Peter Parker was a normal everyday kind until he got bitten by a radioactive spider in his school laboratory and developed superhuman strength and the ability to crawl up walls. Then his life changed forever as he was forced to become a superhero and fight the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Hobgoblin, Venom and other super villains. Okay that actually doesn’t sound too bad, but not every laboratory accident will result in the victim becoming a superhero. Laboratory accidents are something to be taken seriously, so it’s important to be mindful of Best Practices and procedures to ensure everyone’s safety. Here are several things to keep in mind:
- Do not eat where you work: This one should be rather obvious. If you are working with dangerous chemicals, why on earth would you want to even take the chance that your Pepsi could get contaminated? Add on to that any spills or messes left from eating or drinking, and you could have a disaster. Leave food and drink outside of the laboratory.
- Wear the proper lab safety supplies: Do not enter the laboratory without the right personal protective equipment. What does this protective lab safety equipment include? Goggles are one piece of equipment that is a must, even if you wear glasses or contact lenses because chemicals can get behind the lenses and into your eyes. Gloves are another must too as you are handling dangerous chemicals. Finally, as a rule of thumb, the less skin exposed the better. Wear a long sleeved shirt, pants, and closed-toe shoes.
- Learn the lab safety procedures: Depending on the type of material or chemical you’re working with, it requires certain handling. The Material Safety Data Sheet will provide you information on how to store the chemical, how to handle it to prevent a reaction and how to dispose of it. In addition, your lab manager most likely has procedures and guides posted in the lab for everyone to see. Follow these guidelines to stay safe.
- Know where the first aid kit and other safety equipment are located: In the event of a spill, burn or fire, it’s important to know where the first aid kit, eye wash, shower and fire extinguisher are located. The sooner you attend to a situation, the more likely you’ll prevent an accident or injury from getting worse.