The Things You Need To Know To Stay Safe in the Laboratory

Laboratories are essential for the future of science and technology. With that said, they shouldn’t be taken for granted. All the people working in laboratories work hard to get the desired results, and they must be safe along the way, especially when working with potentially dangerous equipment. Read on to learn the things you need to know to stay safe in the laboratory.

Make Safety and Emergency Equipment Readily Available

To keep things safe in a laboratory, you’ll need a lot of safety equipment. However, ease of access is more important than merely having that equipment. For example, if everyone in the lab needs to wear safety goggles, then the goggle cabinet should be in an easy-to-access area, and obstacles shouldn’t ever block it.

In addition to accessing safety equipment, it should be in a convenient location. Suppose someone accidentally splashes a chemical on themselves or in their eyes. In that case, the eye wash and safety shower should never be too far away or obstructed by boxes and other equipment. A few seconds can make a significant difference in accidents like this.

Use and Look for Warning Signs

Within a laboratory, you’ll likely have many blank walls to avoid distractions from the important experiments at hand. However, warning signs may hang on the walls. If you’re a lab manager, you may want to consider putting up some warning signs to ensure everyone in the lab is safe and knows how to recognize a dangerous situation. Posting warning signs is an important precaution when working with diode lasers. Without them, someone could accidentally stumble into the area without wearing the proper protective gear.

Similarly, if your lab works with toxic chemicals, store them in a safe place. Establish signage indicating the necessary caution when handling them or retrieving chemicals. You shouldn’t be careless with anything in the lab, so you must reiterate that point when dealing with more harmful chemicals and substances.

Keep Food and Drinks Out of the Lab

In addition to safety equipment and warning signs, you’ll need to keep food and drinks far away from the lab. Not only can the smallest particles interrupt some delicate lab processes and interfere with results, but the lab could contaminate your food. A spilled coffee on a notebook is not the end of the world, but hydrofluoric acid making its way into your sandwich or drink can send you to the hospital. Not to mention that eating and drinking in the lab can distract you from your tasks and lead to significant mistakes.

Stay safe in the laboratory by taking these tips to heart. A laboratory puts out a lot of important data, but to get there, you must work with dangerous items and machines. At the end of the day, safety is more important than the data. If you’re being safe, you’ll likely get the results you want.

By Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.