Laboratory safety in Biomedicum

Below we have gathered information about laboratory safety in Biomedicum.


In the event of a spill of biological material, it is important to quickly take necessary measures to avoid putting anyone in the surroundings at risk.

1. Seal off the area. This should be done to avoid exposure to aerosols.
2. Read the risk assessment.
3. Contact any specialists for advice, such as the occupational health service, infection clinic or the biosafety administrator.
4. Decontaminate, if possible. Never let the cleaning staff decontaminate! They do not have the expertise required.

Commom faciliities and labs in Biomedicum

Permits and risk assessment.

Biosafety at Karolinska Institutet.

Chemical safety

Karolinska Institutet conducts many chemically and environmentally hazardous activities. Chemical handling is surrounded by many laws, rules and regulations - both from Sweden and the EU - covering work environment as well as external environment issues. The purpose of these regulations is to create a safe work environment, to protect the external environment and to ensure a sustainable development.

Room for handling CMR-classified chemicals in Biomedicum.

Read about Chemical safety at Karolinska Institutet and KI's Emergency procedure for largers spills of hazardous chemicals.

There are a number of hazardous chemicals requiring special handling - Substances with special rules, prohibition or permit requirements.

Barcodes and purchases of chemicals

A barcode system for identification and registration of chemicals will increase the efficiency of handling chemicals and improve the chemical safety.

All chemicals in Biomedicum will have a barcode with information about name, CAS number, quantity and storage location. This provides a continuously updated list in KLARA of all chemicals, for instance information of storage location, which is extremely important in case of fire or an accident.

All chemicals must be labelled with a barcode before they are relocated. All storage spaces in Biomedicum will be labelled with a barcode, which means that relocated chemicals can quickly be registered at a new storage location.

If chemicals are to be stored in other places, please contact FM Helpdesk for help with generating a new barcode.

When purchasing new chemicals, the user places an order in KLARA's purchase module, which also indicates the storage location. A purchaser at FM, will regularly compile all orders and send them to the respective supplier. Upon delivery, the chemicals labelled with a barcode prior transported to the user. 

The purchase of chemicals via KLARA will be available as from October 1, 2018. In the meantime, you may order your chemicals in the ordinary way. Please note that the chemicals you order will upon arrival need barcodes. You may print them yourself or contact FM's help desk for assistance.

Chemical representatives in Biomedicum

KLARA chemical register

According to the law (AFS 2014:43 and SFS 1998:901) all organizations and companies must keep a register of chemical products and biotechnical organisms that may pose a risk to health and/or environment.

At Karolinska Institutet, this registry is conducted in KLARA and kept up to date by an annual inventory at the beginning of each year.

Log in KLARA

Fire safety routines

  • DAILY: Evacuation routes should be kept clear and problems with emergency showers, fire blankets or fire extinguishers should be reported to the fire safety supervisor.
    Responsible: All staff
  • QUARTERLY: Inspection of emergency routes, emergency signs, emergency showers and fire blankets. Ensuring that fire extinguishers are checked. Any problems are reported to the fire safety supervisor
    Responsible: The fire safety controllers
  • ANNUALLY: External party revisions of fire extinguishers.
    Responsible: Central administration at Karolinska Institutet and Akademiska Hus.

Supervisors and controllers

Fire safety:

to be confirmed

Flammable goods:

to be confirmed

Safety coordinators for fire safety:

Property owner Akademiska Hus

See also Fire safety at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska Institutet's fire safety rules.

Handling of gas

Access to this room is restricted. Contact FM if you need access to the  premises.

Carbon dioxide (CO2), Nitrogen (N2), Oxygen (O2) and Carbogen (CO2 + O2) are gases that will be centrally provided in Biomedicum.

Other/special gases will be delivered in gas flasks to the gas flask storage room in your quarter. From this storage room, there will be tubings to your lab bench so that correct gas is delivered.

When a gas flask is about to run empty, a message will automatically be sent to FM, who will replace the empty bottle with a new one.

Contact FM Helpdesk for more information.

