According to Ménard and Trant, “risky practices and a carefree attitude toward safety in science are so standardized that low standards in this area are not troubling or even obvious to those inside.” In an effort to bring about a change in this attitude, we have listed some ground rules and best practices that researchers should follow to ensure a safe laboratory work environment: The importance of laboratory safety cannot be overstated. Scientific laboratories expose researchers to a potentially dangerous environment that presents many dangers: chemical, biological, physical and even radioactive. A review article published in November 2019 by Dana Ménard and John Trant in Nature paints a frightening picture of the general attitude towards laboratory safety. Here are some of the alarming findings of the study: Please note that while this article is intended to cover the most important rules, it is not exhaustive. You should complete it by reading the safety documents provided by your laboratory and making sure you comply with local and national regulations. Since chemistry labs are one of the most common types, these basic safety rules for chemistry labs are relevant for many scientists who are concerned about safely performing joint activities and tasks in an average chemistry lab: in the event of a problem, it is important to know the location of safety equipment and how to use it. It`s a good idea to check the equipment regularly to make sure it`s in order. For example, does the water actually come from the safety shower? Does the water in the washbasin look clean? Perhaps not as common as some of the other laboratory safety rules listed here, many labs use lasers and it`s important to follow some important rules of thumb to avoid injury. In particular, accidents caused by reflection are something that many employees may not think about. A clear set of rules for the use of lasers is essential to ensure that everyone is aware of all hazards and that proper personal protective equipment is worn at all times. Use Bunsen burners only in areas free of combustible materials and chemicals that produce flammable fumes. To further reduce the risk of fire, never leave a burning Bunsen burner unattended and remember to turn off the gas after use. However, a leak is always possible and you should consider using a Bunsen safety burner, regardless of the gas distribution systems.
This solution adds an extra layer of safety as the gas valve closes automatically when the flame is extinguished. Biosafety cabinets (BSCs) of various types are used to protect you, the environment and cabin products from aerosols and contaminants when handling biologically hazardous substances. Before you start working in a BSC, you need to clean and disinfect it and organize your materials in a logical order, from clean to contaminated. Avoid quick and lateral arm movements and move your arms in and out of the closet as little as possible during your experience. When you`re done, remove the cabinet and disinfect it again. For more information, read our article on using a biosecurity cabinet. The biosafety officer must inform you of local laws and laboratory emergency plans and rules before starting work in a new laboratory. If you need to use devices you`ve never worked with before, or if you need to run experiments involving unknown steps, ask a colleague for additional training. Some laboratories use lasers.
If you are one, it is very important to adhere to the safety rules of the laser, so protect yourself from damage or injury. It is important to establish appropriate rules for the use of lasers so that everyone knows the dangers. Smoke cabinets protect you and your laboratory from the fumes and gases produced by volatile chemicals. To ensure safe operation of the trigger, be sure to position your test setup at least 15 cm (6 inches) from the front opening so that you can close the wing immediately if necessary. Keep the wing as low as possible during work, as it serves as a safety shield between you and the chemicals you use. After completing an experiment, place the hazardous materials in a closed container before pulling them out of the trigger and close the wing before leaving.12,13 A strict set of general laboratory safety rules is essential to avoid disasters in the laboratory. Lab Manager recently scoured the security policies of several labs to determine some of the most common lab security rules to help you develop or update a set of policies for your own lab. Of course, safety rules are only effective if they are enforced, which is why solid laboratory management is also so important for a safe laboratory. It is also important to know the right laboratory safety signs and symbols. Define storage areas, make sure aisles, safety exits and safety equipment are not obstructed, and keep your work area clean and tidy. It is very important to keep all laboratory equipment in the right place and understand how to use it correctly.
When working in the laboratory, you should also check the safety features of the laboratory before starting the experiment. Follow the “dress code” and hygiene rules described in this section to protect yourself from hazards and contamination. For anyone working in a testing laboratory, it is important to follow the laboratory`s safety rules. Laboratories are inherently dangerous environments, between toxic chemicals and the risk of fires, there are many things that could go wrong. Follow these guidelines to protect yourself and your team and avoid unfortunate incidents. For your safety and that of others, it is important to leave your experience in the laboratory. Don`t take it home with you. You could have a spill or lose a sample or have an accident.
This is how sci-fi movies begin. In real life, you can hurt someone, cause a fire, or lose your lab privileges. 1. Wear laboratory protective clothing: Be sure to use PPE in the laboratory at all times. Put on a lab coat with full sleeves, closed shoes, and glasses before entering the lab. If you have long hair, it is best to tie and remove it if you work in the laboratory. Find out if you need to wear other protective equipment or remove accessories such as metal watches, rings, etc. for the work you do. Protective clothing not only reduces the risk of damage to the skin and eyes, but also minimizes the possibility of contamination. A particularly important safety rule is to inform a supervisor if and when an accident occurs. Don`t lie about it or try to hide it. If you are cut, exposed to a chemical, bitten by a laboratory animal or spill something, there can be consequences, and the danger is not necessarily just for you.
If you don`t receive care, you could sometimes expose others to a toxin or pathogen. If you don`t admit to an accident, you could cause big problems for your lab. 2. When handling chemicals in the laboratory, it is important to proceed with caution. 10 Laboratory Safety Rules Every researcher should follow 8 minutes of reading time Below are rules that relate to almost all laboratories and should be included in most safety guidelines. They cover what you need to know in an emergency, proper signage, safety equipment, safe use of laboratory equipment and common sense ground rules, and like almost every other workplace, laboratories also contain electronic devices. Electrical safety rules help prevent misuse of electronic instruments, electric shock and other injuries and ensure that damaged equipment, cables or plugs are reported to the competent authorities so that they can be repaired or replaced. Since almost all laboratories use chemicals of one kind or another, chemical safety rules are indispensable. Following these guidelines helps employees avoid spills and other accidents, as well as environmental damage outside the laboratory. These rules also set out a clear procedure that employees must follow in the event of a spill to ensure that it is properly cleaned and that injuries are avoided.
To ensure that your laboratory never makes headlines with headlines such as “Smallpox vials discovered in storage room”, 1 “Anthrax exposure results from a breach of safety protocol”, 2, or “Live poliovirus solution accidentally released into local water”, 3, you should follow the following laboratory safety rules. They apply to all general research laboratories and are based on the principle of containment, which allows you, your colleagues, the environment and the public to protect yourself, the environment and the public from unintentional exposure to biological agents. Another important safety rule is to act responsibly in the lab – don`t play Mad Scientist and mix chemicals randomly to see what happens.