Good Laboratory Practice Principles

If you run or work in a laboratory in the UK, then you should be aware of the Good Laboratory Practice UK regulations of 1999. These regulations lay out how a test facility or lab should operate, and ensure that everyone who works in a lab is properly trained in the safe handling and use of chemicals, equipment, and facilities.

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The lab owner is required to ensure that all personnel understands the job that they are being hired to perform, and that they are properly trained. There should be clearly documented procedures and safety standards that will help the workers to perform their job correctly, and to ensure that studies are carried out in a safe and scientifically accurate way.

Where a chemical is being studied, there should be a study manager appointed that has the appropriate qualifications and training, and that is sufficiently experienced for the job. The study director is responsible for managing that specific study, and if the director leaves before the study is completed, then a replacement should be appointed following the same procedures.

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If there is a multi-site study being performed, then there should be a named principal investigator, and there should be clear and regular communication and coordination between all sites. Systematic, accurate record keeping is essential.

Laboratory owners are required to provide clean, safe, well calibrated and well-maintained equipment. All chemicals, solutions, and reagents must be properly labeled, including the name of the substance, the concentration if applicable, and the expiry date, as well as storage instructions.

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Useful info from johnsonslablogistics that if the lab handles animals or plants then they should be kept carefully. Newly received animals or plants should be kept isolated until the laboratory is able to assess their health. If there is any unusual ill health or mortality, then the animals should not be used as a part of the study, and they should be well looked after, with any health issues or injuries being documented as and when they occur.

All lab technicians should be trained in good practice as a part of their course, but re-training and CPD is valuable to ensure that a lab technician has up to date skills and an understanding of best practices. It is easy for some simple lapses in judgment or careless actions to contaminate data and ruin a study, or, worse, to put the health of lab workers or the public at risk.