Why Accidents Happen In The Laboratory

Most medical professionals working in a laboratory setting know that accidents can and most likely will happen, unless certain measures are taken. Laboratory safety guidelines are established to ensure the highest safety standards within your lab.

Generally, accidents that take place in a laboratory setting usually occur due to negligence. Most researchers and lab technicians do not actively seek out danger, it’s usually a preventable incident that causes lab accidents. Such incidents can take place when one is rushed and not taking enough time to finish the task at hand. Also, it has been said that by working alongside a co-worker can reduce the risk of laboratory accidents. It’s important to consider a few key factors when working in a laboratory setting:

  • Always double check. Remember to double check labels and never assume you know the content inside a bottle or tube based on color or size.
  • Utilize test tube racks. Test tube racks help create organization within the lab and are often considered a laboratory necessity. By storing test tubes in designated racks, you can sort and separate samples while maintaining an organized space.
  • Do not perform unauthorized experiments. Without the proper knowledge or equipment, performing experiments without consent from a supervisor can lead to major problems.
  • Wear the appropriate safety protective apparel. Laboratory safety apparel may include safety eyewear, a lab coat, gloves, etc.
  • Notify supervisor of missing or damaged equipment. Equipment that is damaged or not working correctly can cause accidents very easily.
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency. This may vary slightly, depending on your facility’s guidelines, but it’s always good to know how to handle emergency situations in any laboratory, medical or clinical setting.

While it’s important to keep these factors in mind, you should always abide by your facility’s lab safety requirements and guidelines. Have you ever came close or had an accident in your laboratory? Leave us a comment in the comment box below!

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