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Safety Procedures General Guidelines

Safety is the first, last, and at all times between the beginning and end of the work period, a concern and responsibility of everyone in the lab. Accidents result from poor choices made because of indifference, ignorance, haste, or inattention caused by illness, fatigue, anger, or other distraction. (Accidents rarely result from "stupidity," and anyone who believes they do will fail to recognize how easily people who are not stupid can have an accident. People like their grad students, people like themselves.)

"Use your common sense" is meaningless advice. "Just use your common sense" is horrible, stupid advice.

  1. Know the hazards and risks. Read up, study, ask questions, know as much as you can know about what you are working with and how it could cause injury or damages.
  2. Take all reasonable precautions to avoid the injuries and damages. This means everything about the way you set up your work, the PPE you wear, as well as your mental preparedness to deal quickly with unexpected and alarming developments.
  3. Be prepared to deal with the injuries and damages. For example KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO IF YOU SUDDENLY FIND YOURSELF ON FIRE. Make a plan for this before it happens, because while it is happening is not a good time to try to figure out your response.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the hazards of the chemicals and apparatus you are using.
  5. Read and follow all instructions and cautions carefully. When in doubt or uneasy, seek more information.
  6. Remain attentive at all times. Your lab experience should cheerful and not overly stress-filled but serious, no playing or joking around, no distracting elements (e.g. loud music) in the surroundings.
  7. Know where to find and how to use all emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers, safety showers, and eyewash fountains. Report any use of such emergency equipment to your supervisor.