Everyday Lab Operations & Safety Tips
Lab operations involve a large assortment of operations. Many will seem strange and awkward at first, but weekly practice will soon make them familiar. That’s the good news. The bad news, of course, is if you learn a procedure incorrectly (or incompletely) then repeated practice may build unsafe and dangerous habits.
The best way to correct a bad habit is to catch it before disaster strikes. Your instructors will be watching for bad lab habits and will talk to you about them as time permits. Unfortunately, it is simply not possible to watch any individual for more than a few minutes during a lab session. More help is needed and this is where you (and this appendix) come in. This appendix, and relevant sections of Padias (see especially p. 1-4 and p. 22-36), contain a number of tips for safe and efficient work. If you review this material from time to time, you will catch many of your own bad habits yourself and make your lab work safer and more successful.
Note: Students who routinely ignore instructions for safe lab work risk being dismissed from the lab.