National Safety Month: 6 Laboratory Rules You Need to Follow

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When you work in a laboratory, you are in an environment that has a variety of risks. Hazardous materials and processes are common, and if you don’t follow proper procedures, you could put your safety on the line. 

If you work in a lab, following certain rules is essential. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself and your colleagues in danger. With that in mind, here are six laboratory safety rules that everyone simply must follow. 

1. Assume Every Chemical is Dangerous

Most scientific workers know that not all substances are dangerous. However, if you get in the habit of assuming what you’re handling doesn’t pose a risk to your safety, it could lead you to become complacent. Plus, there’s always a chance that you’ve mistakenly grabbed the wrong chemical or that an item is mislabeled. 

By assuming everything you are handling is potentially dangerous, you remain vigilant. This encourages you to focus on safety, decreasing the odds that something will go awry. 

2. Follow All Predefined Procedures Precisely

If there is a procedure in place, follow it to the letter. For example, if you’re combining reagents, you need to do so in the right order. Processes are put in place for a reason, and failing to do things correctly can have catastrophic consequences. 

3. Absolutely No Horseplay

While a little frivolity at work is typically a good thing, horseplay has no place in a lab. The risk of something going wrong is simply too high, mainly because you are essentially surrounded by potentially dangerous samples, chemicals, and equipment. 

Along the same lines, you don’t want to startle your colleagues, intentionally or otherwise. If you do, you could cause them to spill a chemical or make a mistake, both of which can be dangerous. 

4. Close All Chemical Containers

When it comes to avoiding spills, your biggest defense can be a lid. Once you are done with a container of chemicals, close it up immediately. That way, if it’s bumped or jostled, the contents will remain inside the container. 

5. Don’t Eat or Drink in the Lab

You should never bring food or beverages into the lab. Not only is there a chance that a dangerous chemical could end up on your meal or drink, but your food or beverage could also contaminate your work. In either case, the results could be detrimental, so make sure you never bring snacks, lunches, sodas, or anything else you intend to consume into a laboratory. 

6. Always Wear Your PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) like goggles, face shields, and gloves are there to keep you safe. While they aren’t always comfortable, it’s vital that you wear the appropriate items based on what is being done in the lab. That way, you reduce your chances of exposure to something that can cause you harm. 

Contact Us Today

Ultimately, all six of the laboratory rules above are practically universal and must be followed by everyone. If you’d like to learn more about workplace best practices, the professionals at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today and see how our lab safety expertise can benefit you.