Last modified on 1 November 2011, at 09:53

Laboratory Safety/Personal Responsibilities

Your are the person most responsible for your safety. You can prevent a dangerous or harmful situation more easily than can someone rescue you from your blunder. This being said the following points may shed some light on your responsibilities:

  1. Know the required PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) to use and use them properly.
  2. Never use unlabeled bottles or containers and always label Containers.
  3. Use Material safety data sheets to understand the chemicals you deal with (are they strongly acidic, alkaline, flammable, oxidizing, or capable of creating toxic fumes when they react with other materials) in addition with what their effects on your body are. These sheets will also inform you of what to do when exposed to such chemicals accidentally.
  4. Follow procedures. You are not the first person to have done the experiment.
  5. Never eat, drink, or smoke anything while in the laboratory. Never touch any chemical reagent.
  6. Never return unused material to reagent bottle. This may contaminate the entire bottle. Ask neighbors if they need it and throw away any leftovers in the proper waste container
  7. When getting any extra chemical reagent from the storage room, always make sure to have a secondary container in case of a spill.
  8. When the waste container is about 75 percent full, alert the TA to get a new waste container. Do not ever fill it up all the way.
  9. Locate emergency equipments before starting work (eye wash stations or fire extinguishers for example).
  10. Locate the safest routes to leave through the emergency exit doors.


Kennedy, Shelia, and John Palmer. Chemistry Lab Safety Manual. UCSD, 2010. eBook.