Safety in the laboratory is very paramount, especially for students. They can only engage in constructive learning if they are taking their practicals in a safe environment. It is the duty of everyone, both the students and the school/college, to create a safe lab environment. Lab supervisors can’t be around to ensure observance of the laid down safety procedures. It is important for the students to proactively ensure their safety and that of others while in the lab. Here are lab safety rules every student should know;
Familiarize yourself with the lab
Before you start an experiment, ensure that you have familiarized with the lab, the steps of the experiment and safety procedures in the event of an accident. Pay attention to the instructions from the lab technician and ask questions if you need any clarification. It will not only ensure your safety but also keep you from wasting lab samples and time. You also don’t want to get suspended from the lab for breaking the rules.
Know where the safety equipment are kept
Minor lab accidents are bound to happen once in a while. However, not responding to them in good time is what makes them disastrous. Every lab is usually equipped with safety equipment for such moments. A scientific instruments supplier worth his salt will also stock safety equipment. You should know where the safety equipment are kept and how they work. Don’t try to cover up accidents, no matter how small they seem. Let the supervisor know.
Dress appropriately for the lab
Always ensure that you abide by the lab guidelines regarding dressing. Have the appropriate protective clothes before starting an experiment. You can buy quality safety goggles from Ophthalmic lenses instrument suppliers. Lab coats and closed shoes are a must to ensure there is little chance of chemicals getting into contact with your skin. It is also important to wear your hair short or tie it up to keep it from getting into a flame or chemicals when you lean over.
No eating or drinking while in the lab
The lab contains chemicals that can easily contaminate your food and result in poisoning. Besides, you don’t want to run the risk of food spilling into your experiment and ruining it. Not to mention that you could easily be distracted and grab the wrong liquid mistaking it for your drink. If you feel hungry while in the lab, take a break and step out for your meal. Remember to thoroughly wash your hands before eating.
Tame your curiosity
Never sniff or taste chemicals and specimens in the laboratory. It can be disastrous. You could ingest dangerous elements. Abide by the safety regulations indicated on the labeling of the laboratory equipment.
Do not also mix chemicals randomly to see what happens. They can result in an explosion or produce dangerous fumes. Besides being a disaster in waiting, you could also contaminate educational equipment or even break them.
Properly dispose of lab waste
Your lab technician will give you procedures of how to properly dispose of waste materials. Always follow the instructions. There will be designated waste disposal points around the lab for easy access. Waste that can be recycled should always be kept in the recycle bin. This also contributes to environmental conservation.
Experiments should be restricted to the laboratory
Do not sneak any laboratory equipment or chemicals out of the lab. You will not only be exposing yourself to danger but also the people around you. Do not also think of using yourself as a subject for an experiment. Superpowers only exist in science fiction movies, self experimenting won’t give you some. Besides, experiments can sometimes go horribly wrong. That’s why they are restricted to laboratories.