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The Best Practices For Working In A Laboratory

Following good lab practices is a critical part of conducting safe research. As you assess the best practices for working in a laboratory, remember to use them in relevant applications. This way, you’ll keep yourself and your colleagues safe.

The Best Practices for Working in a Laboratory


Wear Your PPE

Working in a laboratory is unlike working in any other place. You risk exposure to harmful chemicals that can cause permanent damage to your body. That’s why laboratories require personal protective equipment, PPE, at all times.

This includes lab coats, eye protection, and gloves. They protect your body from exposure to biological agents and hazardous substances.

Depending on the experiment, other PPE, like respirators or hearing protection, is necessary.


Don’t Eat or Drink Inside the Lab

Not consuming food and beverages is one of the basic rules for lab safety. However, many don’t know the “why” behind the guideline. For starters, eating and drinking can increase your exposure to hazardous materials.

Food or drink may leave a mess, which can contaminate your experiments and attract pests. Lastly, food and beverages are a distraction in the lab. During research and experimentation, your focus should be solely on the work at hand.


Always Use Proper Storage Methods

In labs, you’ll quickly realize that each experiment is different and requires various preservation methods. To maintain the integrity of hazardous chemicals and other solutions, proper storage is necessary.

While assessing the overview of modern chemical storage practices, you’ll notice common storage facilities like shelves, freezers, acid cabinets, and flammable solvent cabinets. It’s important to evaluate your experiments to ensure that you use the right storage method. After all, you don’t want to cause problems in the laboratory.


Label Your Workspace

You should label all containers with their contents. This is important so those working near you, or lab visitors, know what hazards are present. Furthermore, you should include the hazards present on the label too. For example, write “may cause chemical burns” on a hydrofluoric container. People can take extra precautions when handling the container.

Along with containers, you should label hazards in research and experiment processes. Labels support safety culture as other personnel are aware of lab hazards.


Be Aware of Your Environment

A laboratory can be busy with researchers working on different projects simultaneously. Being aware of your environment is a best practice for working in a laboratory because it keeps you safe. Knowing what’s going on around you can prevent accidents like intruding into other researchers’ space, using the wrong chemicals, or not realizing hazards.

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