An Orientation to Laboratory Safety
The laboratory can be a dangerous place if we don't follow strict safety guidelines. Every employee should be put through a comprehensive training program about safety rules and practices in the lab.
The laboratory can be an extremely dangerous place if safe practice is not followed at all times. Safe practice and orientation to laboratory safety is important for every employee working within a laboratory. Without following strict, ethical safety practices, the laboratory can be a fatal environment.
Although many people want to take short cuts when they are working, this can lead to serious consequences, especially in dangerous work places like the laboratory. If a person does not carry out safe working policies then they could cause death or serious injury. Safety procedures are set in place for a reason and must be followed.
It is essential that an employee should learn laboratory safety regulations. There is a lot to understand about working safely in the laboratory. Courses that help a person learn about safety procedures are very important. A supervisor or safety instructor can help teach you the basic skills of work safety.
Course materials can include: Material safety data sheets, chemical hygiene plan, biologically infectious materials, RCRA and TOSCA. - Lock-Out/Tag-Out. - Respiratory protection. - Fire safety. - First aid and CPR. Although you can learn about safety in the work place, the ultimate responsibility lies within you. As an employee it is your responsibility to protect yourself and work mates from danger.
All experiments must be planned carefully beforehand and the right kind of eye protection should be worn. Correct safety clothing must always be worn in the work place. All materials should be assembled correctly, considering safety first. Always consider safety to the eyes first and foremost. If the eyes are not properly protected then a person could go blind due to an accident.
There are many different types of safety clothing including safety glasses and face shields. When performing certain jobs you will require more or less safety clothing. It is important to have the right combination for the specific job. It is not acceptable to wear ordinary glasses instead of safety glasses because they will not provide the right level of protection that you need.
Lab coats are also an important protective clothing that needs to be worn in a laboratory. They can help protect a person from chemical splashes which could otherwise cause harm. Gloves also need to be worn and they need to be tough enough to guard against hazards. The MSDS has recommendations for all safety clothing to be worn in the laboratory. It might also be necessary to have an air purifying respirator. For certain protective clothing, instruction will be needed to learn how to wear it correctly.
There is a lot of protective clothing that should not be used unless training is provided. Hand washing is very important and must be carried out to limit contamination. Every piece of equipment must be checked before it is used. All glass-wear should be checked before it is used and all cracked glass must be replaced before using it. Cheaper versions of equipment must never be used as these can cause problems.
Safety is extremely important in all aspects of laboratory work. The area should be kept clean and tidy at all times. All equipment and furniture should be checked and kept clean to prevent accidents. Working in a new laboratory can be stressful, but exciting. All safety procedures must be followed to ensure that accidents are avoided.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlie Bentson King is a Vice President for Workplace Safety Videos - The world's most comprehensive source of safety video and safety DVD training programs.