A science laboratory is an inherently dangerous place, with fire hazards, dangerous chemicals, and extremely risky procedures. If one does not want to have an accident in the lab, it’s imperative to follow lab safety rules and procedures. Unlike assignments that you can quickly get done by experts from sites like homeworkdoer.org, as a science student you will need to perform experiments on your own. Therefore, we have compiled a few tips on how to ensure safety while in the science lab.
Follow the instructions
Whether it’s listening to your lecturer or lab supervisor or simply following a laid down procedure in a manual, it’s critical to listen, pay attention, and be familiar with all the steps that you are required to follow, from start to finish, before you begin. If you are unclear about any point or have questions, make sure they are answered before starting, even if it’s a question about a step that comes later on in the protocol.
Ensure you know how to use all lab equipment involved before you begin. This is one of the most important rules because if you don’t follow it, you endanger yourself and others in the lab. You will most likely ruin your experiment and you put the lab at risk of an accident, which could damage equipment as well as harm people, you included. Supposing you are an instructor you could get fired or if you’re a student you could get suspended from school.
Know the Location of Safety Equipment
In the event something goes wrong, it’s important to know the location of where the safety equipment is and how to use them. It’s a good idea to periodically check equipment just in case in order to confirm they are available and to make sure they are all in working order. For example, does water actually come out of the safety shower sprinklers? Is the water in the eye wash clean in case you need to use it?
When you are not sure where safety equipment is located, seek assistance from your instructor immediately. Review the lab safety signs and look for them before starting the experiment.
Dress for the Lab
Dressing for the lab is a safety rule because your clothing is one of your best forms of protection against an accident. For any science lab experiment, wear covered shoes, long pants, and keep your hair up so it can’t fall into your experiment or a flame.
Make sure you wear protective gear, as required. The basic protective gear for science labs includes a lab coat and safety goggles. In some occasions you may also need gloves, hearing protection, and other items, depending on the nature and type of the experiment.
Don’t Eat or Drink anything in the Laboratory
Save the snacking for the canteen, or your room, not the lab. Don’t eat or drink in the science laboratory. You should not store your food or beverages in the same refrigerator that contains experiments equipment, chemicals, or cultures.
There is too much risk of chemical contamination with your food. You could touch it with a hand that is coated with chemicals or pathogens which is dangerous even if you thoroughly washed your hands.
You could even set it down on a lab bench that has residue from past experiments.
Having drinks in the lab not only risks your health but it risks your experiment too. You could spill a drink on your research experiment or lab notebook.
Eating and drinking in the lab is also a form of distraction. If you are eating, you aren’t concentrating on your work and you expose yourself and others to likely accidents.
As a habit, If you’re used to drinking liquids in the lab, you might find yourself accidentally reaching for and drinking the wrong liquid which is very dangerous considering the hazardous chemicals found in a science lab. This is especially likely if you do not label your glassware or used lab glassware as dishes.