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Proper Procedures of Lab Safety

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Laboratories can often have many potential hazards and require extra precautions to stay safe. Lab safety and procedure is crucial to ensure that you and anyone near your procedure or equipment and materials can remain safe and unharmed and can even prevent death. Lab safety includes proper procedures, proper safety equipment and activities, and proper disposal. Proper vigilance for these things to ensure your safety for the majority of your time you spend in a laboratory.

Methods and Materials

The first part of our lab involved proper handwashing procedure. You will need soap, paper towels, clean running water, and possibly a nail brush or sticks depending on nail length. If you have any jewelry on your wrists or hands, remove it first. You will proceed to turn on the water and rinse your hands, after wetting your hands you may apply soap and spread it across both hands by rubbing them together. Next, rub your hands under the water with your fingertips down and scrub for at least 20 seconds and no visible soil remaining. If necessary, use a nail brush or wooden sticks to remove soil from under the nails and spend at least 20 seconds doing so. Afterwards, use a paper towel to dry your hands and dispose of it properly. If you need to turn off a manual hand-turn faucet, use a paper towel when doing so and dispose of the towel properly.

Next in the lab was safety and protocols. When you enter a lab, you should not bring in food or drink and you should be wearing the minimum acceptable attire. Miniumum acceptable attire includes: close-toed shoes, full length pants without holes, a shirt with sleeves, and a labcoat. Next, use protection appropriate to the dangers in the lab; gloves when chemicals or potentially infectious materials are in use, goggles when working with damaging chemicals, tied back hair (if long) and non-loose fitting clothing if near flames are some examples. If you’re working with materials that produce fumes, use a fume hood. Generally you should know what you’re working with and use proper precautions, if you don’t know the proper precautions, consult the MSDS that should be in the lab. If you have an accident, notify the person in charge of the lab and use proper procedure for your accident. For splashes in the eye, use the eyewash station, if it was on the body, use the shower station.

The final portion of the lab involved proper disposal of lab materials. Any sharp, glass, or broken materials will be disposed of into a sharps container. If it has a potential for infection or is non-reusable and has touched the infectious material, place it into the biohazard container. Lastly, regular trash such as notes or paper towels used on hands should go into a regular trash can. Tools or materials that are to be reused can be autoclaved if sterility is needed or washed in the sink if they only need to be clean. Dispose of chemicals appropriately. If you are unsure of correct disposal procedure, consult with the person in charge of the lab or the MSDS for proper and safe disposal. Make sure to clean and disinfect your lab area after you are finished with it.


By using what learned in each section you can properly clean your hands to avoid spreading infection or spreading chemicals or irritants from your hands, be better protected from lab hazards such as fire, chemicals, or fumes, know how to deal with situations such as a splash into the eyes, find proper procedure from the MSDS, and dispose of materials properly to avoid cuts, infection, unsafe chemicals, and achieve a clean or sterile workstation and/or tools.


The lab is an unsafe environment if you are not careful to follow proper procedure. If you take proper precaution you can remain safe and be better protected in case of accidents such as chemical spills or fires. Proper disposal and handwashing can save you or others from infection, cuts, unsafe chemicals, and promote a safer environment. Make sure you consult the person in charge of the lab and/or the MSDS if you have questions about safety regarding materials and safety procedures. 

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Proper Procedures of Lab Safety. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from
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