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The different equipment in a laboratory poses various hazards to the users. Apart from injury to the users, some accidents can stall a major project. From chemical to electrical machines; it is important that you put measures in place to ensure laboratory safety.
1. Develop laboratory safety policies
Safety policies are a primary way of ensuring laboratory safety. The policies should define and endorse the safety program. The plans should cover the usage of the chemicals in the lab and machines. It is important to have a policy because it will communicate to the different stakeholders on what to observe. The components of a good safety system should include:
• The mitigation of economic and human injuries arising from accidents with the laboratory and occupational exposures
• Safety consideration on the different processes that users will perform in the laboratory
• The compliance with laws and regulations concerning safety
2. Establish a committee tasked with ensuring laboratory safety
The users have to adhere to the safety policies to promote laboratory safety. People are stubborn and may not observe the safety policies. Therefore, it is important to have a committee that will ensure that different stakeholders follow the policies. The board will take suggestions from the stakeholders on how they can improve health and safety. It is because one can come with the idea that is better than under implementation.
The committee will review the safety policies from time to time. The factors affecting safety are dynamic, and they keep changing. For example, the laboratory can acquire a machine which the current policies do not cover. Also, they can start using a chemical that was not in use before. Laws and regulations can change, and the committee will ensure that the policies are updated so that they are in line with the changes. Finally, the committee will coordinate the acquisition and utilization of resources for ensuring safety.
3. Create a plan for emergencies
In a laboratory setting, accidents are bound to happen. It is important that you prepare for such contingencies in case they happen. The first step to being ready for these emergencies in by having kits to attend to them. It is because depending on the type of the chemicals and machines you can determine the type of accidents that can happen. An example of a common accident is spillage of a corrosive chemical onto one’s skin. To be ready for such an emergency you should have spill kits. Sometimes the accidents can be severe and the person would need to be attended by medical personnel. Therefore, you should have contacts for local emergency response firms.