How Do We Practice Safety in Chemistry

How Do We Practice Safety in Chemistry

Whenever we enter a Chemistry laboratory, be it an undergraduate or a postgraduate or a research lab or any chemical industry lab, to perform some experiments, we must be aware of some protective measures to avoid plausible risks or troubles. There are some measures to follow, which we commonly call safety rules for Chemistry labs. Almost everywhere in the world, the professionals present safety seminars for all newcomers regularly.

Practice Safety in Chemistry Laboratory

Some standard rules to be followed are:

  • We must be sure about the location of the fire alarms.
  • We must be acquainted with the lab's/building's emergency exits.
  • We must know the whereabouts of the lab's safety equipment like fire extinguishers, first aid boxes, eyewash station, and a safety shower.

Inside the lab, the instructor, students, and employees must use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As per the safety regulations, it is mandatory to wear a lab coat, closed shoes, safety glasses, and gloves in the lab. It is strictly prohibited to wear contact lenses in the laboratory. Long hair must be confined. Everyone should read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) to get the information of a given chemical. We should also keep the following points in mind:

  • No direct contact with hazardous chemicals
  • No mouth pipetting
  • No tasting or smelling of any chemicals
  • No spillage of chemicals.

There are different and specific protocols to handle the spillage of various chemicals. We must follow them in case of chemical spillage.

Also, all the actions involving hazardous chemicals must be performed inside a fume-hood.

And most importantly, we must know how to dispose of the waste chemicals properly.

When we are entering a chemistry laboratory, we must be responsible for keeping ourselves and the lab environment healthy and hygienic, so we should always stay alert. Food items are strictly forbidden in the lab. No running or fun activities are allowed inside the lab. We must wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water after working with chemicals and before leaving the lab. The PPE should be replaced appropriately.

Emergency numbers should always be written inside and outside the laboratory so that we can call the service in case of any emergency or accident.

Work safe! Stay safe!

Dr Sharmila Pandey, Associate Professor (Chemistry)

School of Sciences, SAGE University Bhopal

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