The scientific laboratory is an inherently dangerous place, with fire hazards, dangerous chemicals and risky procedures. Nobody wants to have an accident in the laboratory, so you have to follow the safety rules in the laboratory .
01 out of 10
The most important safety rule of laboratory
Follow the instructions! Whether listening to your instructor or lab supervisor, or following a procedure in a book, listening, paying attention, and being familiar with all of the steps from start to finish before you begin. If you are not clear on one point or have questions, ask them to answer before you start, even if it is a later step in the protocol. Know how to use all laboratory equipment before you start.
Why is this the most important rule? If you do not follow it:
- You endanger yourself and others in the laboratory.
- You could easily ruin your experience.
- You put the lab in danger of an accident, which could damage the equipment and hurt people.
- You could be suspended (student) or dismissed (researcher).
Now that you know the most important rule, let’s move on to other safety rules in the lab …
02 out of 10
Know the location of the safety equipment
In case something goes wrong, it is important to know the location of the safety equipment and how to use it. It is a good idea to periodically check the equipment to make sure it is in working order. For example, does the water actually come out of the safety shower? Is the water in the eyes clean?
You do not know where the security equipment is? Review the safety signs in the lab and research them before starting an experiment.
03 out of 10
Safety Rule – Dress for the Lab
Dress for the laboratory. It’s a safety rule because your clothes are one of your best forms of protection against an accident. For any scientific laboratory, wear covered shoes, long pants and keep your hair so they do not fall into your experience or into a flame.
Be sure to wear protective equipment as needed. Basics include a lab coat and safety glasses. You may also need gloves, hearing protection and other items, depending on the nature of the experience.
04 out of 10
Do not eat or drink in the laboratory
Save your snacking for the office, not the lab. Do not eat or drink in the scientific laboratory. Do not store your food or beverages in the same refrigerator that contains experiments, chemicals, or cultures.
- There is too much risk of contaminating your food. You can touch it with a chemically or pathogen-coated hand or place it on a laboratory bench that contains residue from past experiences.
- Having drinks in the lab also risks your experience. You could spill a drink on your research or lab notebook.
- Eating and drinking in the laboratory is a form of distraction. If you eat, you do not focus on your work. It’s dangerous.
- If you are used to drinking liquids in the laboratory, you could accidentally look for and drink the wrong liquid. This is especially true if you have not labeled your glassware or used laboratory glassware as dishware (2 other security errors).
05 out of 10
Do not taste or sniff chemicals
Not only should you not bring food or drinks, but you should not taste or smell any chemicals or organic crops already in the lab. The best way to know what’s in a container is to label it, so make a habit of making a label for the glassware before you add the chemical.
Eating or smelling certain chemicals can be dangerous or even deadly. Do not do that!
06 out of 10
Do not play mad scientist in the lab
Another important safety rule is to act responsibly in the laboratory. Do not play Mad Scientist, randomly mixing chemicals to see what’s going on. The result could be an explosion, fire or release of toxic gases.
Similarly, the laboratory is not the place to play the horse. You could break glassware, annoy others, and potentially cause an accident.
07 out of 10
Safety Rule – Properly dispose of laboratory waste
An important rule of the lab is to know what to do with your experience when it is over. Before starting an experiment, you must know what to do in the end. Do not let your mess with the next person to clean.
- Are chemicals safe to dump into the drain? If not, what are you doing with them?
- If you have organic crops, is it safe to clean with soap and water or do you need an autoclave to kill dangerous organisms?
- Do you have broken glass or needles? Know the protocol for eliminating “sharp objects”.
08 out of 10
Safety Rule – Know What to Do with Laboratory Accidents
Accidents happen, but you can do your best to prevent them and have a plan to follow when they occur. Most labs have a plan to follow in the event of an accident. Follow the rules.
A particularly important safety rule is to tell a supervisor that an accident has occurred. Do not lie about it or try to hide it. If you get cut, if you are exposed to a chemical, if you are bitten by a laboratory animal or if you spill something, it could have consequences. The danger is not only for you. If you do not receive care, you could sometimes expose others to a toxin or pathogen. In addition, if you do not admit an accident, your laboratory could have a lot of problems.
Real laboratory accidents
09 out of 10
Safety Rule – Leave Lab Experiments
It is important for your safety and the safety of others to leave your laboratory experience. Do not bring him home. You could have a spill or lose a specimen or have an accident. This is how science fiction movies begin. In real life, you can hurt someone, cause a fire or lose your lab privileges.
While you should leave lab experiments at the lab, if you want to do science at home, there are many safe science experiments that you can try.
Reader Favorites – Science Experiments at Home
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Security Rule – Do not experiment on oneself
Another way that sci-fi movies often start is with a scientist who is conducting an experiment on herself. No, you will not get superpowers. No, you will not discover the secret of eternal youth. No, you will not cure cancer. Or, if you do, it will be at great personal risk.
Science means using the scientific method. You need data on several topics to draw conclusions. Experiencing yourself is dangerous and it’s a bad science.
Now, if the zombie apocalypse starts and you have nothing to lose, this and other safety rules in the lab are not so important. In normal life, where you want good grades, successful experiences, job security, and no trip to the emergency room, follow the rules!
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