A laboratory is a place where new researches and experiments are an inherent part of their existence. But apart from being a Mecca of innovations and discoveries, laboratories are also a place where accidents can occur easily due to the risks involved in working with equipment, chemicals, and other hazardous substances.
If you want to avoid frequent accidents, you must set up a set of safety rules to be followed. Here are the 5 most necessary rules that should be on your lab guideline checklist.
In order to prevent self-injuries, the most important thing to remember is to dress up safely. Covered shoes, tied up hair, covered sleeves, and long pants are a must for any lab. Lab coats and safety goggles protect your body from direct contact with dangerous materials. Besides, you may need specific protective gear like gloves, face masks or similar items depending on the nature of your work in the lab. Majority of labs provide such gear to all staff working with science equipment.
There should be safety signs well displayed in the lab near every such room or equipment which has a dangerous threat. You should be well aware of the meanings of standard safety signs as they also inform about the location of safety equipment. For example, you should know where to head for first aid, where the fire extinguisher is located or how the water sprinklers can be switched on. Safety drills should regularly be conducted to train lab staff and to keep a check on the working condition of safety equipment.
Avoid Food and Beverages in Lab
Snacking inside the lab can be potentially dangerous. For instance, you might keep snacks on a lab table where there was experimental residue, or you might have stored your snack box in the same fridge which houses chemicals or cultures. Such practice can contaminate food, so avoid bringing snacks in the lab. Similarly, if you are sipping a drink while experimenting, you could accidentally spill it over your science laboratory equipment, or you may pick up the wrong bottle, causing dangerous consequences. Make it a rule to consume food and drinks only outside the lab.
Proper Disposal of Lab Waste
Another important guideline to be followed is about waste disposal. You should know what to do with the waste material after you have done your experiment. Chemicals should be categorized whether they can be dumped in the drain or disposed of in some specific way. Check for autoclave requirements for cultures. Broken glassware or needles need to be disposed of carefully as well as recyclable waste.
Last but not the least; you need to follow all the given instructions carefully. Listen to your instructor/lab supervisor, read manual and pay attention to all lab rules so that you are prepared before you begin. Make it a point to clarify all your queries beforehand.
Follow these rules to ensure your own protection and as well as lab safety.