To work in a laboratory, you must first make it safe. In the absence of lab safety equipment, there is a significant chance of terrible accidents. Here’s a list of lab safety equipment and why you need it.
Labs are by their very nature risky environments. Bunsen burners, which use gas to create open flames, corrosive acids and bases, equipment with springs that may strike people, sharp objects that can easily sever your hand and spread infection. Hence, we always should know about the risk and safety.
Lab coats/ Aprons
Lab coats are an important piece of personal protection equipment (PPE) in the laboratory. When used appropriately, lab coats: protect the skin and personal clothes from accidental touch and tiny droplets and also prevent contamination from spreading outside of the lab. In the case of a spill or splash of hazardous material, provide a detachable barrier. Lab coats are made of many materials, and it is critical to choose a coat or coats made of the proper material for the sorts of risks in the lab. The first step in this procedure is to identify the sorts of risks in your lab and the reasons for the lab coats.
Lab gloves are sometimes known as safety gloves or laboratory gloves. They are a sort of personal protection equipment (PPE) used in laboratories by scientists, researchers, and lab personnel to safeguard their safety. These gloves act as a barrier between the laboratory worker and potentially hazardous chemicals, considerably lowering the danger of exposure and contamination. Laboratory gloves are essential laboratory materials that serve as the first line of protection against potential risks in the laboratory. They not only protect the lab worker, but they also keep samples from becoming contaminated with one another.
Depending on the material, laboratory gloves come in a variety of styles. In the laboratory, three types of gloves are commonly used:
- Latex gloves are comprised of natural rubber and have exceptional tactile sensitivity, making them ideal for sensitive work.
- Nitrile gloves are synthetic rubber gloves. They have a good puncture resistance and a high chemical resistance.
- Vinyl gloves is made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl gloves are a solid choice for duties that need frequent glove changes, such as food handling or some low-risk lab operations.
As part of personal protective equipment, safety glasses are used to safeguard the eyes. These are chemically resistant eyeglasses. Its complete cover feature protects the eyes from dangerous acid and chemical spills. It is constructed of both hard and soft components for long-term use and has a wide panoramic visual field. When a hazardous chemical or substance, whether liquid or gaseous, comes into contact with the eyes, substantial and irreparable damage can result. A person might also have partial or complete visual impairment. Science safety goggles are the major eye protection equipment that are specifically designed to protect the eyes from chemical spills, as well as irritating mists, vapors, and toxic fumes.
They establish a protective barrier over the eyes, preventing any items or dangerous substances from entering via the gaps in the goggles. The PPE goggles allow the user to handle hazardous chemicals and substances with caution without risk of harming their eyes. When working with contaminated materials, they serve as an important line of defense against hazardous illnesses.
Face masks must be used in research laboratories with care to avoid contamination from radioactive, biological, and chemical contaminants. If hazardous compounds (such as chemical solvents) are at danger of seeping into or onto fabric face masks, use disposable face masks instead.
Disposable masks are often made of polymers and non-woven textiles, making them less absorbent than cloth face masks. If you use a reusable container or bag for storage, make sure it is disposed away or cleaned on a regular basis. Reusable face masks should not be worn in situations where biological/infectious contamination is a concern.
Chemical Fume Hoods
The laboratory chemical fume hood is the most frequent local exhaust ventilation system used in labs and is the major approach for controlling hazardous material inhalation exposures. Fume hoods provide great safety for the user when utilized appropriately. The goal of a chemical fume hood is to manage and then exhaust dangerous and/or odorous compounds in order to avoid their discharge into the general laboratory environment. If an unintentional spill occurs, the fume hood will confine the chemicals and exhaust the fumes away from the user and laboratory zone.
Laboratories sometimes include combustible compounds and possible fire hazards. It is critical that laboratory occupants are well informed of the hazards and the suitable extinguishing medium to utilize. A dry chemical (BC, ABC) type extinguisher is found in laboratories that employ flammable liquids, whereas a carbon dioxide (CO2) type extinguisher is found in laboratories that utilize computer and electrical equipment (e.g., mass spectrometers, gas chromatographs, and NMR facilities). Metal-X, a graphite substance, is used to suppress a Class D (flammable solids) fire and is provided to laboratories as needed. Laboratory workers should be aware of the presence of fire extinguishers; however, people are not obligated to use fire extinguishers and should only do so if necessary.
The fire blanket is the second type of fire safety equipment. Fire blankets are used to put out human-caused flames. Remove the fire blanket from its wall holder before using it. Wrap the blanket around the flames on the victim. The fire blanket will obstruct the passage of air to the fire, causing the flames to extinguish.
Eyewash stations in laboratories offer emergency decontamination of the eyes and face. If a dangerous material enters or interacts with your eyes, you can instantly flush it out using an emergency eyewash station. Laboratory eyewash stations must only be used in emergency. In an emergency, laboratory eyewash give a constant flow of water through two spouts to cleanse a person’s eyes. You can use distilled, filtered, or tap water. There are no specific filters required. In most cases, the water used in an eyewash station is cold or room temperature. The water pressure utilized in an eyewash station must be strong enough to allow the water to flow up into the eyes.
As the name indicates, first aid is a set of principles that can lessen the damage caused by chemical exposure or injury before expert medical care can be delivered. Everyone in the laboratory should be familiar with first-aid procedures since they save time and limit the level of harm in the event of a laboratory disaster. Each laboratory should have personnel who have obtained first aid training and are certified by local authorities. Every laboratory has to have a first aid SOP that is clearly posted inside the space. It should include directions for what to do in the event of a laboratory accident or emergency.
A first aid kit should be kept in a separate cabinet or box and contain important medicines, antiseptic lotions, creams, and bandages. A person should be assigned the responsibility of keeping an inventory of the contents and removing old medications and replacing them with new ones.
Video on Safety Equipment Used In Chemistry Lab