4 Laboratory Safety Tips You Must Follow

The laboratory is a tricky place to be around especially for the first time. It may be your first job as a lab assistant (though that means you already have some lab knowledge) or it may be your first class in high school or campus. Either way, safety in the laboratory cannot be emphasized enough. Here are 4 safety rules you need to follow to steer clear of any accident in the lab.

 

Safety first!

 

Before even going into the lab make sure that you have met the basic lab requirements. These include having safety goggles, a while laboratory coat preferably knee length, closed shoes, safety gloves, mask, tied up hair and all dangling accessories such as earrings or necklaces removed. This is because if you leave your hair free, or your extended chain on, it may catch fire or get tangled with some equipment causing you harm. Therefore, to avoid this, just have your safety gear on. The goggles, gloves closed shoes and lab coat protect you from the damage of possible spillage. Make sure that you also locate where all the fire extinguishers and emergencies are so that you can be safe in the incident of a fire.

 

Do not leave any fire unattended

 

If you are in a class and you are conducting experiments using the Bunsen burner, make sure never to leave any blazing flame unattended. You may need to get something from the shelf or another work table, so you decide to reduce the flame to a low burn, but something may go wrong. If you do not have a lab partner or assistant to leave watching the fire, then put it off altogether. After all, better safe than sorry.

 

Ask for help

 

Never go into a laboratory alone unless you are a professional who knows how to handle the lab and themselves. However if you are a student or it is your first time, never stay in the laboratory alone. Always make sure you are in the company of someone with more knowledge and experience. Do not conduct experiments on your own, do not mix reactants for fun or out of curiosity and when dealing with volatile chemicals, always have your face mask on.

 

No food or drink in the lab

 

The lab is a nest of organisms, bacterial, viral and fungal alike. Although it may be disinfected regularly, it is still very unsafe to bring and consume food or drinks in the laboratory. Some germs are airborne and once you open your food up to them, it may become contaminated, thus causing you health problems. Therefore, if you are indeed hungry, make sure to first wash your hands with soap before leaving the laboratory, eat away from the lab, and rewash your hands before going back in.

 

The lab can be a fun place to be especially for people who love the sciences and practical experiments, but it could also be hazardous especially for people who might not take as much care as needed. Always keep safety first before going into the lab.

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