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"I'm beginning to wonder if our terms of reference may be a little too broad...?"


That's Not My Job!
(a fable about taking responsibility)

"This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done."

Maintenance tasks

All group members share various duties including taking care of the lab equipment and instruments, filling solvent bottles and liquid nitrogen. The general rule is, of course, to leave something in the same state you'd like to find it: clean, tidy, and ready to go. The group has a Slack channel for maintenance; contact Scott if you need to be added to it.

If something breaks and you don't know how to fix it, consult with one or more of Mathias/Scott. If they can't fix the problem, they will open a ticket with Ori or the electrical shop.

Research data backup

The group has its own research share, which you should regularly back your data up to. Instructions (pdf).


Consult UVic's guidelines for correct use.

Mass spectrometers

Ballast pump for 15 minutes weekly. Police use of instrument, ensure users are filling out logbook, leaving instrument tidy, etc.

Big glovebox

A paper copy of the manual () is in the office and a copy is available on DVD.

  1. Preparation () of atmosphere indicator (). This will be stored in the glovebox in an Erlenmeyer flask with a ground glass stopper but no grease. The material does not need to be filtered as indicated in the prep.
  2. Bi-weekly testing of atmosphere, or when appropriate if a problem is suspected. You do not need to use very much! Add approximately 0.5 ml of indicator to a small vial and allow it to evaporate. If the solid left behind is green or blue you are good to go. If it is yellow or orange or red the box will need to be regenerated.
  3. Regeneration of atmosphere when needed (process can be found on page 48, Chapter 10, of the manual. Seems to be about once a month during heavy use).
  4. Periodic tidying and clean-up when necessary.
  5. General troubleshooting and problem solving (Chapter 21 of the manual lists various error codes along with possible cause and first steps to fixing the problem).


Weekly task of emptying the sonicator, remove the basket and rinse/wipe down the basket and the sonicator with IPA, and refilling with fresh distilled water.

Small glovebox

As for the big glovebox, above (manual ). The regeneration tank and regulator are kept by the big glovebox, so they need to be disconnected and wheeled to the MS room. Make a connection with the regeneration line and start the process - make sure this is last thing in the evening, so regeneration can complete overnight and the cylinder can be removed first thing in the morning.


A paper copy of the manual () is in the office and a copy is available on DVD. The McIndoe Group is in charge of the toluene and dichloromethane lines.

Gas cylinders

Delivery of new cylinders from stores as needed. This job is best done on a schedule: once a week, take down all empties and bring up replacements, including the spares. The person whose job this is needs to set up a time for this to be done and to recruit help from other lab members as needed.

Two relevant documents: the Occupational Health Safety and Environment's Compressed Gas Cylinders: Safe Handling and Use and Step-by-step Transport and Connection of Compressed Gases.


Weekly visits to stores to replenish basic supplies.

General lab: Gloves: S,M,L (xS if you wear them) at least 1 box, add another one if almost empty. Needles: 1 box. Syringes: 1, 3, 5, 10 mL all non-rubber buy another box if less than 20. Kimwipes: buy more if less than 2 boxes are remaining. Paper towels: buy more  if less than 2 packs remaining. 

MS lab: Gloves: M,L 1 box each. Pipette tips: buy more when less than 50 remain (make sure to buy the 1.5 mL ones)

Return solvent carriers on the way.

Waste management

Organize the pick-up of waste from the lab. Detailed instructions here (). Keep the waste area clean and empties disposed of. Keep the chemical room clean.


File all MSDSs. Note that MSDSs are also available online at http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/safety-center.html.


Manage the inventory entries on Quartzy, and train new users.

New users: 

Register yourself on quartzy.com or contact inventory manager to get invite to join the McIndoe group. Log in before trying any of the steps below!

Inventory search:

  1. Click on the inventory tab on the top of the page
  2. Use the search function and/or other filters on the left side to check if your product is there (highest chance if you search on CAS# chemical name may not be the one you put in)
  3. If you finish a compound look it up in the quartzy directory and delete it from there and if needed order a new supply clicking the blue request bottom on the top right after you open your compound. Make sure to check on the price and quantity as described before. 


  1. Add request (blue bottom at top left) 
  2. Fill out as much detail as possible but at least Vendor, Catalog #, Item Name, unit size and unit prize (in CAD!)
  3. click add request
  4. check periodically to see if your request moves from added to approved to order and eventually received
  5. Once your order has arrived add the CAS# and storage location. Go to the inventory tab at the top of the page. Your chemical should be listed first (new ones are on top) click on it and add the location under location and the CAS# under specs.  

Base baths

Glassware cleaning protocol (). See SOPs page for how to change a base bath. That is the job of the base bath person.When you use the base bath, you should first remove everything in there, rinse and leave on drying rack.

Vacuum pumps

Any vacuum pump you're responsible for needs ballasting regularly, and the oil changed when it becomes very dark in colour. Ballasting is just allowing air to leak in to the pump; the pump becomes hot and any residual solvents are purged from the oil. Do this weekly for about 15 minutes; just turn the switch indicated below; the pump should start running noisily.



Keep the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer stocked with resin and functioning.

3D printer


Keep the Bruker ALPHA flow IR maintained and functioning.

Flow IR

UV/Vis and fluorimeter

Keep the Waters 2996 Diode Array Detector maintained and functioning. And the fluorimeter. And the portable UV/Vis.



Police the use of glassware in the lab, i.e. make sure people are being good citizens and cleaning their glassware and putting it away.

© JS McIndoe, Department of Chemistry, University of Victoria  ·  Updated 8 January, 2020