Protective Procedures

General protective procedures:
Read the laboratory exercise before class and plan your work. This creates awareness of the special safety concerns for the laboratory class and permits efficient use of class time.

Come properly dressed to lab.

  • Wear a lab coat. You should supply a lab coat and leave it in the lab.
  • Always wear shoes in the lab. Closed-toed shoes are required for many labs.
  • Tie long hair back.
  • Remove dangling jewelry and items such as scarves and ties.

Disinfect your lab bench before you start, if you spill culture, and before you leave the lab.

Use pipette aids when appropriate. Never pipette by mouth.

Protective Procedures for chemical hazards:
Your laboratory instructor will inform you when you are using chemicals that require special handling. Special precautions include:

Prevent contact with the skin by wearing gloves and a lab coat.

Minimize hazards due to the formation of dangerous aerosols and splashing by wearing protective eye gear.

Limit exposure to chemical fumes by working in a chemical fume hood.

Properly dispose of chemicals that pose environmental hazards.

Protective procedures for physical hazards:

Set up a Bunsen burner in the center of your lab bench in an area free of overhanging materials. Never leave a lighted Bunsen burner unattended. Keep work area clear.

Keep water away from electrical equipment.

Some procedures in the lab involve physical hazards and require special precautions, for example:

Working with hot items, either from the autoclave or heated in the Bunsen burner requires protection of your hands. Wear mitts or handle the hot item with tongs.

Using a sonicator, or sonic dismembranator, requires wearing protective ear coverings.

When working with a UV light source, wear coated UV-protective safety glasses.

Protective eye coverings are required any time that aerosols might be generated or splashing might occur.

Take the Quiz

On to Emergency Procedures