Table of Contents
Understanding Laboratory Safety Rules and Guidelines
General Laboratory Safety Guidelines and Rules
1. Learn more about the emergency response
2. Before you begin to train
3. Plan your work during the normal hours of work
4. All chemicals in the laboratory should be treated as toxic
5. Follow the guidelines for electrical safety
6. Safety guidelines for laser use
Safety Rules and Guidelines
1. Learn about the pictograms and universal chemical safety codes
2. Comprehend and read chemical MSDSs
3. Label reagent aliquots properly
4. Follow the guidelines regarding chemical storage
Individual Protection Rules, Personal Responsibility
1. Dress code for laboratories
2. Use of PPE in experiments
3. In the event of an injury, emergency response
4. Lab behavior code
Housekeeping Rules, Guidelines, and Collective Responsibility
1. The proper disposal and cleaning of your waste
2. Declutter your aisles and work spaces
3. Follow the laboratory guidelines for the safe storage of chemicals and equipment
4. Keep your laboratory records up-to-date
Understanding Laboratory Safety Rules and Guidelines
Preston Brown, a Texas Tech University student, was working in the highly-energetic nickel hydrazine/perchlorate project (NHP) when he was nearly killed in an accident. He suffered severe injuries to his arms and legs after the NHP explosion.
It is crucial to ensure safety by making sure all lab staff are properly trained and following the guidelines. This will help avoid any potential dangers. This post outlines a few of these guidelines in order to make it easier for students and new staff to navigate the lab. This includes safety rules and standard operating procedures. This training is important. Take the time to review it, take notes, ask for copies, and ask for clarifications if necessary.
No matter which lab you’re in, there will be safety rules you must follow.
1. Know about emergency procedures It is important to be able to locate and use emergency items such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits. Your supervisor should be notified of any accidents, even minor ones.
2. Before you experiment, train. Ask your supervisor for help if you have any questions about a procedure. You can make a copy of the SOPs or write down protocols.
3. Work during your normal work hours. This ensures you’re not working alone, which makes you more vulnerable to injuries or accidents. It is also a good idea to have other people around you in case you run into any potential dangers while conducting your experiments.
4. All chemicals in the laboratory should be treated as toxic. This means there should not be any direct touching, sniffing, tasting, or touching of chemical or reaction mixtures. The dangers of mouth pipetting are well-known. To suck liquids, you can use rubber bulbs and electronic pipette machines. For volatile and toxic chemicals, it is best to open them and place them in a fume hood. Your hands should be thoroughly washed with soap after each experiment.
5. Adhere to electrical safety guidelinesMalfunction of sockets or equipment can lead to injury from electric shocks and damage to the lab from fires. Avoid using electrical extension cords or plugs that have frayed or exposed wires. If a machine causes an electric shock, turn off the power supply immediately and notify the technician or supervisor. Overheating the socket can result in a fire.
6. Safety guidelines for laser use To prevent damage to the lens, you should wear protective eyewear for lasers of classes IIIa, IIIb, or IV. Reflective objects, such as mirrors or jewelry, can be reflected off the skin and cause it to bounce back. To warn others in the lab, turn on the laser warning light. Even if the laser appears to be off, do not place the beam near your eyes.
Guidelines and Safety Rules For Chemical SafetyChemistry labs use a wide range of chemicals that can cause serious reactions. Every laboratory should have a complete list of chemicals, along with safety guidelines. It should list the chemical type, such as toxic, irritant, or flammable, as well as specific instructions for handling. This will include any specific requirements such as the use or removal of fume chambers.
These guidelines are to be followed:
1. It is important for lab new members to be familiar with the pictograms and universal chemical safety codes. The color blue is for potential health hazards, while yellow indicates unstable chemicals and red means that it’s flammable. Pictograms and symbols are used to identify radioactive substances, carcinogens and irritants. Everyone who handles these chemicals must know all of these.
