Laboratory safety rules

A laboratory is a place where what you read in the text books can actually be felt. As conducting experiments is not the same as reading from a book, every care and precaution should be observed while working in a lab. Following the below mentioned safety rules can prevent a lot of accidents and mishaps.

Clothing

When working in a lab, it is important that you pay attention to the clothes you wear. Listed below are points that you need to consider when in a lab.

  • Tie up long hair.
  • Do not wear extra loose and baggy clothes.
  • Never enter a laboratory wearing dangling accessories
  • Always wear a lab coat.
  • Safety gear like safety goggles and gloves should always be worn while working in the laboratory.
  • Contact lens should never be worn in a laboratory.
  • Any type of open shoes shall not be worn.
  • Do not wear clothing made of fabric that catches fire easily.
  • Use masks whenever necessary.

Food and beverages

Food and beverages are prohibited in the laboratory. Also, it should be remembered that laboratory glassware is for conducting experiments only; they should never be used as containers for food.

General guidelines

  • Keep your working desk neat.
  • Do not touch chemicals that you do not know of or do not require.
  • Handle lab equipment carefully.
  • Do not inhale gases as they can be dangerous.
  • Do not pipette with your mouth.
  • Use chemicals judiciously.
  • While heating or pouring acids maintain a good distance with the burner and acid bottle respectively.
  • Maintain caution while using flammable substances especially near heat.

What to do in case of accidents and mishaps

While some chemicals may not pose any hazard to you, some can be really dangerous and have carcinogenic ingredients. Therefore, it is always advisable to take every care while handling chemicals. If you spill some chemical, immediately wash your hands with water and inform the person in charge. Check whether the chemical is toxic or not, if it is toxic you might require medical help. Also, handle acids carefully as they can cause permanent damage.

In case a fire breaks out, do not panic and inform everyone about it. Do not try to extinguish the fire all by yourself, take help of the person in charge of the lab. It's better to be safe than sorry!

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