Guidelines for Safe Laboratory Practices
The following recommendations are simply guidelines for safe laboratory practices, and they should not be interpreted as a complete code of practice. Consult your institution’s safety committee and follow local rules and regulations pertaining to laboratory safety.
- For more information on standard microbiological practices and for specific biosafety level guidelines, refer to Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories, 5th Edition at www.cdc.gov/od/ohs/biosfty/bmbl5/bmbl5toc.htm.
- Always wear appropriate personal protective equipment. Change gloves when contaminated, and dispose of used gloves with other contaminated laboratory waste.
- Wash your hands after working with potentially hazardous materials and before leaving the laboratory.
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, handle contact lenses, apply cosmetics, or store food for human consumption in the laboratory.
- Follow the institutional policies regarding safe handling of sharps (i.e., needles, scalpels, pipettes, and broken glassware).
- Take care to minimize the creation of aerosols and/or splashes.
- Decontaminate all work surfaces before and after your experiments, and immediately after any spill or splash of potentially infectious material with an appropriate disinfectant. Clean laboratory equipment routinely, even if it is not contaminated.
- Decontaminate all potentially infectious materials before disposal.
- Report any incidents that may result in exposure to infectious materials to appropriate personnel (e.g., laboratory supervisor, safety officer).