this is a sample of a lab report
When working in a laboratory, one is constantly faced with many potential hazards. For this reason, lab safety is very crucial. Not only will following proper lab etiquette and regulations ensure one’s own personal safety, it will also ensure the safety of others. After all, the main goal of lab safety rules and protocols are to prevent everyone in the lab from injury and infection. The three different modules reviewed and practiced in this lab included the following: proper handwashing techniques, personal safety protocols, and proper disposal practices. All three of these practices helped me better understand the importance of lab safety.
Methods and Materials
The first unit of the lab consists of proper handwashing etiquettes. Proper handwashing in the laboratory requires running water, soap, and paper towels. Before washing one’s hands, one should make sure all hand jewelry is taken off. Once the faucet is turned on, one should wet his/her hands before adding soap. After the hands have been wet and soap has been applied, one should thoroughlyscrub his/her hands together for at least 20 seconds. A nail brush may also be used to clean up under the nails. After rubbing the hands together for the minimum time, one should rinse hands under the faucet with fingers pointing toward the drain to remove all traces of soap. When turning off the faucet, one should use the towel that was used to dry the hands.
The second unit of the lab pertains to personal safety protocols. This also includes the protective equipment one must use when conducting experiments.Before entering the laboratory, one should dispose of all food and drinks. In order to execute the necessary precautions for lab safety, it is crucial to identify the potential hazards before conducting a lab experiment. A lab coat should be worn at all times. Closed toed shoes are always required. Latex gloves should be used when working with chemicals, working with infectious bacteria, or during animal dissections. Goggles should be worn with working with chemicals or when using a UV light. When using a Bunsen burner, one should make sure hair is tied back and no loose/dangling clothing is revealed. All explosive chemicals should also be kept away from an ignited Bunsen burner. One should utilize the fumed hood when working with hazardous chemicals and utilize the biosafety cabinet when working with infectious microorganisms. When working with hazardous chemicals, one should follow the chemical hygiene plan provided by the institution and check with the Material Safety and Data Sheets. In the case of any lab accident, one should immediately notify the instructor or person in charge.
The third unit of the lab involves proper disposal practices. There are three, possibly four, different disposal bins: the sharps container, the biohazard bin, the regular trash can, and possibly a recycling bin. Sharp objects, such as Pasteur pipettes, used glass slides and cover glasses, needles/syringes, and used scalpel blades, should be disposed of in the sharps container. Biohazardous materials, such as dissection specimens, plastic bacterial culture plates, long plastic serological pipettes, and gloves used when working with chemicals or infectious materials, should be disposed of into the biohazard bin. Old lab notes, paper towels, and lens paper can either be discarded into a regular trash can or a recycling bin, depending on the nature of the material. Reusable tools that require sterilization should be placed in the autoclave. Other tools that require cleaning but not sterilization can be placed in the sink. The lab bench, which is also utilized during experiments, should always be cleaned and disinfected before and after each completed lab activity.
Proper handwashing techniques reduce the number of bacteria located on one’s hands. Washing one’s hands prior to a lab activity can prevent unwanted bacteria from contaminating the experiment. Washing one’s hands after an activity, particularly one involving infectious bacteria, can prevent one from becoming infected and/or spreading the bacteria to others.Even if one used gloves, washing one’s hands can prevent skin irritation and allergy by removing the residue inflicted by the gloves. By taking off hand jewelry, one is promoting the removal of bacteria that can get under them. Wetting one’s hands prior to adding soap allows the necessary suds to appear in order to promote the optimal removal of bacteria. Doing so also prevents skin irritations that may occur. Lathering hands together for at least 20 seconds encourages the removal of most bacteria. Using a nail brush helps remove any bacteria that may be hard to reach under the fingernails. Rinsing one’s hands while keeping the fingers pointed toward the drainallows the water and germs to be rinsed down into the sink instead of up the arms. Bacteria transfers more easily onto an environment that is moist versus one that is dry. This is why it is important to dry one’s hands using a paper towel. Using a paper towel to turn off the faucet also prevents bacteria that may be on the faucet from transferring back onto one’s hands.
