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General Lab Safety Guidelines

  • Never bring food or drink into lab spaces. If a room serves multiple functions, clearly delineate lab areas from those used for other purposes. Do not cross-contaminate the areas.
  • Never smoke in lab spaces.
  • Wear appropriate clothing. Loose clothing should be confined. Shorts and sandals should not be worn.
  • Keep hair restrained.
  • Keep lab areas clean and organized.
  • Properly label and store all materials, following the globally harmonized system of classification and labeling, where appropriate.
  • Know the MSDS information for the materials being used.
  • Follow all posted safety signs/instructions.
  • Read all labels carefully.
  • Properly store all materials.
  • Avoid working alone.
  • Utilize personal protective equipment (PPE) when appropriate.
  • Ensure machine safety features are properly utilized.
  • Ensure sharps and biohazard waste are properly disposed.
  • Use correct lifting technique. Grab a partner if you are unable to lift a load safely.
  • Know where eyewash, safety shower stations, fire extinguishers, spill control kits, and other safety equipment are located.
  • Know evacuation procedures for the lab space.
  • Use GFCI outlets where appropriate.
  • Use fume hoods when appropriate.

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