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Why should YOU practice good laboratory safety

Why should YOU practice good laboratory safety - Why should...

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Why should YOU practice good laboratory safety? Protect yourself from laboratory hazards Protect others from laboratory hazards Comply with State and Federal regulations When we mention protect others from laboratory hazards we are not just referring to those in the laboratory, we also mean those in the hallways, adjacent laboratories and your family and friends outside of work. You don’t want to take things that you are exposed to in the laboratory home with you. Why YOU Should Practice Lab Safety Look closely at this picture and the following pictures. Were these students doing a rare and difficult experiment? Were they using very dangerous, rare chemicals? Actually, this explosion took place as an employee was streaking agar plates with an inoculation loop – one of the most basic procedures performed in a microbiology lab. The dangerous chemical involved? Ethanol – simple alcohol. Were the employees new, or were they uneducated, or were they just plain ignorant? No, the employee performing the procedure was a fifth-year doctoral student, at a medical school recognized as one of the finest not only in Texas, but in the nation. She had done this procedure thousands of times in her career. The other person badly burned was a high school student, who was only observing. The third employee injured was also a graduate student at this medical school. Herein lies an extremely important point: Accidents happen to people after performing a procedure the thousandth time, not the first. Why? People get relaxed after doing something over and over again. They get sloppy and careless. The first time, a person pays close attention to his/her work. After weeks, months, years, bad habits form. Before you begin your work: Stop! Think! Look! Taking five seconds before you begin work to consider the possible hazards might save you five days of missed work, five months of painful surgeries and medical procedures, five years of agony and regret. Accident Description: Tuesday, July 28, 1998. Time of Day: Approx. 4:40 PM
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While performing a sterile technique in which recombinant bacteria were manipulated using a sterile glass rod, an alcohol lamp flame ignited the vapor and contents of a four-liter bottle of 100% ethanol. What Went Wrong : 1. Wrong Materials The employee used 100% ethanol instead of 70% ethanol (aqueous), as is recommended for this procedure. The flash point of 100% ethanol is much below room temperature, whereas the flashpoint of 70% ethanol is just above room temperature. Vapors would not have ignited had the employee used 70% ethanol. 2. Inattentiveness Employee did not check to ensure the lamp was extinguished before opening and pouring ethanol nearby. Had the lamp been extinguished, no flame source would have been present. Also, pure ethanol burns with a cleaner flame than 70% ethanol, making it more difficult to determine whether or not the flame was extinguished. 3.
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Why should YOU practice good laboratory safety - Why should...

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