11. Safe Lab Practices to Follow

Protect Yourself and Others from Injuries

Always READ the MSDS Sheet BEFORE working with the controlled product. Note the chemicals main hazard and items that the chemical is not compatible with. Also note the protective equipment you should be using to keep yourself safe while handling this dangerous good.

The spill kits are to be used for emergency use only. NEVER use anything from the spills kit unless you have a spill.

You must be trained on procedures and equipment by the Lab Supervisor or a designated employee before you use dangerous goods or laboratory equipment. If you have any questions, ASK. Do not proceed. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’S), should be written for the routine chemical experiments performed in a lab and for any equipment that poses a risk to the user. SOP’s are not to be used in lieu of proper training.

Do not eat, drink or smoke in any laboratory.  Do not store food in the laboratory.

You must wear appropriate clothing and footwear in a laboratory. No shorts, dresses or tank tops allowed. Any personnel entering a chemical lab must be appropriately dressed, no shorts, dresses or sandals. The dress code for working in a laboratory is to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes, a lab coat, safety glasses and appropriate gloves for the chemical/s you will be using.  The Office of Environmental Health & Safety have placed posters in all science buildings to promote proper lab attire.  All chemical labs are expected to comply.

Good lab hygeine  is to always wash your hands after working with chemicals, even if you have been wearing gloves for protection. Hand soap has a pH greater than 10 and will help neutralize any acids that have come into contact with the skin. Washing will aid in removing any chemicals from the surface of the skin.

Try not to work alone in a laboratory. If the lab is using HF Acid, there must be two HF trained people working in the lab at all times.

More information from EH&S: Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual

Safety is a total line responsibility
– everyone from the top to the bottom must comply