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“Good” Safety Practices and “Bad” Laboratory Practices

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“Good” Safety Practices and “Bad” Laboratory Practices. Buddy System. Be Safe! Don’t be alone when working with hazardous materials or in dangerous work conditions. Your life can depend on it!!. Buddy System. When performing potentially hazardous/dangerous operations always:

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buddy system
Buddy System

Be Safe! Don’t be alone when working with hazardous materials or in dangerous work conditions. Your life can depend on it!!

buddy system3
Buddy System
  • When performing potentially hazardous/dangerous operations always:
    • Make sure someone is in the laboratory with you or
    • Notify someone that you are in the lab and what time you will check with them when you complete your work.
    • Check-in with that person if you exceed your time estimate or if you leave.

The Results of Poor housekeeping:

  • Accidents
    • Cluttered counter tops are a good source of spills.
    • Poorly maintained equipment or apparatus can break spilling its contents, damage other equipment or flying debris can cause injury.
    • Containers and equipment on the floor are a trip and spill hazard.

The Results of Poor housekeeping:

  • Costs you money
    • Overstocking or reordering of chemicals due to uncontrolled or unmanaged inventory.
    • Replacing spilled chemicals or damaged equipment.

The Results of Poor housekeeping:

  • Contaminates your research
    • Poorly washed containers or equipment can lead to cross contamination.
    • Poorly labeled storage containers can lead to the use of a wrong reagent.

Poor housekeeping:

  • Causes accidents:
  • Costs you money
  • Contaminates your research
  • Sets up bad habits for students entering a more regulated industrial setting.
unattended bunsen burner causes bench fire
Unattended Bunsen burner causes bench fire.

Never leave lit Bunsen burners unattended or

use flammable solvents near them.

old equipment can be dangerous
Old Equipment Can Be Dangerous

Rusty water-bath with exposed wires

improper chemical storage
Improper Chemical Storage
  • Ether was stored in this domestic style refrigerator. Either the thermostat or the interior light was the ignition source that caused the explosion.
lack of attention to details
Lack of Attention to Details

Heater/stir plate being used to stir only accidentally

was also turned on as hot plate also!

incomplete reaction placed in refrigerator bang
Incomplete reaction placed in refrigerator – BANG!

See the glass imbedded

In the door?

Reaction container was placed into the refrigerator

before the reaction had been completely quenched.

The bottle over pressurized and exploded.

proper equipment usage
Proper Equipment Usage
  • There needs to be a written Standard Operating Procedure for all equipment.
  • Everyone should be properly trained before using any equipment.
  • Improperly used or maintained equipment can be dangerous to your health or can result in expensive damages.
  • Fires are common result with inappropriate equipment usage.
  • Mechanical failure of rotating parts (often violent).
  • Contact with rotating parts.
  • Sample leaks causing aerosols, stress corrosion, contamination.
  • Sample imbalance causing machine movement / walking (or stress failure of component parts).
  • Fire or explosion.
  • Health (contact with contaminated components / vapors).
  • Ergonomics/lifting

Dancing Centrifuge

This can be caused by an improperly balanced rotor.