Lab coats

Lab coats to be autoclaved

  • If you need clean but autoclaved labcoats, send a ticket via FM Helpdesk to order autoclaved lab coats.
  • If you have a contaminated labcoat that needs to be autoclaved (decontaminated) prior to being washed, place it in a autoclave bag and label with name, quarter and the date.

label for items to be autoclaved (Biomedicum)

Until Karolinska Institutet signs a frame agreement with a supplier of laundry services, we will be using the lab coats that each department brings along.

  • Dirty lab coats will be placed in the waste management room and transported to floor 2 by FM-staff.
  • Clean lab coats will be placed in the room for clean lab glass ware on each floor.
  • Place a ticket using the category Dish washing and lab coats if you need autoclaved lab coats.

Lab glass

There is a central lab washing facility in Biomedicum.

  • Place used lab glass ware in the waste room in your quarter.
  • FM will collect all used lab glass ware from the quarters and transport it to the central dish washing unit on floor 2 on a daily basis.
  • Cleaned and, if needed, sterilized lab glass ware will be placed in the storage room (one per floor).
  • If you have group-specific lab glass ware, place it in a ‘container’ marked with your name and quarter. This will ensure that you will receive the same glass ware.

Follow special instructions if the lab glass ware is contaminated and needs to be autoclaved prior to dish washing. In the lab where the lab glass is used, place the contaminated lab glass in an autoclave bag and seal with autoclave tape. Only then can the bag be placed in the container marked ‘To be autoclaved’ in the waste room. 

Items to be autoclaved

Pipette tips, tubes, tools, solutions, etc. to be autoclaved

  • Place item in an autoclave bag
  • label with name, quarter and the date when you need it.
  • Put the bag in designated place in the room for clean lab glass ware (one per floor).

label for items to be autoclaved (Biomedicum)

If it is done prior to noon, it will be delivered back the same day.

Laboratory Safety Test

In order to further improve the safety in our laboratory environment, everyone working in Biomedicum will have to pass a Laboratory safety test. The introduction test has been developed to ensure that everyone working in the premises or the laboratories at Karolinska Institutet has the same basic understanding of safety.

More information on the Laboratory Safety Test can be found on the Staff portal.

Liquid nitrogen and dry ice

Users register an errand in the Help desk, where the needed volume and delivery date are stated. FM will transport the liquid nitrogen via the prioritized elevator to the user.

Dry-ice (blocks and/or pellets) are kept available on level 2. Small quantities can be picked up by the users when needed. Larger quantities can be ordered separately and delivered to the desired internal address.

Low temperature freezer storage facility in Biomedicum.

Narcotics and pharmaceuticals

Narcotics and pharmaceuticals can only be ordered by a ‘Läkemedelsföreståndare’ who has received a delegation from the Head of department.

When ordering narcotics and pharmaceuticals, the veterinarian must approve and initiate the order. The number of the current ethical permit of the preparation concerned must be clearly stated.

Radiation protection

All work-related activities with radioactive substances or technical devices capable of generating ionising radiation must be carried out in accordance with the Swedish Radiation Protection Act (1988:220), the Radiation Protection Ordinance (1988:293), Regulations from the Swedish Radiation Protection Authority and local radiation protection rules.

Radioactive facilities in Biomedicum.

Read Karolinska Institutet's rules and guidelines on Radiation protection.

Strålsäkerhetsmyndigheten / Swedish Radiation Safety Authority


In Biomedicum we have special taps for clean water that are placed in the room for apparatus. The water has the same or even higher quality than MilliQ-water.

It is not allowed to install old MilliQ-machines. This will ‘destroy’ the clean water.

If you need autoclaved water – use a pre-sterilized bottle designated for water only, that can be found in the room for clean lab glass ware. Fill it with clean water and follow the procedure described above for Items to be autoclaved.

Waste Management

Read more on Waste management specific to Biomedicum.

Consult Karolinska Institutet's rules and guidelines for Laboratory waste.

Useful tips

Waste baskets

To ensure a safe transport of different material within and between quarters, there are baskets available in the waste room in your quarter.

Remember to keep the basket clean and wipe it of if it´s gets contaminated. Put it back in the waste room when you are done.

Black waste basket for safe transport of waste