any dangerous situations, practices or defects that might endanger a person’s safety, health or welfare
  • Not to engage in any improper conduct that could endanger their safety or health or that of anyone else

Not everyone has or can afford Microsoft Office but there are plenty of free packages out there that do much the same as microsoft office and are similarly easy to use. You can get a free office suite of programs from many companies and organisations but one of my favourites is Open Office. Select the version open office for your system here:


Please note this applies primarily to my own lectures and exams.


The waste hierarchy pyramid can sometimes appear in two different ways but they both mean the same thing.


The EPA Act 1992 introduced Integrated Pollution Prevention Control (IPPC) for specific “activities” . It outlines that it is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) responsibility for the issuing and implementing of such a licence. The licence controls all emissions, covering air, water, waste and noise and also an activity must ensure that they use the Best Available Technology (BAT).


Here is a link to an example Licence available on the EPA website:


Here is the table of contents with all the conditions of the licence:




Here’ is an example of the noise requirements under the above licence:


The following videos show the correct and incorrect way to lift heavy objects correctly. Remember never lift with your back.

This text below is taken from the HSA document on Guidelines on Risk Assessments and Safety Statements


Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 requires that employers and those who control workplaces to any extent must:
• identify the hazards in the workplaces under their control
• assess the risks presented by these hazards.

In this context a hazard is something with the potential to cause harm (for example, chemical substances, machinery or methods of work), while measuring the risk depends on:
• the likelihood of that harm occurring in the workplace
• the potential severity of that harm (the degree of injury or ill health following an accident)
• the number of people who might be exposed to the hazard
Employers must write down these workplace risks and what to do about them. This is known as a risk assessment. Assessing risk means you must examine carefully what, in the workplace, could cause harm to your employees, other employees and other people, including customers, visitors and members of the public. This allows you to weigh up whether you have taken enough precautions or whether you should do more to prevent harm.

Here are some sample risk assessment documents:

Use and Handling Of Carcinogens and Mutagens (General) Risk Assessment

Use and Handling Of Irritants, Harmful Agents and Sensitisers (General) Risk Assessment

Use and Handling Of Teratogens – Reproductive Toxins (General) Risk Assessment

Use and Handling Of Toxic Agents (General) Risk Assessment

Here is a blank template to complete a risk assessment form:

Risk Assessment Form

Risk Assessment Template

MSDS are Material Safety Data Sheets which come with all chemicals including water. Below are some examples of MSDS sheets.


PBS Tablets MSDS

Note the 16 sections present within the documents covering:

Section 1 – Product Identification
Section 2 – Composition and Ingredients
Section 3 – Hazard Identification
Section 4 – First Aid Measures
Section 5 – Fire fighting measures
Section 6 – Accidental Release Measures
Section 7 – Handling and Storage Procedures
Section 8 – Exposure Controls and Personal Protection Information
Section 9 – Physical and Chemical Properties
Section 10 – Stability and Re-activity Data
Section 11 – Toxicological Information
Section 12 – Ecological effects
Section 13 – Disposal Information
Section 15 – Regulatory Information
Section 16 – Other Information



The images below are of some of the more common symbols representing common hazards. These are from the Health and Safety Authority website on CPL (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) regulations. Note the subtle differences in some of the images containing letters (T+, F+). This link shows all CPL signs:  http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Your_Industry/Chemicals/Classification_and_Labelling/CLP/