A safe lab is a productive lab, and a productive lab is a successful lab. Whether you run your own facility or are simply looking for ways to improve your place of work, there are several practices that can help keep workflow safe, productive, and stress free for you and your colleagues. Check out these best practices to run a safe and successful medical lab.
Follow a Dress Code
Many workplaces have a dress code, but few are more important than laboratory dress codes. In addition to having essential personal protective equipment—such as gloves and goggles—you must ensure all lab workers wear the right clothes. Long pants and closed-toe shoes should be requirements in your lab. You should also have hairnets or ties on hand for any employees with long hair.
Use Labels and Organization
Organization is an invaluable part of any work environment. Make finding tools, materials, and other equipment easy by sorting everything into storage containers. These containers should be fire-resistant and nonreactive, especially when handling chemical storage. Be thorough with your labeling system as well. Proper labeling keeps the space organized and lets workers know at a glance what is and isn’t hazardous.
Sterilize Equipment Properly
In addition to keeping your space clean and free of clutter, you must also ensure all lab equipment and tools are sterile. Clean equipment prevents cross-contamination. It also helps you stay on top of maintenance and avoid costly repairs. There are several ways to sterilize lab equipment. Make sure you have the resources on hand to maintain your tools and keep your medical lab running smoothly.
Keep Food and Drinks Outside
One of the simplest best practices to run a safe and successful medical lab is banning food and drinks from the workspace. Eating and drinking within the lab increase the risk of contamination. It’s easier and safer to ban food and drinks entirely. However, make sure there’s still plenty of room and time for breaks outside the lab. Having substantial break times eliminates the temptation to sneak food in, and it improves work-life balance, which in turn encourages greater focus and productivity while on the job.