If you are new to working in a medical laboratory, it is essential that you take your own personal safety and that of your co-workers very seriously. Regardless of the materials you are working with, there are going to be dangers and hazards that could potentially cause a serious injury or illness. Here are some basic safety tips for working in a medical lab.
Be Careful With Collection and Handling of Specimens
This is one of the more important things to keep in mind when you are working in a lab. You will likely be dealing with a lot of different specimens to be tested and analyzed, and many of them might contain viruses or other dangerous specimens. You need to know what you are dealing with and how to handle it properly. You should know the procedure with your lab's safe handling worksheets, which should be posted for everyone to review. For example, you should know which bottles are leak-proof and which aren't, what container to place syringes and needles in, and how to handle blood safely.
Wear Protective Clothing
You must always wear protective clothing from head to toe, just in case there is an incident. As a lab worker, you will be careful every step of the way, but accidents do happen. This requires you to wear goggles and a face mask when working with certain materials, especially those that can be ingested or inhaled to cause an illness. You should always wear gloves as well. Depending on your job in the lab, these might be rubber gloves or cut-proof gloves if you are using knives and other sharp objects. Covering your arms and legs is also important. Contact a company like Your Glove Source for more info about protecting your hands.
Get the Required Vaccinations
This will also depend on your job in the lab and what type of materials or specimens you come in contact with on a regular basis. However, since you are around a lot of different materials in a lab, you should be vaccinated for things like rabies, measles, mumps, rubella, and other viruses.
Take Safety Education Seriously
The manager of your medical lab will likely have training on a regular basis that talks about the proper safety procedures. Do not take this training lightly and be vigilant about following their instructions. This is for the safety of you and everyone else in the lab. Don't underestimate the importance of reviewing safety materials on a routine basis to be up-to-date on the procedures.