As with all acivities involving fieldwork, equipment and chemicals, the risk of injury is present. Additionally, certain guidelines should be followed to avoid mistakes that can be harmful to people, equipment, data and the environment.
GLASSWARE and SAMPLE BOTTLES
Do not eat or drink anything, do not chew gum, do not smoke, and do not apply cosmetics in the laboratory. In addition, since many chemicals are absorbed through the skin, avoid direct skin contact. If you suspect skin contact with chemical substances, such as bottled reagents, wash off these substances with large quantities of water. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the laboratory. In addition, do not store or handle food or beverages in laboratory areas, including refrigerators used for chemical storage. Cap all containers immediately after use. In case of the chemical spill on your body or clothing, wash the affected area with large quantities of running water. Remove clothing that has been wet by chemicals to prevent further reaction with the skin. Promptly clean all chemical spills and properly dispose of spilled chemical and cleanup material Properly label and store all chemicals and equipment. All chemicals (including solutions and chemicals transferred from their original containers) should be labeled with their names, concentrations and dates that they were made. Report all injuries to your instructor at once. Except for very superficial injuries, you will be required to get medical treatment for cuts, burns, or fume inhalation. Do not use mouth suction to fill pipettes with water or chemical reagents, aqueous or organic. Always use a suction device provided. Confine long hair and loose clothing in the lab, since either can catch fire or be chemically contaminated. Keep your work area neat at all times. Clean up spills and broken glass immediately. Clutter not only will slow your work, but it leads to accidents. Clean your workspace, including wiping the surface and putting away all chemicals and equipment, at the end of the laboratory preparation, course laboratory period or student project session. Always carefully and slowly pour acids into water when mixing to avoid spattering. Do not force a rubber stopper onto glass tubing or thermometers. Lubricate the tubing and the stopper with glycerol or water. Use paper or cloth toweling to protect your hands. Grasp the glass close to the stopper. Dispose of excess liquid reagents by flushing small quantities down the sink. Discuss with the instructor about disposing of large quantities. Dispose of solids in approved containers. DO NOT RETURN REAGENTS TO THEIR ORIGINAL CONTAINERS. Properly label and store all chemicals and equipment. All chemicals (including solutions and chemicals transferred from their original containers) should be labeled with their names, concentrations and hazards. Additional information such as: Date received, Date opened, Date of expiration should also be recorded. All chemicals and wastes should be placed in their proper storage area at the end of the day.
- Do not distract fellow investigators as they are collecting data.
- All sample bottles should be rinsed twice with sample water before filling. Remember to fully flush BOD bottles, used for dissolved oxygen analysis, before pickling and capping.
- Samples should be filled to the top with no head space unless other methods are called for. DO NOT fill bottles entirely if the risk of complete freezing is present. In this case, leave about 25% of the the volume free.
- Clean all instruments soon after use. In most cases this will simply be a matter of washing/rinsing with clean water and storing the device as directed.
- Record notes describing the number and type of samples collected, including sample container IDs if more than one per station.
OBSERVATIONS and NOTES
The following guidelines are abbreviated from those generally followed by professionals that would collect information for organizations such as USEPA. It is not required that you follow these guidelines. However, it might be beneficial to develop these habits.
|EE||Entry error||Your error in writing the entry|
|TE||Transcription error||Your error in copying the data|
|IE||Instrument error||Problem with the instrument. Corrective measures should be listed somewhere as well.|
|OE||Observation error||Observations were incorrectly interpreted|
This list was compiled by John Zastrow, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Biological Sciences.
Your comments are welcomed.
September 8, 1999