Microbiology Laboratory Safety and Basic Procedures

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Safety in a microbiology laboratory is important in the prevention of infection that might be caused by the microorganisms being studied. This laboratory does not require the use of virulent human pathogens. However, many types of microorganisms are potentially pathogenic. This means that, although they would not cause disease in a normal healthy host, they might possibly do so if a large enough quantity of the microbes came into contact with a compromised host, such as by wounds and cuts.

In addition to microorganisms, there are some chemicals used in this laboratory that are potentially harmful. Many procedures involve glassware, open flames, and sharp objects that can cause damage if used improperly.

The following precautions should be taken to avoid the problems that could potentially occur.

1.Lab coats are required. Wearing old clothing is also desirable, since many reagents can produce permanent stains on clothes. 2.Students may not wear sandals or open toed or canvas shoes because of the constant danger of cuts and infections from broken glass found on the lab floors and the possibility of chemical spills. 3.Long hair must be tied back to minimize fire hazard or contamination of experiments. 4.Smoking, eating, and drinking in the laboratory are absolutely prohibited. 5.Upon entering the laboratory, coats, books, and other paraphernalia should be placed in specified locations and never on bench tops (except for lab manual). 6.At the beginning and termination of each laboratory session, bench tops are to be wiped with a disinfectant solution. 7.Observe strict personal hygiene. Wash your hands with soap at the start of the laboratory session before performing any procedures and before leaving the laboratory at the end of the session. 8.All cultures should be handled as being potentially pathogenic and the following precautions should be observed at all times: a. Cultures must always be carried in a test tube rack when moving around the...
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