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Chemical handling in Laboratory - Safety Dos and Don’ts

Chemical handling in Laboratory - Safety Dos and Don’ts
Chemical handling in Laboratory - Safety Dos and Don’ts

Chemical handling in Laboratory - Safety Dos and Don’ts

Laboratories store and handle several types of hazardous and non-hazardous chemicals and therefore there is a certain level of risk associated with each chemical. Recognizing the hazards and assessing the risks to decide on control measures is the important step in any safety management system.
Before assessing the risk, it is very important to identify all types of hazards such as different types of harmful chemicals (including acids and bases, corrosive, cryogenic, flammable, halogen, hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, mercury, oxidizing agents, peroxides, pyrophoric, etc.), biological agents, compressed gases and electrical hazards.
In addition, we need to know the route of the exposure and its consequences. Chemical can be exposed though inhalation, injection, ingestion, and absorption. After analyzing and assessing the risk, it should be managed by providing the appropriate control measures, including emergency management and response plan.
First Aid and Safety Dos and Don'ts of Chemical Handling in Laboratory provides quick risk management guides for the chemist and all staff. It can be prepared as a safety poster and displayed in important places. This will help to remember safety precautions during storage, handling, during the experiment and after the experiment. The risks associated with handling and storing chemicals in the laboratory can be managed by using modern equipment or techniques or procedures to limit exposures.
It is also very important to use personal protective equipment when handling chemicals. It cannot eliminate dangers but serve as a barrier against contact. This safety dos and don'ts of handling chemicals in the laboratory helps you understand best labeling practices, general guidance for handling chemicals, and safety precautions when handling chemicals.

Chemical handling in Laboratory: Safety Dos and Don’ts

Following safety dos and don'ts gives quick guides to manage laboratory risks when handling chemicals.
  1. Label all chemicals and close the containers tightly.
  2. Know the chemical hazards using safety data sheet before use.
  3. Display and keep safety data sheet (SDS) where chemicals are handled and stored
  4. Select glassware material depending on type of work.
  5. Apparatus and reagents should have fixed places.
  6. Dispose broken glassware in a separate receptacle.
  7. Store poisonous chemicals in a labeled cupboard
  8. Keep adequate ventilation in fume hood.
  9. Promptly clean any spillage of chemicals.
  10. Use fume hood for high toxic or flammable materials.
  11. Use flame fume hood for all operation with toxic and flammable materials.
  12. Use wire-mesh to heat the glassware with chemical.
  13. Store and dispose waste solvent separately
  14. On contact, use safety shower or eye wash for minimum 15 minutes
  15. While disposing off chemicals in the sink, dilute them first.
  16. Ensure availability of carbon dioxide fire extinguisher in laboratory
  17. Use the appropriate PPEs including hand gloves and chemical splash safety googles for the chemicals handled.
  18. Ensure heartiness of firefighting equipment and systems
  19. Always prepare the chemical samples inside the ventilation hood.
  20. All compressed gas cylinders must be secured and in safe place.
  21. Minimize the chemical inventory.
  22. Leaked container must be immediately removed at contain at safe location.
  23. Toxic chemicals must be kept in closed container and disposed though appropriate agency.
  24. Use bottle-carrier for safe transportation.
  25. Mix chemical slowly with stirring.
  26. Transfer chemical into clean and properly labeled container
  27. Inform to supervisor immediately if you exposed to any chemical
  28. Maintain general hygiene immediately after every work.
  29. All contaminated wastes must be collected and diposed appropriately as per disposal procedure.

  1. Don’t use cracked, chipped glassware
  2. Don’t store incompatible chemicals together
  3. Don’t heat glassware on naked flame
  4. Don’t transfer used chemicals back into primary container
  5. Don’t start work without proper clamping the apparatus
  6. Don’t store corrosive liquids above eye level
  7. Don’t open toxic chemical container in normal room where occupant may exposed due to air circulation.
  8. Don’t lean over test tube or other reaction vessel.
  9. Don’t apply mouth suction for pipetting
  10. Don’t siphon chemical with mouth for transferring from one container to another.
  11. Don’t handle volatile solvent near an open flame or electrical hot plate.
  12. Don’t leave heating operation unattended
  13. Don’t leave electricity and service line ON after job.
  14. Don’t keep fume hood door permanently open
  15. Don’t pour water over immiscible flammable fluids.
  16. Don’t use deteriorated or cracked hoses with compressed gas cylinder.
  17. Don’t use DCP (Dry Chemical Powder) fire extinguishers on chemical fire.
  18. Don’t dispose left over samples in normal wash basin.

These Safety Dos and Don'ts of Chemical handling in laboratory can be prepared in pictorial format and displayed in the prominent location  to provide a quick and easy guide for all laboratory employees. It can also be used to educate the staff  about safety precautions when using chemicals in Laboratory.
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