The spate of lab accidents due to poor handling of chemicals and drugs is becoming worrisome. What makes it even more disturbing is that most of them could have been avoided. Negligence, impatience, and ignorance seem to be the major causes of these lab mishaps and that is why this article offers a few important tips on how to handle drugs and chemicals.

A good lab worker should always remember Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. So, don’t give it a chance to go wrong. Now, here are important tips you should apply when handling chemicals to avoid accidents and injuries.  

Use the right facilities

Every type of medicine and chemicals has appropriate storage facilities for them. Don’t try to improvise. Use the right facilities. A laboratory chiller is the most appropriate facility for medicines that should be kept in low temperature. Don’t use any other facility. Apart from proper preservation, the chilling facility saves time and money, optimizes operation, and reduces waste.  Know about every chemical and medicine that you handle. It is important that you know the properties of every item in your custody. It will help you handle them better. If you know the properties of concentrated acids, you won’t need to be told to store it away from plastic materials. When diluting a concentrated acid, if you lack adequate knowledge about acids, you may make the mistake of pouring water into the acid and an explosion may occur. Rather, you should always pour acid inside water during dilution.  

Always put on your protective gear

Never handle chemicals without putting on your protective gear. Doing so is similar to driving without a spare tire. Of course, they can be an encumbrance, but they are worth it. Your chemical-resistant gloves, shoes that cover your feet, and a piece of eyewear should be worn whenever you handle chemicals even if the chemicals are sealed. There could be breakage, seepage, or an explosion. You may not see it coming.

Place bottles in leak-proof containers

Leaving medicines or chemicals in sealed bottles may be okay for storage, but it is not enough if you have to transport them. There may be breakage and spillage while in transit so you should place the bottles in another leak-proof container.

Don’t move chemicals around during rush hour

It is not advisable to move chemicals around during rush hour like lunch period as this will reduce the chances of people bumping into you. And if you have to use the elevator, ensure you use the freight elevators. People hardly use them. The most important tip here is never to handle medicines or chemicals in a hurry. When you are in a hurry, you are more likely to skip precautionary measures.   Label chemicals appropriately. To avoid mix ups, you should always label chemicals appropriately before you store them and arrange them into different categories for easy retrieval.  

Unfortunately, the precautionary tips for handling chemicals and medicines are infinite. However, the following four tips are sufficient takeaways. Always remember Murphy’s Law, safety first, never handle chemicals in a hurry, and always study every chemical and medicine in your custody. You are good with only the four of them because they encapsulate all other precautionary measures.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 830 other subscribers.

Follow us on Twitter