Laboratories of all types can present some fairly hazardous working environments, which is why there are certain strict rules of protocol that must always be adhered to when working in one. Minor slip-ups, accidents or a loss of care for even a moment can result in some pretty devastating outcomes, which makes adhering to the proper conduct when working in one a crucial task for all involved. If you are working in a lab environment, or are looking to oversee one, then safety and protocol should be two of your primary concerns. To help you stay on top of that, here are some key rules that everyone in the facility should be following.
Report Incidents Immediately
Whether they were avoidable or not, all incidents must be reported to a superior and recorded as they happen. There are a few reasons for this, most important of which, is to keep personnel and equipment from becoming involved in a similar accident again at a later stage. These reports will allow investigations into causes to be conducted, which means that they are important for more than simple accountability. They will ensure the safe environment of everyone working in the lab in the future.
Wear the Appropriate Gear
While protective gear (and it goes without saying) is a must whenever hazardous materials or chemicals are being experimented with, there are a few things to keep in mind as well. If anyone in the lab has long hair, it should be tied up to be kept away from contact with materials. The same applies to lose or baggy clothing, which should never be worn in a lab environment, for they too could accidentally come into contact with hazardous materials.
Keep Clear of Lab Tables
Laboratory tables can be dangerous platforms during experiments, and a small moment of thoughtlessness when leaning over a table can end up in broken equipment, unwanted reactions or accidental exposure to the substances being handled. All of these possibilities can have fairly dire outcomes, and so extra care should be taken when standing or working around laboratory tables.
Know Where Emergency & Safety Equipment Is
Even with extreme care, accidents may still happen. Because of this, each and every person working in the lab should be familiar with the placement of emergency and safety materials such as fire hydrants and medical kits. Additionally, personnel should be trained on how to use them, and on how to administer first aid.
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