What You Need to Know About Working in a Lab

What You Need to Know About Working in a Lab

Working in a lab requires a lot of responsibility. That goes without saying. Not only is there various equipment and utensils to use, but also chemicals which can be potentially deadly if not handled correctly. 

As a result, you need to keep safe when working in a lab. Yet that is far from the only aspect to remember when operating in such an environment. From maintenance to ensuring you’re friendly with colleagues, there are various points to take into consideration. 

For assistance in that regard, read on for some helpful tips when it comes to working in a lab.

Understand the hierarchy 

Knowing and respecting the lab’s hierarchy will help to protect you against various possible issues in the future. 

If you are just starting out, it’s imperative that you do not get above your station. While taking the initiative can be judged favorably by your superiors, this isn’t the case if you do so haphazardly. 

For instance, if you require any assistance, always ensure you get it from the correct person. You might use a recipe provided by a colleague, but then realize it’s different to the one your supervisor uses – this could be problematic for obvious reasons. Additionally, undermining your supervisor and discussing with others how certain protocols don’t work might cause unnecessary friction. 

The right clothing needs to be worn 

It’s an obvious point, yes, yet it is often the most obvious aspects which become overlooked. When working in a laboratory, you always need to wear appropriate clothing. This isn’t simply a lab coat, either. 

Avoid any clothing which exposes skin. This means skirts and crop tops should never be worn, and the same goes for open toe footwear. With so many different chemicals flying around, certain ones can cause severe burns if they come into contact with your skin. 

Keep all equipment clean and maintained

Cleanliness in a lab is imperative. This is particularly the case when dealing with equipment. All of the lab equipment should function impeccably and without fault, and this is best done by ensuring all pieces are frequently maintained. 

There’s one problem with this: you or your superiors might not be qualified enough to service certain equipment. Although this isn’t ideal, there are specialists such as macontrols.com available to help. They not only service and repair equipment when needed, but they can also offer consultations for any new systems or appliances. 

Aside from the equipment, the rest of the lab should also be kept squeaky clean and tidy. That means keeping all dishware clean and cupboards/bottles/fridges closed. 

Honesty is the best policy 

If you have made a mistake in the lab, the last thing you want to do is keep it hidden. Remember: everyone slips up from time to time and nobody is infallible. If you admit to your supervisors about any mistakes, they will likely understand and assist by coming up with a solution. 

If you hide it away, however, the repercussions could be massive if you get caught later down the line. 

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