BASIC SAFETY LABORATORY PRACTICES
The laboratory work may be subject to hazards of many kinds. A person working in the
laboratory should be aware of all these hazards. Most of the accidents occur due to ignorance and carelessness of the students. You and your laboratory partners must always practice laboratory safety. Therefore, study laboratory safety rules and follow them strictly.
3.1 RULES AND INSTRUCTIONS IN THE LABORATORY
In the laboratory, improper handling of equipment’s and materials can cause injury and accidents. However, laboratory can be a safe place to work if you are careful. You and your partners must always practice laboratory safety. In the laboratory the safety rules listed below must be followed. Before beginning any laboratory work, read these rules and follow them carefully.
1. Carefully follow all the written and oral instructions. Perform only those experiments which are assigned to you by your teacher. Unauthorized experiments are forbidden.
2. Do not work alone in the laboratory.
3. Tell your teacher, if you have any medical problems that might be affected by laboratory work, such as asthma, allergies, etc.
4. Never drink, eat or smoke in the laboratory because chemicals may possibly enter through the mouth or lungs.
5. Keep work areas clean and tidy at all times. Only laboratory manuals and notebooks should be brought to the work area.
6. Be aware of your neighbours activities; you may be the victim of their mistakes. If necessary report your concern to the instructor.
7. Record data in ink as you perform the experiment.
8. Do not engage in horseplay
9. Always use the prescribed instruments such as tongs, test-tube holder, etc.
10. Conduct any experiment involving poisonous vapour in a fume cupboard.
11. Dispose off waste materials as instructed by your teacher.
12. Clean and wipe all the work surfaces at the end of class. Wash your hands thoroughly.
13. Know the location and proper use of emergency equipment, such as the .first aid kit fire extinguisher, fire shower, and fire blanket.
14. Keep all combustible materials away from open flames.
15. Never put your face near the mouth of the container that holds chemicals. Never smell any chemical directly. When testing for odors, use a wafting motion to direct the odors to your nose.
16. Wear appropriate clothing for working in the laboratory. Do not wear loose garments. Roll up or secure long sleeves. Wear laboratory apron or coat to protect clothing.
17. Tie back or cover long hair especially in the vicinity of an open flame. Hair may ignite near an open flame.
18. Never wear open shoes or sandals in the laboratory.
19. Wear goggles, safety glasses or eye-shields at all times during an investigation.
20. Avoid wearing contact lenses in the laboratory.
21. Whenever your skin (hands, arms, face,) comes into contact with laboratory chemicals, wash it quickly and thoroughly with soap and warm water. Use the eye-wash fountain to flush chemicals from the eyes or face. Do not rub the affected area, especially the face or eyes, with your hands before washing.
22. If a chemical is spilled over a large part of the body, use the safety shower and flood the affected area for about 15 minutes. Remove all contaminated clothing. Get medical attention.
23. Wash your hands and arms before leaving the laboratory.
24. Report any accident or injury to your class teacher.
1. Read carefully labels on chemical bottles before removing any chemical. Take only as much chemical as you need.
2. To avoid contamination, do not return any unused chemicals to stock bottles.
3. Avoid touching chemicals with your hands. If chemicals do come in contact with your hands, wash them immediately.
4. When mixing an acid and water, always add the acid to the water.
5. Wear latex gloves when handling concentrated acids and bases.