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Safety in a Bioengineering Lab. Safety rule #1. Sure, you are safe…. Even if you think you are not going to have a problem (and you don’t need goggles, etc).…. Safety rule # 2: Be cautious and vigilant the person next to you may not be following safety rules.

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sure you are safe
Sure, you are safe….
  • Even if you think you are not going to have a problem
    • (and you don’t need goggles, etc).….
  • Safety rule # 2: Be cautious and vigilant
  • the person next to you may not be following safety rules
safety rule 3 dress for the lab
Safety Rule #3Dress for the lab



Hair pulled back

Sleeves can be rolled up

Long pants in sturdy fabric

Closed toe shoes

Minimal jewelry

safety rule 4 chemicals can be hazardous
Safety Rule #4— Chemicals can be hazardous!
  • Know the hazards of chemicals you use
    • Caustic—burns the skin or eyes
    • Volatile—evaporates and fumes can be inhaled
    • Flammable—can catch on fire easily
    • Toxic orcarcinogenic—can cause illness or death in short term or long term
  • Listen to your instructor
  • READ LABELS and remain focused
safety rule 5 be careful around sharp objects
Safety Rule # 5-Be careful around sharp objects

Scalpels, razor blades, broken glass

Small cuts are #1 injury in lab classes

  • Dispose all used sharp items into a sharps container
    • Razor blades
    • Any one time use glassware
    • Broken glassware will be taken care of by helpers
safety rule 6 avoid burns on hot items 7 use caution around electricity
Safety rule #6 Avoid burns on hot items #7- Use caution around electricity
  • Burns caused by retrieving sample from boiling water is the #2 injury in classes.
  • Watch for water near electric appliances.
safety rule 8 clean up after yourself
Safety rule #8- Clean up after yourself
  • Reduce clutter
    • Improve visibility
    • Work efficiently
    • Keep yourself and others safe
proper clean up of biological materials
Proper clean-up of biological materials

Biological samples will degrade

  • Degrading organisms attract bacteria, mold
    • will ruin future experiments
    • a biohazard
    • smell
safety rule 9 no food or drinks in the culture room
Safety rule #9- No food or drinks in the culture room!
  • NO drinks, gum, mints, make-up.
  • Saliva and crumbs from you can get on your work samples
    • Contaminate your work
  • Your work samples or their by-products can get on your food!
    • And then into your mouth!!
invisible life forms are everywhere
“Invisible” life forms are everywhere!
  • Present on skin, fall off of hair, clothing, in saliva, tears, breath.
  • Present on surfaces and in water
    • Especially warm water
safety rule 10 protecting your cultures protects you
Safety rule #10- Protecting your cultures protects you!
  • Biosafety hood (Class II safety cabinet)
aseptic technique
Aseptic Technique
  • Prevents introduction of organisms into your cultures
    • Roll sleeves up, pull hair back, remove rings, watches, bracelets
    • Wash your hands
    • 70% ethanol
      • A spray-on hand sanitizer
    • Gloves by suggestion
    • Wash hands afterwards, gloves or not
safety rule 11 proper biological disposal is absolutely essential
Safety rule #11- Proper biological disposal is absolutely essential!
  • For cell cultures (Biosafety level 1)
    • Hazardous to dispose of any LIVING organism by dumping in trash or rinsing down the sink
    • Bleach will kill any unused cells
      • Squirt small amount into media and cells
      • Wait a few minutes
      • Rinse down sink with plenty of running water
proper disposal of biological waste
Proper disposal of biological waste
  • Bacterial and fungal cultures
    • Autoclave
    • Use autoclave bags
other hazards in a bioengineering laboratory
Other hazards in a bioengineering laboratory
  • Compressed gases.
    • Wear goggles when using compressed gas
  • Cryogenic liquids
    • To preserve cells
    • Can cause “burns”

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