Safety Is Universal

Lab Safety Is A Universal Language

October 1, 2014, Author: Ajay Goswami

After a little preliminary research on proper laboratory safety and general procedure and proper behavior, I’ve found that scientists around the world generally adhere to the same (or at the very least, very similar) codes of conduct and safety protocols around any given lab. I’ve had my fair share of interesting experiences in different labs during my days in high school and in college. Primarily the most fun will of course be had in the more “hands on” situations where you can really enjoy the cause and effect of different hypotheses and experiments. Chemistry and biology were always my best subjects in the areas of science, surprisingly, although I have to admit my skill with mathematics is pretty abysmal (to my credit my arithmetic is not that bad, but when I have to figure out some advanced physics or calculus, you’ll be more likely to hear sparks cracking and sizzling as my brain over heats and fries inside my skull!) But in any case, let’s put my humorous lack of talent with numbers aside and get back to the point of how safety is the rule of the day in laboratories around the world.


Now I’ve seen this poster for safety before, just the symbol I mean, typically on metal tanks of propane and other combustible materials. I’d like to see this stamp used more often though as I can guarantee you that I’ve seen many canisters full of combustible fluid that were not properly marked! © Enokson.

Well I should at least stipulate here, rather, split hairs, not every poster of this safety notice is written in English (obviously I wouldn’t expect this one to be present in India, although maybe as a subtitle under the same text but translated into Hindi). But yeah, I haven’t had to deal with any explosions or any “almost explosion” scares in any of my laboratory experiences and I’m definitely sure that I don’t want to. I’ve got a small scar on the back of my left hand that came from a pretty serious burn when I was an infant, not that I can remember that experience, but I’m sure that I will avoid having any experience like that again if I can help it!


If you aren’t familiar with Immanuel Kant, then you really should be. Well, I know he has more to do with philosophy than science but if you want to learn about things that are more about life and less about laboratories, I’d highly recommend the likes of him and Socrates! © Brett Jordan.

I suppose a proper scientific laboratory is probably no place for a philosophical debate or anecdote, but I think that Mr. Kant’s quote here is very fitting at least when you consider the importance of safety in the fields concerning science and safety in general throughout life. I know that spontaneity is a big part of the fun and spice of life, but don’t forget that organization and being prepared are things you really shouldn’t devalue.


I saw this safety poster and I had mistaken it for the flammable/combustible symbol I mentioned above, but thanks to reading this I can now tell the difference at least! © Enokson.