Safety Measures to Take in a Science Laboratory
Especially for science students in University or college laboratory experiments and practices are going to be part of your learning, also at final year, you will likely do a project that will involve practical. It is important for you to know what and what not to do when you’re in the laboratory because there are things that you can do in a laboratory and can lead to accidents you know fire outbreak, explosion, burns and all the likes but when you follow the rules and you know what safety measure should have to take then you will be keeping yourself safe and keeping other safe as well. Don’t be nonchalant about laboratory rules because your carelessness may not only affect you it may affect others as well so ensure that you take laboratory rules as serious as possible, it is better to be safe than sorry. The following are safety measures to take in a science laboratory.
Adhere to instructions
It is very important that in a laboratory when you are to carry out experiments or practical you listen to your instructor very well and take note of all the instructions, ensure that you follow all the instructions to detail and if you’re not clear about any part of the instruction ensure that you ask, follow the manual if it’s the manual you’re following follow it exactly. If you do not follow instructions as you ought, you might be putting yourself at risk because you might mix what you’re not supposed to mix or you might be spoiling your experiment and not get the exact result you’re supposed to get.
Ensure that you dress appropriately when going to the lab this is very important as your appropriate dressing in the lab is to protect you from some hazards in the lab for example your lab coat you want to put it on in case there’s any chemical spill, it will spill on your lab coat and not on you or your clothes and ensure that your lab coat is a long-sleeve lab coat shouldn’t be short sleeve. Also, you should be in covered shoes when you are working in the laboratory, wear long trousers. Ensure that if you are a lady and you have a long hair you tie your hair to the back, don’t just leave your hair loose, in case there is any kind of fire around, you don’t want your hair catching the fire. Also ensure you use gloves, goggles when necessary and take other necessary safety measures as situation demands.
Avoid tasting any chemical in the laboratory. It maybe you want to identify what a chemical is, instead of tasting or sniffing the chemical, it is better for you to use the label on it to identify. Treat everything in the laboratory as potentially dangerous, don’t trivialize anything and do everything with care.
Avoid taking food or drinks
Do away with food or drinks in the laboratory, don’t eat, don’t drink anything when you are working in the laboratory, even if you are not working it is advisable and appropriate for you to keep you eating and drinking till when you go out of the laboratory so that you can keep yourself safe. The air in the laboratory is already contaminated there a lot of things that are in it that you cannot even define, which you don’t know, it is therefore better not to eat anything there. What if you are eating and your hand touches a slab where probably chemical has spilt before and then you unknowingly or carelessly use the same hand to hold what you’re eating? Precaution is better than cure.
Be aware of the location of safety equipment
Ensure that before working in the lab you know where all the safety equipment is located, this is very important in case there is an instance of laboratory accident, you can know where exactly to go and what you are use. Ensure you know how to use the safety equipment as well this is very important. Not knowing where the safety equipment is located or how to use them means you will be at great risk should anything happen in the laboratory as in like an accident.
You must be careful when working in the laboratory, maintain sanity, don’t just try to experiment everything, mixing what you’re not supposed to mix, let everything you will do in the Laboratory be guided according to the instructions by your instructor and do it according to the manual recommended for you don’t go outside safe boundaries trying to do something dangerous, you could cause an accident, explosion or whatever. Also avoid performing experiments on yourself, don’t try to do anything funny by experimenting something on yourself, it could turn out to be more serious than you thought. Yes, scientist is to experiment things and to discover new things but ensure that your experimentation is within the boundaries of what is allowed of you and what is safe don’t do anything that will endanger your life or the lives of others.
Leave your experiments in the laboratory
Avoid taking your experiments home. When you have done your experiments in the lab, leave your experiment there so that when next you can go you can continue but don’t take your experiments home as there could be a spill or something could happen.
When you want to carry out an experiment in the laboratory it is important for you to first check to know all the possible hazards associated with that particular experiment you want to carry out and look for ways that this hazards can be managed in case they come up. Doing this before you even start the experiment is going to help you to be ready in the instance that any of such hazards occur. It is better that you are ready for any happenstance than for you to be caught unawares without being prepared.
Know the emergency exit
Also ensure that you know the emergency exit of the laboratory in case anything comes up you can easily find your way out before things get out of hand; this is very important.
Cover and label reagent bottles
If you have to use reagent bottles, ensure that all the reagent bottles are always covered when you are not pouring from them, don’t leave the reagent bottles uncovered. The stoppers should be used to cover the reagent bottles, don’t try to use your hand to cover reagent bottles. When you are taking chemicals from the reagent bottles, just take the amount that is needed, don’t take too much. If there is excess don’t return the excess into the reagent bottle. Ensure the bottles are labelled appropriately for easy identification.
Try not to be alone in the laboratory
Ensure that you are not the only one in the laboratory when you have to work in the laboratory especially with experiments that could prove hazardous. In case anything happens, if there is any accident then someone can be there to come to the rescue but if you are alone when there is an accident in the laboratory then that may be much riskier.
Get yourself well acquainted with all the laboratory rules for your laboratory and ensure that you take all the rules serious so as to keep yourself safe and to avoid endangering others. Try as much as possible not to trivialize carefulness and adherence to rules and regulations in the laboratory.