2. Make sure you understand and read the MSDSs for any chemical before using it. This includes instructions on how to use the chemical safely, what hazards could occur, as well as how to dispose off spills. MSDS must be kept in one place so that lab personnel can quickly access them if they need clarification.
3. Label reagents aliquots appropriatelyLab preparations and all aliquots should clearly be labeled. You should store it in the correct container, such as umber containers for light sensitive reagents.
4. Following guidelines for chemical storage is essential. Some substances should be kept away from others to prevent unwanted reactions. Others require special consideration because of their chemical properties. Chemicals should be stored in accordance with their hazard labels. Inflammable chemicals for instance, must be stored at 37oC or away from other reactive chemicals. Additionally, it is a good idea to store corrosive chemicals inside secondary containers. Also, keep volatile and poisonous chemicals in ventilated cabinets.
Individual Responsibility, Personal Protect RulesAll lab members must follow and learn the guidelines to reduce the chance of them being hurt in the workplace. These rules cover dress code, personal safety equipment use, and general behavior.
1. Dress code for laboratory Shorts and short clothes are not recommended for lab work. This could make your legs more vulnerable to biological or chemical spillages. Flat shoes that are well-fitted and comfortable are best for your toes. You should tie your hair back at the end of your neck. If it happens to swing towards open flames, this could cause injury or contamination. You should remove any jewelry that is on your neck, hands, or hair once you enter the laboratory space.
2. Use PPE during experiments When handling chemicals, gloves are necessary. Some gloves may be more appropriate than others, such as cryogenic gloves for handling low-temperature items. When handling chemicals under pressure, caustic chemicals or reagents near ultraviolet light, eye goggles are a must. Dependent on the type of chemical you are dealing with, additional protection may be necessary.
3. In case of injury, emergency response To clean contaminants from the skin, wash your arms, chest, and face. Eyewash is recommended for those with affected eyes. You should have at least 20 minutes of water flowing to your eye from another source while you hold the lid open.
4. The laboratory code of conduct You are at risk of your food becoming contaminated by chemicals or pathogens. This can lead to data loss and even the possibility of having experiments stop. Personal grooming habits like applying make-up, combing hair, or handling of contact lenses also increase the chances of personal injury or contamination/infection. For a focused and productive workspace, it is essential to maintain a calm and peaceful environment. Distractions can be caused by loud chattering, laughter, screams or sudden movements in the laboratory.
Housekeeping Rules and Guidelines, Collective Responsibility and Housekeeping Rules These guidelines will help ensure that your workplace is safe and productive.
1. Cleaning and disposal Some labs have identified glassware cleaners. This means that you must transfer the item to the central cleaning stations. Others prefer ‘use and wash’.
Non-toxic spillages should be reported to the authorities immediately and cleaned up as soon as possible to prevent injuries from slips, falls and other accidents. Many labs have separate disposal instructions for different types of waste. For example, one bin could be for paper and gloves, while another can hold plastic and sharp items. You should dispose of your items in accordance with the guidelines.
2. Reduce tripping hazards by clearing out aisles and work spaces. This is particularly important in an emergency situation when people must evacuate quickly. It is important to remove all glassware, reagents, equipment, and other items from the bench. This will help you avoid cluttering your workspaces. This will not only make your work easier but it also decreases the likelihood of you knocking over or spilling items. Clear obstructions should not be a problem for emergency exits or emergency response items such as fire extinguishers and showers.
3. Follow the laboratory guidelines on how to store chemicals and equipment. Follow the lab guidelines to optimize your workspace. The most used items should be kept closer to the shelves than the less used ones.
4. Keep your lab records current. Many labs keep track of the usage of specific items. This information can be used to place new orders or to monitor usage. Make sure you accurately identify any reagents and stock items. When you are done with your experiment, turn off any machines.
It is important to adhere to safety guidelines and rules in laboratory spaces. There are constant reports of lab accidents. This will prevent lab personnel from suffering life-threatening injuries, ensure data integrity and minimize waste.