Working in the lab is one of the most important and enjoyable things any chemist can do. If you’re in a school, you get to wow your students with the marvel of chemistry and help make their education fun and enjoyable.
And while it is fun and enjoyable, you need to ensure that you’re following some basic lab safety practices.
Here’s your guide to running a safe lab.
If you’re working in a chemistry lab with potentially dangerous or hazardous materials, you need to make sure that you’re wearing the correct clothing.
Always make sure to wear shoes that cover the entirety of your feet, and always wear pants that cover your entire leg from the hip to the ankle. Never wear open-toed shoes or any shoes made of porous material, and never wear shorts.
You should have some essential safety clothing like goggles on hand at all times to minimize the risk of facial injuries.
The best way to stay safe is to be totally prepared. Make sure that your lab has strict safety protocols so that everybody knows what to do in case of an emergency or hazardous situation.
You should also carry out regular a lab safety inspection regularly to make sure that everything in the lab is up to scratch and that the entire lab is safe to be used.
Emergency equipment is one of the most vital health and safety requirements for running a safe lab.
Your lab should always have an easily accessible eyewash kit so that you can react to any emergency involving chemicals getting into anybody’s eyes. You should also make sure to always have a fire extinguisher if you’re going to be working with flammable materials.
You should also make sure that you have up-to-date and functional spill kits so that you can deal with spillages of hazardous materials.
Working With Volatile Substances
You should always have the correct equipment for dealing with volatile substances. Never use any glassware or chemistry equipment that you’re not confident has been designed to deal with volatile chemicals.
Use specifically made vials like the ones sold by Chrom Tech that have been specifically designed for use with volatile or potentially hazardous materials.
At some time before work is due to be done in the lab, you and your staff should all go through thorough and exhaustive lab safety training.
Even if everybody in the room already knows all of the rules, you can never be too thorough with your safety. Make sure everyone is aware of what they need to do in case of an emergency and how they should be handling equipment and materials.
Always Have a Lab Safety Checklist
The above list is a great way to brush up on the basics of lab safety. As you can see, it’s important to maintain proper protocols and equipment at all times to keep your smart students safe whenever they’re working with chemicals.
Keep your own, more detailed laboratory checklist so that you always know what you need to keep yourself safe whenever you’re working in the lab.
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