Laboratories are always full of hazardous equipment and materials. Chemical reagents, electricity breakable equipment that can lead to injuries and financial losses. This shows that there are is an important case for the practice of laboratory safety. The following are five reasons why you should practice laboratory safety.
1. It saves lives and prevents harm to the body: – when laboratory equipment is not properly handled, it is likely to cause physical harm to the user and those around them. There is also the issue of how electricity is handled which can in itself be a great hazard to those in the lab. Chemical reactions that should be conducted in controlled environments such as fume cupboards should be conducted in them to save lives.
2. It prevents cross contamination: – there has been instances when people have contracted serious diseases in the lab. In biology labs, for example, if you do not follow safety procedures carefully, you may end up getting diseases from the reagents you are working with. In some cases, the disease may spread to large portions of the population causing great losses in life and resources.
3. It protects equipment and other property: – some of the safety procedures required in the lab such as cleaning equipment after use may appear routine and unimportant. However, they prevent expensive lab equipment from being destroyed. Being careful to observe safety in the lab also helps you prevent large scale losses such as fires that can destroy the whole lab.
4. It ensures you keep accurate records: – in a hospital lab, for example, a mix up in records can lead to serious consequences. A patient may end up going through procedures that were not meant for them. You must always ensure that your records are safe, accurate and properly cross checked at all times.
5. It helps maintain the good reputation of the facility and reputation: – Few things are likely to damage the image of your institution or facility like having a poor record of lab safety. A hospital that gives patients the wrong results which in turn lead to wrong diagnosis and prescriptions is not a serious hospital. No parent or government would want students to attend a school or college where there have been incidences. When you maintain lab safety you maintain the confidence levels people have in your institution.
From the above reasons, laboratory safety should be taken with a lot of seriousness. You should always make sure that you do not slack even in the safety procedures that appear simple and unimportant. Those measures ensure that bigger bleaches do not occur. Failure to clean a test tube, for example may make it progressively weaker and cause to spill toxic substances at a most inopportune moment.