Laboratory Safety

To make your introductory biology laboratory experience a safe one, you must adhere to the following general safety rules at all times.

  • Always come to lab prepared to do the day's work. This means reading to understand the entire laboratory exercise thoroughly before coming to the lab session.
  • Always know how to use the lab equipment. If you are not sure, ask the instructor.
  • Always know why you are performing a specific task. If you do not understand why you are doing something, ask.
  • NEVER eat, drink, or smoke in the laboratory.
  • Store all unnecessary bookbags and other belongings in the hall, outside the door so people won’t trip over your things.
  • Never pipette by mouth. Always use a pipetting device.
  • Immediately report any accidents, glass breakage or chemical or biological spills to your instructor so proper cleanup can be done. If any glassware should be broken, do not attempt to clean it up yourself. Let your instructor dispose of the broken glass. In case of a chemical spill, immediately alert your instructor. If any chemical has spilled on the body, remove any clothing soaked by the chemical, then rinse the affected area with lots of tap water. An eye wash station and a safety shower are available if you should need them. Eyes should be rinsed for 15 minutes.
  • Learn the location and proper use of all safety equipment: safety shower, eyewash fountain, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and fire alarm.
  • Treat all chemical reagents and biological materials with appropriate care. Follow closely any specific instructions given by your instructor concerning the chemicals and biological materials used in a particular laboratory activity.
  • Dispose of all materials as instructed. There are special waste containers for pipets, spectrophotometer cuvettes, glass, liquid waste, and general paper trash. Always use the proper waste recepticle.
  • Clean your work area and leave the place as you found it. Clean all equipment and return it to its proper place in the laboratory after use.
  • Inform your instructor of any medical conditions that would affect your participation in any of the laboratory exercises.

CellBiologyOLM is authored by Stephen Gallik, Ph. D.| Copyright © 2011 by Stephen Gallik, Ph. D. | Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License