lab 2 Microfab Lab Safety Handout

lab 2 Microfab Lab Safety Handout - LABORATORY SAFETY A...

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LABORATORY SAFETY A. General Considerations In the laboratory the chemist works with many potentially dangerous substances. Yet, with constant alertness, awareness of potential hazards, and a few common-sense precautions, laboratory operations can be carried out with a high degree of safety. Most of the responsibility for the personal safety of the laboratory worker rests on the worker himself. In the event of an accident resulting from his neglect of appropriate precautions or disregard of laboratory regulations he is in a poor position to collect damages for his own injuries, and may even find himself the target of civil or criminal action if his negligence results in injury to others. Worse, injuries sustained in laboratory accidents can result in permanent disability, disfigurement, blindness, or death a fact that far transcends legal considerations. The basic rule of safety in the laboratory is: be alert stay alert. The laboratory is no place for the "absent-minded professor" or the “absent-minded student” for that matter. Beyond this, take the trouble to understand what you are doing and to know what the hazards are, take the appropriate precautions, and use the appropriate protective equipment. We summarize here some of the more important specific laboratory rules and precautions. (1) Never work in the laboratory alone . Before working in the laboratory outside regular hours make sure that this is permissible and be certain that someone else will be in the same room to provide assistance in case of need. (2) At all times wear approved eye protection : "safety glasses" with impact-resistant lenses in approved frames, or protective goggles, or a face shield, or some combination of these - It should be borne in mind that this is required by Maryland state law. Safety glasses may be obtained either ground to prescription or non-refracting. Side shields of transparent plastic may be clipped on for additional protection. Ordinary prescription glasses provide about the same protection against spatter as do safety glasses but in the event of an explosion the lenses of ordinary glasses are much more easily shattered and the glass fragments may be driven into the eyeball; in such a case they can be worse than no glasses at all. Contact lenses (especially the corneal type) provide negligible protection, and indeed their use may seriously aggravate hazards from spatter since they will impede washing the cornea free of caustic liquids that creep or diffuse under them. It is inadvisable to wear them even under safety glasses, which (it must always be remembered) do not by themselves provide one hundred percent protection from spatter at top, sides, and bottom. (3) Use the fume hood for all operations involving poisonous or offensive gases or fumes as well as for operations involving highly inflammable or potentially explosive materials. A combination of a fume hood and a safety shield (see below) will provide the maximum readily available protection against minor laboratory explosions.
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