Laboratory technicians know that the lab space can be a hazardous place without the proper safety protocol.
Familiarize yourself with some of the common laboratory injuries and how to prevent them in your own lab space.
Chemical exposure is one of the most frightening injuries in the laboratory, but with the proper safety procedures, you’ll never have to worry. Chemical exposure could include chemical contact with the skin or eyes, chemical burns, inhalation of fumes, and more. This is why it’s so important to wear the proper PPE when working with chemicals in the laboratory. You need to have essential eye protection on hand to prevent chemical burns to the eyes. For protecting your skin and the rest of your body, you’ll need laboratory-grade gloves, a lab coat, and more. Always make sure to utilize the fume hood when you might be exposed to chemical fumes too.
From Bunsen burners to hot plates, there are many fire hazards in the lab space. Practice caution when using these pieces of equipment, just like you would with a hot stove or fireplace at home. Use heat-resistant, laboratory-grade gloves when handling hot objects and never directly touch a flame or hot plate. Failure to practice proper safety measures around fire hazards can also lead to fires themselves, which put lab technicians and the building itself at risk.
Cuts and abrasions
Between broken and sharp lab utensils, cuts and abrasions are common in the laboratory when you’re not being careful. All lab employees should treat their lab tools with caution and respect. When using laboratory scalpels and other sharp objects, treat them with the same care as a kitchen knife when cooking at home. Never use glassware and other utensils with cracks or chips, as these could potentially break mid-use.
Broken containers also lead to spills and falls when your lab doesn’t respond to them promptly. Always address spills immediately after they occur, and section of the affected area to avoid further foot traffic through the area. Falls may also occur due to cluttered walkways, so always be sure to keep your pathways clear, especially when it comes to high-traffic areas around the lab.
Laboratory injuries are entirely preventable with the right caution and care in the lab space. Now that you know these common laboratory injuries and how to prevent them, you’ll be able to protect your lab space and keep your employees safe.