Safety Equipment Used In Laboratory And Their Safety
Laboratory Safety Equipment
1. Extracted Wet Bench
Extracted wet bench capture, contain, and expel emissions generated by hazardous chemicals or chemical reactions. All laboratory experiments with chemicals should be done in the extracted wet bench. While it is possible to predict the release of undesirable or hazardous effluents in most laboratory operations, surprises can always happen. Therefore, the extracted wet bench offers an extra measure of protection.
A fume hood should not be used for long-term chemical storage.
2. Chemical Storage Cabinets
Storage of flammable and corrosive chemicals in the lab should be limited to small quantities as for as possible. Flammable materials should be stored in flammable material storage cabinets.
Storage outside of the cabinet should be limited to materials used in the current process and must be returned after use to the appropriate storage cabinets. Leaving chemicals on benches or working areas is hazardous and is not acceptable.
Plastic cabinets are designed for corrosion resistance and used for storing acid and other corrosive materials.
Acids and other corrosive chemicals in the chemistry laboratory are stored under the fume hoods.
To prevent potential safety hazards, the length of storage of chemicals should be kept to a minimum and refrigerators should be periodically inspected.
3. Eyewash Stations
A bowl-mounted eyewash station, which provides continuous water flow through a plumbed unit, is available in the chemistry laboratory and is accessible to all laboratory personnel.
- Always flush the eyewash line before use.
- Eyewash solutions are also available in all laboratories.
- Water or eyewash solutions should not be directly aimed at the eyeball, but rather, aimed at the base of the nose. This increases the chance of effectively rinsing the eyes free of chemicals (harsh streams of water may drive particles further into the eyes).
- If wearing contact lenses remove them as soon as possible to rinse eyes of any harmful chemicals.
4. Fire Safety Equipment
Please familiarise yourself with the location of the Fire Alarms. Fire Extinguishers are located near exits in most laboratories.
General Laboratory Equipment Safety
Accidents involving glassware are a leading cause of laboratory injuries. These can be avoided by following a few simple procedures. In general, be sure that you have received proper instructions before you use glass equipment designed for specialized tasks that involve unusual risks or potential injury.
Here are a few safety rules:
- Handle and store glassware carefully so as not to damage it or yourself.
- When inserting glass tubing into rubber stoppers, corks or when placing rubber tubing on glass hose connections:
- Protect hands with a heavy glove or towel.
- Lubricate the tubing or stopper with water or soap solution and ensure the ends of the glass tubing are fire-polished.
- Hold hands close together to limit the glass movement should a fracture occur.
- Substitute plastic connections for glass whenever possible to decrease the risk of injury.
- Use glassware for vacuum work that is designed for that purpose.
- Wear hand protection when picking up the pieces when dealing with broken glass.
- Use a broom to sweep small pieces into a dustpan and store glass pieces in a designated bin for broken glass.
Electrical devices that supply heat in laboratories include:
- Tube & Box Furnaces
- Heating Mantles
- Hot-Air Guns
- Oil Baths
Improper use of any one of these could result in fire or burns to the user.
Before using any heating device:
- Check if the unit has an automatic safety shutoff in case of overheating.
- Note the condition of electrical cords and have them replaced as required.
- Make sure the apparatus has been maintained as required by the manufacturer.
- Check that all heating units in use without automatic shut-off have been turned off before leaving an area for an extended period.
- Flammable or combustible solvents should not be used in a heated or near the bath. Oil baths must permanently be housed in a chemical fume hood.
Familiarise yourself with the operations of the vacuum system in use. (If you are unfamiliar with the functions of the Rotary, Diaphragm, Diffusion, or Turbo Pumps, please try to learn about them. Improper use can lead to accidents, severe damage to the pump, the substantial cost of repair or replacement, and of course, delay in project work.)
Make sure the service cord and switch are free of observable defects and accessible in case of emergency.
Always use a trap on the suction line to prevent liquids from being drawn into the pump.
If gases or vapors are being drawn through the pump, a cold trap should be used in the suction line to prevent contamination of the pump oil.
Place a tray under the pump to catch any oil drips.
First Aid & Emergency Procedures
Please familiarise yourself with the first aid and emergency procedures so that mishaps can be speedily contained. It is the responsibility of the injured person to report any injury or property damage to
Cleanse the area with water as appropriate. For minor cuts and scratches, place the sterile pad over the wound and apply gentle pressure evenly with the opposite hand. If direct gentle pressure does not control bleeding, raise the area above the level of the heart. Apply dressing plaster as appropriate.
If there is significant bleeding, place the sterile pad over the wound, apply gentle pressure, and call the Health Centre (South Side) immediately for help and advice.
First-degree burns are redness or discoloration of the skin, mild swelling, and pain. These can be treated by rinsing or immersing in water for at least 10 minutes, applying a skin cream as appropriate, and seeking further medical treatment.
Second and third-degree burns are red or scared skin with blisters (second-degree), and white or charred skin (third-degree). Immediate first aid is to clean the area if possible, keep it dry, and immediately call Health Centre (South Side) for medical help.
If hazardous chemicals should come into contact with the skin or eyes, follow the first aid procedures below.
Skin: Remove garments as required and rinse the affected area with water for at least 15 minutes (sink, shower, or hose).
Do not apply burn ointments/spray to affected areas.
Call the Health Centre (South Side) for medical help without delay.
Eyes: Rinse the area of eyes, eyelids, and face thoroughly with lukewarm water for at least 15 minutes at the eyewash station and call the Health Centre (South Side) without delay.