Personal or collective protections and first aid

1 – PROTECTING YOURSELF

The dress in a chemistry laboratory is the first element for safety.
It has to cover the whole body to be protective against the chemicals that are handled.

FACE PROTECTION


Protection glasses

Why wearing protection glasses?
  • Protection  against chemicals projections into the eyes
  • Usual glasses are  not sufficient​
  • Contact lenses are  forbidden in the laboratory: eye rinsing becomes impossible
When to wear them?
As soon as chemicals are used. Even under the  fume hood.
Protection glasses should be worn for  any manipulation in the laboratory.

Hygienic caps (hair)

Why wearing a cap?
  • Caps  prevent contact  between chemicals and hair
  • Hair must be  tied up in case cap is  not compulsory
When to wear a cap?
  • When it is  required  by the laboratory’s safety orders
  • Otherwise remember to  tie  your hair up in a bun

Masks (optional)

Why wearing a mask?
  • Protection against particles that might enter the lungs
When to wear a mask?
  • Masks are not  compulsory
  • It is advised to wear one when handling  thin powder chemicals

LABORATORY COAT


Different types of laboratory coats

In chemistry
The laboratory coat is the first barrier between skin and chemicals. It is useful for protecting both your daily dress and yourself. In chemistry, it has to meet the following criteria:

  • Cover from neck to knees
  • long sleeves
  • Fabric: 100% cotton
  • Advised: press-stud closing (easier to open)
​Other cases:
In other cases, laboratory coats can have different features compared to what is required for chemistry.
  • Biology: short sleeves (for manipulating with flame)
  • Medicine: short coat (to the waist)

Wearing a laboratory coat

PROTECTION GLOVES

Wearing protection gloves is compulsory for any chemistry manipulation

The most commonly used gloves

Latex
  • Aspect : white
  • Effective : against acid and basic aqueous solutions
  • Avoid : organic solvents, flames
  • Caution : latex allergies → prefer vinyl gloves
Nitrile
  • Aspect : coloured (blue or green)
  • Effective : aqueous solutions and organic solvents
  • Avoid : acids and bases, flames
Vinyl
  • Aspect : translucent
  • Effective : aqueous and acid solutions
  • Avoid : organic solvents, flames

Choosing the right gloves

The choice of the gloves is an essential step prior to any manipulation. More information can be found at the following link:
travailler-mieux.gouv.fr

THE CORRECT DRESS


Lower body

A total cover
Apart from the compulsory equipment, the manipulator’s dress must cover the totality of the body for maximum protection.

The lower body clothes (skirt, trousers) must be long in order to protect the manipulator from droplets that can spray on him/her.

Short clothes such as shorts or miniskirts are forbidden in the laboratory, no matter how hot is the weather.


Shoes

Closed
Shoes must be closed to protect from the droplets that might spray on the feet.
Ballerinas and flip flops are forbidden in the laboratory. Prefer sneakers or shoes.

No high heels
The shoe must allow the manipulator to quickly step aside from the bench in case of a spill.

Heels must not be inordinately high. Heel lifts are tolerated but high heels are forbidden in the laboratory.

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