Major cause of laboratory hazard


discuss on the major cause of laboratory hazard.

the prevention of common accident is very well documented in many laboratory manuals it is very important that all members of the laboratory staff are where's with the nature of this hazard and the way to prevent it.

the most common accident even in the smallest laboratories are mainly due to the following

1 dangerous chemical

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2 fire

3 careless use of laboratory equipment, dangerous chemical and reagents.

Dangerous chemical

Dangerous chemicals are used in the laboratory either directly or as a constituent of chemical reagent and stain. this dangerous chemical include the highly flammable ones like ether or alcohol highly corrosive one like phenol or sulphuric acid toxic ones like formaldehyde solution carcinogenic one like benzidine or explosive ones like picric acid.

To reduce the cause of chemical accidents. It is compulsory for manufacturers to label dangerous chemical with hazard symbol and supplies simple instruction for use and storage.

which must come in the user manual please endeavors to read a user manual of any chemical reagent that you buy before using.

It is also necessary to label clearly those reagent prepared from dangerous chemicals.

When labelling it should include the nature and strength of the regent or solution date of preparation expiring date and any other safety warning applicable.

It is advisable that only chemical required for daily you should be kept in the main laboratory and the other in the store room. it is also recommended to monitor the container periodically to detect in time any possible build up of pressure which may cause the container to burst.


Store room in which bulk stock of chemical are kept should be designed to reduce the risk of fire. Fire extinguisher should be placed just outside the store room. They should also be well ventilated and adequately lit. Radioactive substance require proper supervision of their storage as provided for by the law.

The prevention of hazard and accident due to dangerous chemicals and reagents depend mainly in the careful observations of safety precaution during handling and storage.

Flammable chemical

This chemical should be store in fireproof metal box at ground level preferably in and outside, cool, locked store. Only a small amount of flammable chemicals shield be left inside the laboratory. A container of flammable liquid should never be open near an open fire or flame. The bottle of ether should be open at least 3 metre away from naked flame. No smoking in the environment, rule must be enforced in the laboratory at all time.

Corrosive substance

Corrosive chemical such as strong acid concentrated sulphuric or nitric acid and caustic alkali such as sodium hydroxide potassium hydroxide should be stored at the floor level. Never mount pipette a corrosive liquid always use an automatic pipette or dispenser. Eye must be protected from the form of corrosive substance. When mixing acid should always be added gently to water but never the reverse. In case of spillage wear protective footwear when cleaning up the area. Wash acid and alkaline burn under a free stream of running cold water.

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Toxic and irritating chemicals

Toxic chemicals are equally irritating and can cause death or serious ill health if swallowed inhaled or allowed to come in contact with the skin. Some of these chemical cause irritation of the skin and mucous membranes. Highly toxic chemicals such as potassium cyanide should be kept in lock cup board. wear protective gloves when handling a toxic substance. Always wash hand immediately after using a toxic or harmful chemical. Chemicals such as formaldehyde or ammonia with an irritating or harmful vapour should be used in a fume cupboard or safety cabinet.

Always use an automatic pipette or dispenser to measure a toxic chemical.

Carcinogenic chemicals

This chemical are able to cause cancer when inhaled, or ingested or when they come in contact with the skin. The chance of been affected depends on the length and frequency of the exposure to and concentrations of the chemical. They cancelled any substance should be stored in a closed container. Wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling a carcinogenic substance. wash everything in use in handling the carcinogenic acceptance very well in cold water.


explosive chemical

an explosive chemical can explode as a result of heat flame or friction. Chemical such as picric acid should be stored under water never leave such an explosive chemical in a dry place.

Radioactive chemical

all area where the active material are stored or use must be posted with caution sign. traffic in this area should be restricted to essential personnel only. decontamination of laboratory equipment glassware and work area should be routinely done on a regular basis. Only proper trained personnel should be allowed to work in a radioactive chemical environment such person must be regularly monitored to ensure that the maximum possible dose of radiation is not exceeded


medical laboratory science

theory and practical by J ochei and A Kolkhatar

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