Ensuring safe execution of experiments in laboratories is an absolute must for everyone. Whether you are an expert carrying out extensive research in the laboratory or a teacher supervising students working under you, ensuring safe practices meeting the safety standards is vital. Not only does it save lives, but protects laboratory property and pieces of vulnerable equipment like science bottles etc. It ensures timely completion of the tasks at hand and prevents you from sailing into troubled waters. Making sure that everyone stays safe becomes even more crucial if you are working with young children unaware of laboratory safety standards.
Keeping the same in mind, here we have brought you the top five tips for ensuring children safety in science laboratories –
1. Supervise Them Properly – Students working in the science laboratories must be under the direct supervision of teachers or attendants. They must not be allowed to carelessly experiment with flammable substances, solvents or chemicals dangerous for skin or human health, in general. Untrained individuals are more likely to harm themselves in laboratories. The staff must be alert, active and completely vigilant where there are security issues involved. Besides, it is recommended that children work individually and must not be allowed to perform experiments in groups as it may lead to distraction. The setup of the laboratory must be such that no student is out of the direct surveillance area of the staff.
2. Keep The Flammable Stuff Away – The teachers and the laboratory staff must be exceptionally careful while the students are working with flammable substances in the laboratory. As these substances are vulnerable to fire, they must be stored in places where they are out of danger. Preferably, they must be stored in fireproof cabinets. The practice of storing them in plastic or glass containers should be discouraged. Under normal circumstances, only a selected set of experts should be allowed in the storage area. Keeping them out loose in the open is quite dangerous. Apart from that, they must be clearly labeled with signboards reading ‘Danger’ or ‘Flammable Substance’ as most of the newbies in the laboratories are unaware of the risks involved. Installation of proper safety containment system is also indispensable to the functioning of the laboratory.
3. Organization Is The Key – Creating a chaos in the laboratory is an open invitation to accidents. Mismanaged stuff is one of the lesser known reasons behind laboratory accidents. All pieces of equipment and chemicals must be assigned a proper place in the laboratory. For example, volumetric flask should be placed together in one place. A properly organized environment not just prevents accidents but also uplifts productivity and allows proper execution of experiments. It saves crucial time wasted in locating the piece of equipment and leaves you with a lot of time to complete the tasks at hand thus saving you from any haphazardness often leading to accidents.
4. All Eatables Outside Please – Another common laboratory practice that often leads to minor or major laboratory accidents is allowing eatables inside the laboratory. Eating inside the laboratory leads to a mess. It is one of the most prevalent mistakes that students commit while attending laboratories. Although it is completely common for anyone to enjoy snacks or coffee alongside work, the dangers involved are not worth it. Not only does it reduce the concentration on the task at hand but also decreases efficiency. Moreover, the leftovers can create a mess in the laboratory promoting the risk of contamination. Thus, no eatables should be allowed inside the laboratories.
5. Teach Them Stuff – An easy and inexpensive method to spread awareness about safety in laboratories is to actually teach the children about it. It is, perhaps, the easiest way out. One of the most common ways to educate children about laboratory safety procedures is organizing seminars and expert lectures on the subject. Apart from that, installing various laboratory safety posters or custom signs is a good practice as they will serve as constant reminders for the students. These visually appealing tools help in forming an environment of safety. Moreover, these can be used as handy guides for reference in case of any emergency whatsoever. These safety sign boards are the best way to instill a value for safety even amongst the most careless ones.
Lastly, prevention is always better than cure. Nobody can predict the occurrence of accidents. You must always remain ready with methods to deal with any unfortunate incidents. A proper laboratory first aid kit, tailor-made to deal with laboratory accidents must always be handy. It should have all the necessary stuff like bandages, antiseptic lotions, and tubes, a pair of scissors, disposable gloves, burn dressings, waterproof plasters, safe sedate masks etc.
Ross is a blogger who loves to write especially in the Gifting vertical. He has written many informative Blogs. He has also written blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs . He co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic: A popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for Ecommerce.