Having a good understanding of safety precautions inside the laboratory is a very first step to keep laboratory safety.
If you ignore these safety precautions, then you will end with an unexpected injury or accident.
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So, always make sure that you already understand and implement all of these safety precautions inside the laboratory.
Do not forget to remind other workers with safety slogans for the laboratory. They are effective and simple to use.
Safety Precautions Inside the Laboratory
The safety precautions below are classified into several parts based on the category.
- Make sure that all chemicals in the laboratory have proper labels.
- Never use chemicals, gases, or reagents without labels.
- Never mix chemicals or reagents with no information at hand about their reactivity. This is one of the most important safety precautions in experiments.
- Always wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for handling chemicals in the laboratory.
- Do not wear damaged PPE or PPE that has expired.
- Understand the nature of each chemical used in the laboratory from its MSDS. Ensure you hold only updated MSDS.
- Make sure chemical spill kits always available.
- Make sure chemical emergency equipment such as an eye washer and a safety shower are available and can be accessed easily.
- Do not dispose of used chemicals or reagents in the same container without knowing their reactivity.
- Always follow the chemical storing guide from its MSDS.
- Provide a storage cabinet for each chemical.
- Return to its storage cabinet after every use.
- Utilize secondary containment to prevent spill or leak, as well as protect the cabinet.
- Avoid storing chemicals over your requirement in the laboratory.
- Avoid chemicals from heat source or direct sunshine.
- Chemical in use should be in the fume hood and benchtops.
- Make sure that you have checked glassware compatibility with the chemicals.
- Inspect glassware you use from a crack or flaw before every use.
- Never use crack glassware.
- Discard broken, crack and waste glassware in a special container. Put a clear label on it.
- Contaminated glassware has to be washed before re-use.
- Use cut-resistant hand glove when handling broken glassware to avoid hand injury.
- Never catch drop glassware by hand since it may be broken on your hand.
- Avoid fast cooling or heating against glassware except for borosilicate glassware.
- If you are heating borosilicate glassware, open a small vent to prevent over-pressure and explosion.
- Use an insulated hand glove when handling hot or cold glassware.
- Always use two hands when carrying any glassware, where one hand at the bottom to support the glassware and another hand to hold the glassware.
- Do not carry a breaker by its side and a flask by its neck.
- Prevent glassware from over physical stress. It may break the glassware.
- Do not put contaminated and uncontaminated broken glassware in one container for easy handling.
- The compressed gas cylinder has to be placed on the outside of the laboratory.
- Beware of the compressed gas cylinder. Handling them safely. Get the tips from my previous post Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinder.
- Use proper tubing material and pressure rating for supplying gas from the cylinder to laboratory equipment.
- Close the supply valve from the gas cylinder when you have finished using it.
- Provide a gas detector for alerting gas leaks such as toxic carbon monoxide.
- Schedule a regular check for gas leaking from tubing, connections, etc.
- Never use an electrical cord that is frayed, cracked, or has corroded prong.
- Select explosion proof-type electrical equipment if a flammable material (gas, liquid, dust) is present.
- Before performing any repairing work on the electrical apparatus, turn the power off. Apply a lock-out tag-out procedure to avoid an unintended operation. Unplug the equipment from the electrical outlet. And turn off the circuit breaker.
- Use appropriate protective equipment while working with electric power.
- Only trained workers can work with electrical equipment.
- It is very dangerous to contact any electrical cable or equipment with a wet material or wet hands.
- Never store or use highly flammable liquid or gases near electrical equipment or power source.
- Avoid making any electrical sparks.
Besides the above safety precautions, it is also important to comply with laboratory safety rules and regulations, which are applicable in your industry.
The above safety precautions in the laboratory and laboratory safety rules and regulations are a good combination for making powerful laboratory safety guidelines.