In order to avoid such situations, it is important that you know laboratory equipment and their uses. Here is why.
Correct and Efficient Use
The first and foremost reason why you should know the laboratory apparatus and their uses is to conduct experiments accurately. A simple lapse such as not setting the weighing machine to zero before weighing something will yield inaccurate results. Similarly, some lab equipment has more than an on-off mechanism to start or stop it. You should be familiar with A to Z functioning of an apparatus to ensure you use it the way it is meant to be and without wasting any time or energy.
Each type of lab equipment and chemical requires a specific set of safety norms that you need to follow. For example, proper ventilation is important for handling chemicals which emit hazardous vapours. Each container needs to be properly labelled to know what is inside it. Glassware should be taped with friction tape to avoid breakage due to collision with other lab equipment. Safe handling not only ensures that equipment is properly used but also prolongs its shelf life.
Use of Materials
Each lab equipment is designed to handle only a certain type of material. For instance, a pipet bulb is used to draw a liquid. Now if you try to use it to draw even the tiniest solid material like rice grains, it can stop working. Similarly, flammable liquids need to be stored in a specially assigned cabinet and not in the refrigerator or open shelves. If you don’t use the right equipment for a material, it can damage the equipment and give inaccurate results.
It is advisable to seek advice from your lab instructor to get familiar with common laboratory apparatus. You can even request the lab equipment supplier to give you a demo on how to use the equipment. Always remember to read the manual or instruction booklet that comes with the apparatus to get familiarity with its handling and care while performing the experiments.