The safety of the workers in a laboratory should be the priority of any company. A lab manager must ensure that everyone who works in a lab is trained and aware of the safety guidelines institutionalised by specific industries and agencies. These guidelines must be regularly updated, and they must follow laboratory safety dynamics that will improve the overall safety culture in a laboratory.
Only people who are trained to use lab equipment should be working there. If there’s an autoclave for sale, a lab manager doesn’t just make an offer for it. He needs to make sure first that there’s someone in the lab trained to work with it.
Each institution has its safety guidelines. Even states and cities have local rules and regulations with regard to the management of a laboratory. But the safety guidelines outlined here work for every industry. It is worth giving them a shot.
Avoid Bringing Food and Drinks
This is probably one of the biggest signs in a laboratory, yet so many personnel still commit the mistake of bringing at least a cup of coffee in the laboratory. Because coffee keeps them awake while they are working late at night on formulations, they think that it helps keep the lab and the experiment safe. But aside from the fact that food is messy, there’s also the possibility of the food or drinks being contaminated, which could be fatal.
Work with a Lab Partner
While not all projects can be done as a group, it is better to work with a partner or in a group if possible. Human errors in the lab are possible. Even the best commit mistakes in the lab. Two pairs of hands and two sets of eyes are better than one person trying to do it all. Mistakes are easily corrected when there are two or more of you in the lab. When a person gets injured, it also helps to have someone else to call for help.
Decontaminate Items Before Disposal
Laboratory equipment and materials cannot be disposed of as ordinary trash. There is a specific way to decontaminate these materials first and dispose of them. Follow the guideline to a T. There’s nothing worse than irresponsibly disposing of hazardous chemicals that can potentially reach waterways and the human population.
Never Scrimp on Protective Gear
You can buy cheap goggles, gloves, splash guards, lab coats, and even fire extinguishers at a fraction of the cost of well-known brands. But these brands have become household names for a reason. They proved their durability and quality. As much as you want to maintain a strict and stringent budget, this isn’t the best way to go about it. Invest in the proper protective gear. Prioritise the quality of the gear.
Warning signs and safety manuals will help reduce the chances of accidents in the lab. Although there’s no method that can ensure the 100-per-cent safety of a laboratory, proper training of personnel is the next best thing any lab manager can do. As long as your people follow the strict guidelines of working in a lab and they update their knowledge about the best safety practices, you shouldn’t deal with major accidents.