The daily lab safety dilemma

So the lab that I work in is pretty notoriously terrible when it comes to following safety regulations. But honestly, sometimes they seem so excessive and tedious. I know the safety rules seem excessive in order to protect against worst-case scenarios, but…

I’m not saying that there are many days when I walk around the lab in flip flops without goggles and a lab coat (ok, so maybe it’s happened a few times), but most days (especially inspection days) I take my safety pretty seriously.

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About evajge

A friend once told me that all I eat is chocolate and cheese. I was both disturbed and amused to realize that he was right.
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4 Responses to The daily lab safety dilemma

  1. Snat says:

    I remember back when I worked and studied in a science laboratory – we had very insane rules but judging from the rules above in your image I would say they are mostly just common sense and if more people actually had it – it would not need to be written on paper :)

  2. Hannah says:

    A couple months ago, BTI came out with a new policy that required all researchers to wear safety glasses, lab coats, closed toed shoes and long pants at all times in the lab (definitely overkill for most of what we do). Then they pretty much rescinded that policy and instead “encouraged” us to follow those rules… guess they realized no one would actually follow them.

    What I find amusing is that the worst offender in my lab is the lab safety officer.

    My stance: Wear gloves for RNA, corrosives, carcinogens. Wear glasses/closed toed-shoes for nitrogen, corrosives. Wear lab coat for corrosives, carcinogens. Wear long pants when it’s not hot outside. Eat in the lab only right next to the door when no one’s arou– I mean never.

  3. evajge says:

    Yeah, I can see how that might be a bit overkill for a plant biology lab. I feel like most scientists have enough common sense to know and follow the appropriate safety precautions (not necessarily the same as the mandated safety precautions).

    The only problems I can imagine would be due to people not taking the MSDS seriously for actually dangerous chemicals because the MSDS tend to describe everything as dangerous… Like I once burned a bit of skin off my nose because I rubbed my face with my gloved fingers after handling phenol (I guess a crystal must have stuck to my glove). It doesn’t look that dangerous when it’s just clear crystals in a bottle….

  4. Hannah says:

    Yeah- phenol is on my short list of “chemicals to actually be afraid of.” I hate the MSDS. Even table salt sounds dangerous. (Also, obligatory reference to the dihydrogen monoxide hoax.)

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