Lab Attendant

Job description


The State Laboratory is a scheduled office under the aegis of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, which provides a chemical analytical and advisory service to clients across a range of Government Departments and Offices. The results of its analytical testing are primarily used to:

  • Ensure Ireland’s food and feed meet EU standards and are thus suitable for export and consumption;
  • Support the Revenue in tax collection, particularly in collection of excise duties in the alcohol and motor fuel areas;
  • Support Coroners in investigation of unexplained deaths.


The State Laboratory operates in accordance with a documented quality system based on an international standard for competence of testing laboratories (ISO/IEC 17025) and is accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board for specific areas of work. 


The State Laboratory is an EU National Reference Laboratory for additives for use in animal nutrition, for dioxins and PCBs in food and animal feed, for heavy metals and mycotoxins in animal feed, and for veterinary residues and mycotoxins in food of animal origin.


The State Laboratory has a staff of approximately 100 people who are mainly professional and technical.


The State Laboratory offers flexi-time; car parking; staff restaurant; on-site crèche facility (subject to availability); and a limited local transportation service to / from nearby railway stations at Hazelhatch and Leixlip (Louisa Bridge).   The Backweston Laboratory Campus is also on the No. 67 Dublin Bus Route.


Role and Key Duties


The key duties of the position are to:

§  Receive samples and register them by assigning a unique sample number to each sample. Samples received into the Laboratory are varied – biological samples (blood, urine, etc.), animal feed, fertilisers, animal tissues (liver, kidney), alcoholic beverages, hydrocarbon oils, pharmaceuticals;

§  Prepare samples for analysis following appropriate procedures. Examples are:

o   Grinding and mixing of animal feed and fertiliser samples using grinding              mills;

o   Preparation of animal liver, blood, urine samples using centrifuges and blenders

§  Clean grinding mills, blenders and other sample preparation equipment as required;

§  Follow section sampling handling procedures and dispose of completed samples regularly;

§  Maintain laboratory supplies;

§  Clean dirty glassware following appropriate washing and drying procedures and put away / store clean glassware appropriately;

§  Maintain sample preparation equipment, dishwashers, fridges, freezers;

§  Postal duties;

§  Despatch and return of laundry items;

§  Plan, structure, prioritise and manage the duties assigned by line manager, as appropriate;

§  Participate fully in the Laboratory’s Performance Management and Development System (PMDS)

§  Any other tasks assigned by the Line Manager appropriate to the grade of Laboratory Attendant.


A panel will be formed in order of merit from which candidates may be called as posts arise. The panel created from this competition will expire two years after its establishment.



Please Note:

Candidates who are successful in this competition may be offered posts in other Government Departments/Offices.


Requirements and Attributes

The successful candidate should:

§  Be of good character;

§  Have an interest in working in a laboratory environment which requires good attention to detail, an ability to follow standard operating procedures and a commitment to taking all necessary precautions to prevent contamination or mix-up of samples;

§  Manage own time efficiently and carry out all work in a thorough and organised manner, completing work on time and to a high standard;

§  Be a good team worker and have good interpersonal and communication skills (written and oral) in order to work effectively with colleagues from all parts of the organisation;

§  The ability to work well as part of a team;

§  The ability to provide a high standard of customer service;

§  Have a satisfactory level of IT literacy and be capable of using email and the Laboratory’s Information Management System (LIMS) effectively;

§  Be flexible and willing to adapt, positively contributing to the implementation of change in the Laboratory;

§  Be capable of coming up with practical solutions to work problems; and,

§  Understand the importance of Health & Safety in the workplace and follow all safety guidelines.


Please note: Special working conditions apply:

  • Working with hazardous materials (e.g. samples; laboratory chemicals/agents); [ps1] 
  • Working in an environment where some samples require grinding to a fine powder for testing;
  • Lifting awkward/heavy loads;
  • Working at heights;
  • Working alone and as part of a team;
  • Working outdoors in inclement weather;
  • Working with biological fluids will require Hepatitis B Vaccination;
  • Colour vision test required as part of medical pre-clearance.


Note: all staff are provided with appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and equipment to perform their duties in a safe manner.

The weekly Salary Scale for the position is as follows: (rates effective from 1st October 2018):

1. 423.94 

For further information on this role please contact Gareth Walker Ayers on 014744673 or 

Following your application for this specific role, Sigmar may contact you regarding other positions that we feel you may be suitable for. If you do not wish to be contacted about other opportunities please let us know. For further information please refer to the Privacy Statement on our website.