The Department of Biomedicine
Laboratory safety

Work environment award for our SAFETY ZONE

The SAFETY ZONE is a bright yellow wall featuring equipment you may need in case of an emergency. The wall has raised the level of laboratory safety at the Department and has therefore been awarded this year's work environment award from the Faculty of Medicine.

The SAFETY ZONE at the Department of Biomedicine is hard to miss.
Margarethe Bittins

Main content

The wall is located centrally on each floor of the Department. It is also in the same location on all floors so that it is easy to find. The wall features equipment that can be used for chemical spills, fires, stab and wounds and cuts, refers to sources of information and has an emergency telephone. Its location and design with bright contrasting colors lets users remember where they can find help in case of an accident.

The concept was developed by the committee for health, safety and environment at the Department, after the landline telephones had been removed from the laboratories. In 2018, the University of Bergen switched to an online telephony solution, which meant that the laboratories lost an important aspect of laboratory safety: the ability to call for help in the event of an emergency.

The safety delegates wanted a telephone that any employee could use in case of an accident. It had to be placed in an easily accessible place, and had to be noticeable and memorable.

Since about half of the users at the Department of Biomedicine are not Norwegian-speaking, it is obvious that all information must also be available in both Norwegian and English. The SAFETY ZONE is therefore also called SIKRESONEN.

A little over a year after the walls were painted yellow, many visitors have been inspired, and the concept is spreading to several laboratories in the Bergen area. The Faculty of Medicine will now introduce such walls at several departments, the Department of Biosciences has created a similar wall, Haukeland Hospital is interested in it, and even companies from the oil industry have stopped by to look at the safety zone.