Working in a lab is something that many of us would like to try. Some of us find it cool, while others find it interesting and unique. In hindsight, most of us get the opportunity to use a science lab at least once in our life. This usually happens when we are still in our schooling days and our science teacher would drag us in the science labs for experiments.
Hence, taking into account that most of us at least know what the inside of a lab looks like, we should already be aware that while mixing some chemicals together may seem like sorcery, thus, making it fun, the lab is still an extremely dangerous place. It is a place where we need to always keep alert so as to not cause any harm to ourselves or others. So, there next time, you’re looking to go into a lab, bear in mind these safety measures that could very well save your life.
No Food or Drinks Allowed
The dangers of eating food in the lab are numerous. First and foremost, eating or drinking in the lab increases your danger of being exposed to harmful compounds. Eating food or drink can also make a mess, putting your studies in danger of contamination and possibly attracting pests. Besides it being harmful, eating and drinking in the lab can potentially be a source of distraction, resulting in a spill or other serious event.
Wear your personal protective equipment (PPE) and proper lab attire. In the lab, a lab coat, gloves, eye protection, and proper clothing should be worn at all times. When working in the lab, long pants and shoes that completely cover the top of the foot should be worn at all times. This is so that splashes, spills, or other chemical or biological agent exposures, as well as flames in some situations, will be protected by lab coats.
Furthermore, your eyes will be protected by safety glasses or goggles against physical or chemical injury. Minor burns or lacerations on the skin will heal, but your eyes will not. Because eyes are delicate and safety glasses only take three seconds to put on, eye damage can be irreversible. Gloves protect your skin from potentially harmful items that come into contact with your hands. When removing and discarding gloves, however, exposure can occur. To correctly remove any lab gloves, follow the steps in the video below.
The second safety measure that we should remember is that we should make use of appropriate storage containers. Individual containers, chemical storage cabinets, and garbage are all included. Storing organic solvents in plastic bottles, like acids in metal containers or HF in glass, can compromise the container. Chemicals should be kept in containers made of non-reactive materials.
Additionally, fire-resistant cabinets must be used to store large amounts of hazardous chemicals. To avoid vapours from reacting with the metal housing, acids and caustics should be stored in separate cabinets lined with plastic. Also, chemicals that react violently when mixed should be kept in separate containers. Meanwhile, waste should be stored in non-reactive containers or containers with non-reactive liners, just like chemicals.