As a laboratory supply store, we’re well aware of the potential hazards of our wares. You, requiring the necessary tools and laboratory supplies for research and experimentation, are also aware of the dangers of scientific inquiry.
In the United States alone, there are more than 500,000 people employed in laboratories. As with any profession, care and safety are important parts of any given day. However, complacency slips in after a certain level of comfort is reached and it can cause all sorts of problems. Lapses in safety protocol due to complacency can have disastrous results.
There are certain laboratory conduct mantras that should always be observed when entering a lab, regardless of your level of familiarity. Let’s break a few of them down.
If you’re shopping for lab supplies, that’s one thing. If you’re entering the lab where those supplies are actively being utilized, don’t touch anything. Familiar or not with the lab, you don’t know what other work may have progressed while you weren’t there or what’s currently in progress. Make sure to check with others before you set to work or shifting things around. You wouldn’t want familiarity to bungle an experiment because of your assumption. Wait, ask, then work.
You may have noticed that science lab supplies, equipment, and rooms are plastered with written notices. They are there for you to read and heed. Apart from written instructions, spoken instructions are equally important. It’s unsafe for you, and the others around you, to ignore posted warnings, safety guides, and instructions. Take a moment or two, listen to what you’re being told, then absorb the lab postings all around you. Do this before every process you’re about to begin.
We like this one because it’s been a well-engrained piece of foundational safety since childhood. Never work in the lab alone. Between safety and accountability, working with a partner or two ensures that if something does accidentally go wrong, there won’t be one person to deal with it alone. Plus, science thrives in a collaborative environment, so you should work together!
From the laboratory supply store to empirical research, safety is priority number one. It’s not difficult to stay safe in the lab. Remember these mantras and they’ll guide your lab safely as your research aims to change the world.