Do you work in a lab?
The lab is where the magic happens, but it’s also one of the most dangerous places to work. You need to be aware of your surroundings and follow laboratory safety protocols every single day.
You are probably aware that safety is important, but do you know why it’s so essential to follow certain rules and procedures? It all comes down to protecting yourself from the dangers of working with chemicals.
If you don’t take the proper precautions, there are some serious risks involved.
Be sure to read this article if you are working with chemicals or other hazardous materials because it could save your life! It doesn’t matter what kind of experiment you are running – always make sure that you have an emergency plan and know how to protect yourself from any potential dangers.
Never take shortcuts when it comes to staying safe in the lab, even it if means slowing down on experiments so that everything goes smoothly and safely. This is important stuff people!
With this in mind, keep reading to discover our 8 top safety tips for your research lab today!
1. Always Wear the Right Clothing for Your Experiments
In the laboratory, you will often be working with hazardous chemicals and substances. Chemicals such as these can cause chemical burns and other injuries if they come into direct content with skin or eyes.
To protect your body from any of these hazards, lab coats should always be worn when in the lab. If there is a risk of splashes while you are working, face shields should also be worn to protect your eyes.
If you need help sourcing the right equipment for your lab, please visit Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies. They will ensure you and your staff are always safe.
2. If You Have Long Hair, Tie It Back.
Long hair can pose a safety hazard in the lab because it could accidentally come into contact with chemicals or sparks from Bunsen burners. To prevent this from happening, if you have long hair, always tie it back when in the lab.
This is especially important if you are working with volatile chemicals such as ethanol and acetone.
3. If Your Hands Get Wet While You Work, Dry Them Thoroughly Before Removing Your Gloves
Wet hands increase the risk of injury to both yourself and others in the vicinity of laboratory accidents. By removing a glove that is covered in wet chemicals, you could contaminate others or yourself with the chemical on the glove.
This also increases your risk of injury due to a puncture wound if need be.
4. When Working With Corrosive Chemicals, Always Check Equipment Before Use
Corrosive chemicals are acids and bases that burn skin upon contact. Some corrosive chemicals react violently with organic material. In order to avoid the risk of injury from corrosive chemicals, always check that equipment such as pipettes or flasks are empty before use. If the container is corroded or leaking, it should not be used.
5. When Heating Chemicals on a Bunsen Burner, Stand Back While They Are Being Heated
When using a Bunsen burner, stand back after placing the chemicals in it and allow them to heat up. While there is no risk of an explosion when doing this (because chemicals generally need air to combust), the area around the Bunsen burner could get very hot and cause serious burns if you are too close.
6. Ensure Your Lab Bench Is Covered With a Mat to Prevent Slipping
Your bench should be covered with a non-slip rubber mat to make sure you don’t accidentally slip and fall when carrying out experiments. A wet floor sign should also be placed on the ground if there are any spillages of liquids that can cause someone to slip.
7. Turn Off the Bunsen Burner Once You Have Finished Using It
After using a Bunsen burner, always turn it off before leaving the laboratory so that there is no risk of anyone getting burned by accident. Leaving the gas supply on when it is not in use can cause leaks and explosions if there are any other problems with the gas equipment.
8 . When Moving Chemicals, Be Sure to Pour Them Away Properly
Many accidents occur in laboratories because chemicals are not handled correctly. For example, if you spill a chemical on the floor, make sure it is cleared up before someone accidentally slips on it because of your carelessness. You should always clean chemicals that have been used by pouring them back into their original containers.
The laboratory can be a very dangerous place if proper safety precautions are not followed, so remember the points above in order to keep yourself and others safe.
Want More Information on Laboratory Safety?
If you are a researcher, the chances are high that you have had some form of training in laboratory safety. But what if your lab is not set up with the latest and greatest equipment? Or worse yet, what if your facility does not even meet basic health codes?
Laboratory safety should never be taken for granted by any scientist or research professional. To help ensure that all researchers stay safe while working on important projects, we have a blog full of helpful articles to aid you on your journey.
Be sure to check out our blog today and share any articles that you have found useful or may help someone you know!