Labs are not always safe, no matter how much focus lab managers and staff place on safety. To develop awareness and provide safeguards for laboratory staffers, our experts on laboratory buildout have created a list of common laboratory hazards.
In a lab, all chemicals and fluids should be treated as if they are as powerful as gasoline. Vapors can traverse long distances and might ignite if they find a spark or flame. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand and confirm that everyone in the lab knows its precise location to prevent fires from spreading. The right personal protective equipment (PPE), like flame-resistant (FR) lab coats, should also be sported.
Many organic and inorganic chemicals might be volatile or caustic to your skin and eyes. Therefore, it is essential to wield caution with chemicals to thwart spills and splashes. Further, the right PPE should always be modeled, like lab coats that deliver FR properties and chemical-splash protection (CP).
Keeping chemicals away from immediate contact with your skin is essential for lab safety. Even when chemicals are not caustic, exposure can induce allergic responses or other issues if absorbed by your skin.
Remember that gloves might be penetrable by specific chemical reagents – even without visible damage – so swap out any gloves that have had contact with these chemicals for a fresh pair immediately. Never touch your eyes or face until your hands are free of all chemicals or solvents. Wear a CP lab coat to avert chemicals from seeping through the fabric of your clothing as an additional precaution.
Many ordinary solvents are incredibly toxic if inhaled, and inhalation of particular chemicals can aggravate membranes in your nose, eyes, throat, and lungs. To lower these threats, never evaporate surplus solvents.
Laboratory employees should also keep a safe distance when pouring chemicals and confirm proper ventilation in the laboratory.
Lacerations to the skin are one of the most common kinds of lab accidents. In extreme cases, nerves and tendons can be severed. Often, these wounds occur due to trying to force a cork or rubber stopper into a segment of glass tubing, thermometer, or distilling flask.
To thwart this mishap from happening, employees should make a proper-sized cavity, lubricate the stopper or cork, and use gentle force with rotation on the glass piece.
These are just a few of the dangers found in the lab. Awareness, training, and prevention tools can help decrease or eliminate these hazards in your lab.
If you are ready to expand your scientific or medical lab, contact us today to learn more about our laboratory buildout services. We are here to help you design an effective, productive, and profitable lab that suits all your experimentation and testing needs. We have the experience and expertise to help you maximize your lab's potential and make it safer and more convenient for your staff.