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Science Laboratory Health And Safety Guidelines

Author : Callum Leslie Walters

Science is a rewarding field to work within. It's vital that it takes safety into consideration as no reward is worth putting yourself at risk for though. Whether experiments are being done in schools or research institutes, science lab safety guidelines are crucial for ensuring the smooth running of operations. Preparing for experiments properly is important. Ties and long hair should be pulled back so they don't get in the way and goggles, gloves, lab coats and any other relevant safety equipment should be distributed before the commencement of any experiments.

In order to avoid the occurrence of a serious accident, it is also important that water and electrical items are kept separate. This is why electrical cables should be covered in a material that will protect the electrical components in the event of water spilling on the equipment. Also, general procedures should be in place to keep water away from electrical equipment and, if any water is accidentally spilled, it should cleaned up (from the outside in so it doesn't spread) immediately. This is also true of other liquids.

It might sound a little bit obvious to say it, but another extremely important science lab safety guideline is to keep flammable items away from flames. This means that Bunsen burners need to be handled properly and should never be left alight unattended. Flammable chemicals, materials and other items should be kept well away and stored separately. If there is a need to bring them into contact with flame from an experiment, safety equipment should be worn and a fire extinguisher should be nearby.

Another thing to consider is the proper handling procedures of chemicals; you should never pick them up with bare hands, for instance, as some chemicals can damage or burn your skin if you come into contact with them. The storage containers of dangerous chemicals should be clearly labeled with handling instructions as well as a description of what is inside. It's important to take general care when working with chemicals and make sure they are kept in the appropriate containers to minimize the chance of accidents.

Lastly, there is always the possibility that an accident will occur while an experiment is taking place in the science lab so you need to have procedures in place and a first aid kit to hand. Make sure anyone using the lab keeps walkways clear and never obstructs exits. They should be made aware of evacuation procedures and the location of emergency exits, as well as any fire blankets or fire extinguishers that are kept in the lab in case of emergency.

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Tags:   science, education, reference

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Submitted : 2011-06-02    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 413