Any previous laboratory experience will be useful as you begin your practical work however before using any item of equipment you need to be shown the correct way to book/set up and run the equipment by experienced staff as it will save you time in the long run and avoids costly breakages.
Your supervisor will arrange for you to be shown the equipment which you will be using in your laboratory work. It is important for lab safety that appropriate COSSH (control of substances hazardous to health) forms are read and signed. These forms cover all laboratory protocols and document how to work safely, providing a list of chemicals and other potential hazards. The Laboratory Safety Officer has original forms and there are duplicates in your laboratory. If you will be using procedures that are not covered by existing COSSH forms it is essential that a form is drafted and signed as soon as possible. Your supervisor and/or nominee should be able to help in this respect. There are additional safety requirements for work that involves use of animals or radioactivity. Again your supervisor should ensure that appropriate documentation is available to you. For radioactive work, there are University courses which should be attended.