Laboratory Safety

hello students, how are you doing?
Chemistry experiments are fun, interesting and safe, if instructions are carefully followed. But at the same time, the laboratory user should also be vigilant. Today, we will be discussing about common laboratory accidents, , Laboratory safety and it precautions basic rules and regulations. Mind you, this is an introduction to practical chemistry - a student should be aware of laboratory accidents and laboratory safety before he or she should start operating in the laboratory.

laboratory safety

Common Laboratory Accidents

As it has already being said earlier that, chemistry experiments are fun and safe, if and only if, instructions are carefully followed.
Most of the laboratory accidents are as a result of the following occasional events:

1} Fire outbreak
2} Inhaling toxic gases when trying to observe the odour of the gases during practical.
3} Glass cut
4} Explosions
5} Acid burns
6} Swallowing of toxic chemicals such as base during pipetting.
7} Electric shocks [class session on static electricity] and others.

Laboratory Safety Precautions When Operate In The Lab

The following are the basic rules and regulations to guide laboratory user to safety and hence prevent accidents in the laboratory.

Basic Rules And Regulations To Prevent Laboratory Accidents

Prevention Of Danger In The Laboratory

1} Rule one: always handle glassware with care - being fragile, and to avoid glass cuts.

2} Rule two: Do not touch or hold any electrical instrument with wet or bare hand. Any electrical instrument should be switched off first, before making any connection and when disconnecting and then immediately after use. This is to avoid electric shock. Will you like to know more about electrostatics, there is class session here, that explains about static electricity.

3} Rule three: I understand that you might be curious and so eager to perform chemistry practical but don't enter the laboratory unless an instructor is present also don't ever perform any experiment without any instructions.

4} Rule four: Never use sodium, potassium, phosphorus or concentrated acids and base unless you are specially instructed because these chemicals are very corrosive.
Note: Always add concentrated acids to water slowly, when diluting the acid. NEVER ADD WATER TO ACID , this is to avoid acid burns, explosion and fire outbreak.

5} Rule five: Do not mix chemicals aimlessly, that is, do not add various chemical together to see what result the reaction will provide because you might end up getting accident as your results. Also do not carry out any experiment except when instructed, this is to avoid explosion or fire outbreak, if the instructions given is not well understood, don't hesitate to ask your instructor.

6} Rule six: Do not taste, nor drink any chemical{just to quench your curiosity} and never smell any chemical directly. This is to avoid swallowing or Inhaling toxic chemicals.
I have witnessed this myself, a student, out of her curiosity, try to smell one the samples given and she accidentally inhale the gas which drives her unconscious for couples hours, with white substances coming out of her mouth.

7} Rule seven: All accidents should be reported immediately to the instructor. Don't Try To Be A Hero.

8} Rule eight: Do not put a glowing splint or a burning paper in the waste box so as to avoid fire outbreak.

9} Rule nine: Always dress properly to the lab, the laboratory is not a fashion show - for the ladies, always pack your hair firmly and wear a laboratory cap - always put on your laboratory coat, put on gloves if needed and always wear a flat bottom shoes - in most cases, this is always applicable to the females - besides your safety, it will also affect when taking your readings for example on the burette, beside that, what about your comfortability?

Those are the basic rules and regulations to prevent danger in the laboratory and to ensure laboratory safety, now let talk about other aspects of the laboratory safety.

Expense Of The Laboratory Resources

1} Rule one: Do not light the Bunsen burner or other sources of heat until required and also turn it off when no longer required.

2} Rule two: Using the minimum amount of chemicals, because the success of your experimental analysis is not directly proportional to the quantity of the chemical used.
Besides, results are faster with small quantity of samples and you will also be saving your provider{e.g school} some money.
A small amount of salt will react fastly with an acid[even if it is a weak acid] than a large amount of sample of salt.

Cleanliness Of A Laboratory To Prevent Accidents

1} Rule one: Clean all apparatus after use, and replace them in their appropriate place or chamber.

2} Rule two: Pour liquids only, down the sink. Never pour solids through the sink to prevent blockage.

3} Rule three: Wipe down your table and leave it clean and dry. Also return all the stool to their appropriate place or chamber.

General Precautions To Prevent Laboratory Accidents

1} Rule one: Do not try to quench fire outbreak with nearby materials such as notes, samples or specimens instead use your laboratory fire extinguisher. Your laboratory should definitely have one.

2} Rule two: Always be considerate and careful all the time present in the laboratory.

3} Rule three: As it has already been mentioned above, always try to avoid waste of all kinds - not even for your provider's sake but for your own sake.

Those are the common laboratory accidents and precautions to ensure laboratory safety. Feel free to share your thoughts or ask any questions through the comment box. For the list of recommended academic materials, kindly visit this page and if you are looking for coursera courses to enrol for visit this page, if your desired course is not listed on the page, kindly email us at for your desired course and we will help you to get it.
Till next class, ones again my name is Azeez Warith Olakunle.

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