Following lab safety protocols protects not only oneself from injury, but also others present in the lab. Not bringing food or drinks into the lab prevents potential spills from occurring that could ruin or damage the lab equipment. It also prevents one from ingesting potentially contaminated food or drinks. Wearing a lab coat protects one’s clothes and skin from chemicals and infectious organisms. Closed toed shoes protect one’s feet from potential chemical spills. Wearing latex gloves protects one from harmful chemicals and bacteria. They also protect one from infection in the case of open wounds on one’s hands. Wearing goggles prevents chemicals from splashing into one’s eyes and protects the eyes while using UV light. Tying one’s hair back along with any other loose clothing prevents them from catching fire when using an ignited Bunsen burner. By removing all explosive chemicals from the Bunsen burner, one avoids them from becoming ignited. Using the fumed hood prevents toxic chemicals from being spread into the environment. Using the biosafety cabinet prevents the spread of infectious microorganisms. Immediately notifying the instructor after a lab accident allows the most efficient protocols to be taken to clean up the mess and ensure everyone’s safety.
Proper disposal techniques promote the safety of those discarding the bins and the environment from toxic waste. By discarding all sharp objects into the sharps container, precautions can be taken when further disposing the objects to prevent one from being cut or pricked. This also allows thee items in the bin to be taken to the proper place for safe environmental disposal. Discarding all hazardous materials into the hazard bin allows people to know the materials in that bin are potentially dangerous and to be cautious when further disposing of it. It also notifies those who are disposing of the wastes further to take the material to a special place to make sure the hazardous materials are disposed of properly and do not harm the environment. When recycling bins are available, one should recycle biodegradable material in order to help promote a sustainable environment. Otherwise, all other materials can safely be disposed of into the trash can. Placing items in the autoclave efficiently sterilizes the objects that are to be reused again. This means all traces of bacteria and other infectious microorganisms are removed. Placing all other reusable items in the sink lets one know that these items are to be washed before leaving the lab. Cleaning and disinfecting the lab bench before beginning any lab activities prevents any bacteria or other organisms from interfering with the experiment. It also protects one from coming in contact with anything harmful that may have been left behind by the previous person using the lab bench. Cleaning and disinfecting the lab bench after finishing any lab activities removes anything that could be potentially harmful to the next person to use the lab bench.
There are many hazardous things inside a laboratory that could cause injury to not just one person but others in the lab. Corrosive chemicals can ruin clothes, splash into one’s eyes, or even corrode the skin. Infectious microorganisms can infect a person and could possibly be spread to several other people. A biohazardous syringe can penetrate someone’s skin if disposed of in the wrong bin. One’s hair can catch on fire by coming in contact with the Bunsen burner. All of these scenarios can be prevented by understanding the potential hazards involved in the lab environment and following the proper lab safety procedures. By utilizing proper handwashing techniques, personal safety protocols, and proper disposal practices, one can ensure everyone’s safety in the lab.
Lab Safety. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2015 from http://www.mhlearnsmart.com/flow/flowswf.html?name... 03:59:00&studentExtensionDate=&isBlackBoardUrl=false&ebookLinkUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fconnect.mheducation.com%2Fconnect%2FhmEBook.do§ionURL=http%3A%2F%2Fconnect.mheducation.com%2Fconnect%2FhmStudentSectionHomePortal.do%3FsectionId%3D49622721§ionName=15F1CMP%20Bio%20299%201&libraryURL=&preview=&plan=0&externalProductId=A9S0004102
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Schmidler, Cindy. (2015). How to Wash Your Hands Properly. Retrieved August 9, 2015 from http://www.healthpages.org/self-care/wash-hands-pr...