Safety and Rules in Biological Laboratory


1.2  Safety and Rules in Biological Laboratory
Self-protection equipment:
Self-protection equipment Descriptions and functions
  • Made from latex/rubber/plastics.
  • Protects the hands from heat and dangerous chemical substances; strong acid and strong alkali.
Lab coat and lab shoes
  • Lab coat: aids to protect the skin and clothes from chemicals spillage.
  • Lab shoes: protects the legs from chemical spillage and broken glass.
Goggle and face mask
  • Protects the face and eyes from chemicals splash and protects from inhaling chemicals that can interrupt the respiratory system.
  • Washing both hands before leaving the lab is a must.
Eye washer
  • Contains salt solution used to wash the eyes if chemical substances/foreign particles get into the eyes.
Fume hood
  • Station for work that involved with fumes or toxic gas; chlorine, bromine and nitrogen dioxide.
Emergency shower station
  • Station used to wash the hand and body when someone exposed to dangerous chemicals.
Laminar flow cabinet
  • Station for work involved with plant tissue culture, medium preparation that provides a sterile environment to the workplace.
Biosafety cabinet
  • Station for work involved with bacteria, fungi and virus cultures helps to prevent the cultures from contaminating the environment.
Substances that cannot thrown in the sink:
  1. Chemical substances, glass, metals, plastics, woods or any solid substances.
  2. Grease, oil and oil paint.
  3. Toxic substances; benzene, chloroform, hydrogen cyanide, argentum.
  4. Heavy metals; mercury, lead, cadmium.
  5. Radioactive wastes.
  6. Reactive substances that are unstable; sodium metal, ether, hydrogen peroxide.
  Substances that can be thrown in the sink:  
  1. Any liquid/solution that has low concentration, not dangerous and biodegradable.
  Methods of handling biological wastes:  
Waste category Example Methods of handling
Sharp waste Syringe with needle, needle, glass and scalple Throw it in the sharp-bin waste
Non-sharp waste Gloves, tissue paper, Petri dish, agar, culture waste Throw it in the biohazard bag, sterilize it and throw it in the biohazard bin
Animal carcass Organs, animal tissue waste, carcass Wrap it with tissue paper, put it in the biohazard bag and freeze it
Liquid Broth culture, liquid media, blood and blood product Decontaminate the waste through autoclave before throw it in the biohazard bin
Accidents in the laboratory:
Steps to handle general chemical spills
  1. Inform your teacher
  2. Declare the spill area as a restricted zone.
  3. Prevent the chemical spill from spreading using sand.
  4. Scoop up the chemical spill from using appropriate equipment.
  5. Dispose it safely.
Steps to handle mercury spills
  1. Inform your teacher
  2. Declare the spill area as a restricted zone.
  3. Sprinkle sulphur to cover the mercury spills
  4. Call the fire and rescue department.
Practices in a biological laboratory:
Practices Explainations
Clothing ethics
  • Use a lab coat,gloves,safety shoes and goggles when appropriate.
Laboratory safety rules
  • Do not work alone in the laboratory without supervision.
  • Wash your hand after conducting an experiment.
  • Do not bring in irrelevant items into the laboratory.
  • Clean your workstation using disinfectant.
  • Dispose wastes according to the set procedures.
  • Do not eat and drink in the laboratory.
  • Identify all safety symbols on substances and equipment before use.
Safety measures for fires
  • Stop work immediately and switch off all nearby power sources.
  • Unplug appliances
  • Exit the laboratory according to the emergency exit plan.
  • Call the fire and rescue department.
  • Do not panic and stay calm.
  • Do not turn back to collect your belongings.
  • Assemble at the assembly point.
Handling glass and chemicals 
  • Be cautions when handling hot glassware.
  • Report any damaged equipment or glassware to teachers immediately.
  • Keep flammable chemicals away from fire sources.
  • Do not touch,taste and smell chemicals directly.
Handling live specimens
  • Use appropriate gloves when handling biological specimens.
  • Speciements that are not harmful and have been dissected should be buried or frozen.
  • Wash hands with antiseptic detergents before and after experiment.
  • All surafaces and workstations should be cleaned with disinfectant before leaving the lab.
Emergency help
  • Inform your teacher
  • Call the fire and rescue emergency number.
  • Remove the victim from the scene.
  • Give emergency treatment.
  • Make the place of accident as a restricted area.