[su_dropcap style=”flat”]W[/su_dropcap]ORKING SAFELY in a laboratory is not necessarily a straightforward proposition. There are various things that have to be considered. Labs are potentially dangerous workplaces, so safety should also be at the forefront of people’s minds.
The design of the laboratory might not seem like one of the most important things with regards to safety. But it’s actually one of the most important safety concerns in this kind of workplace. If the lab is not designed in a way that makes safe working easy, then accidents and disasters will become more likely. And that’s not what anyone wants. The layout should make it easy for people to get around the lab without tripping or having to take complicated routes around the space. It should also have very clear entry and exit points that can be easily reached in an emergency situation. A LIMS system also helps to make the layout of the lab safer and easier to use.
Strong management of a laboratory workplace is essential. They will be responsible for carrying out risk assessments in the workplace and making sure that all those risks are mitigated. These are also the people who will be responsible for writing up the rules with regards to safety in the laboratory. Once these rules of been written up and delivered to everyone who works in the lab, they can start to be enforced properly. The manager, therefore, has one of the most important jobs of all when it comes to keeping the laboratory safe at all times. Making sure that the safety measures are understood by everyone is vital too.
Individual responsibility has to be taken in a laboratory environment too. It’s not enough to leave everything to management because they can’t oversee everything. For them to do their jobs right, individual technicians and lab professionals have to be able to do their jobs properly as well. When people take responsibility for the work that they do, things usually go smoothly and according to plan. And when something does go wrong, it is a lot easier to trace the source of the problem. So, everyone in a lab has to take responsibility for what they do. It’s the only way to keep the workplace completely safe.
Every laboratory should have a system in place that outlines what should happen in emergency situations. Emergencies often cause panic, but panic is not what you want. This often leads to people making wrong decisions, and that leads to people getting hurt. So, employees in a lab environment must be told how to respond to certain situations. This is a form of training that should be carried out when an employee first starts working for an organisation. The kinds of emergency situation that should be prepared for will obviously be specific to the work that each lab does. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to dealing with and preparing for emergencies.