When you work in a lab, it’s crucial to have the right lab safety equipment ready to use. But while it’s a given, you might wonder, exactly what products should you have?
If the lab is new, you want to be sure you have access to enough safety tools. So, it’s best to know how to pick them out. This way, you know when you’re missing something.
To get you started, here’s a guide to choosing the appropriate lab safety equipment.
Know Your Needs
Before you head to a store, you want to know what kind of safety gear you need based on your practice. While it’s good to get the basics, you might not end up using everything, which only adds up to wasted costs.
Consider what tasks you or your team will work on in the lab. Doing so helps you organize the activities and determine which ones are high priority.
Note that what you need in the lab will vary on your specialty. So, while there are general safety items, you want to be sure you also cater to those unique requirements.
Have a Checklist
Once you lay out what your lab needs, it helps to have a checklist of what to buy. This way, you get a clear view of what items are mandatory or optional in the lab.
You can arrange them based on priority to ensure you get the most essential equipment first. As much as possible, try to buy all the required items on the list before you start going through the optional ones, regardless of the price differences.
Besides safety equipment made to wear, you should also look into tools that help make experiments safer-for example, a 96-well filter plate for handling samples or waste container kits to store HPLC waste.
Evaluate the Quality
Note that lab safety equipment is an investment for your lab. It ensures you’re safe from possible harm and prevents unintentional damage during experiments. So, you want to choose products with high quality that can last a while.
One way to check the quality of your equipment is by viewing the materials used. For example, if you buy polypropylene containers, you can rest easy knowing it’s durable and chemical resistant. Moreover, it’s FDA-approved, meaning it’s safe for storing food or medication.
It’s also good to ask the manufacturer how long the equipment you buy usually lasts. This way, you have a general idea of whether you’re getting a good value for your money.
Select Reliable Brands
Even with a well-made safety guide, you may have trouble executing protective measures if you don’t pick the right equipment. Because of this, many recommend buying lab safety equipment from reputable brands in the industry.
In most cases, they tend to offer quicker service, reliable products, and better customer support. While they might cost more, you can rest easy knowing you have quality equipment. At the same time, you won’t have to go through too much stress to contact them.
If you’re not familiar with the well-known brands in your industry, check online reviews and ask about other users’ experiences with the product. Additionally, see if they promote safety procedures and hold up for a long time.
You can also ask for recommendations from colleagues or forums related to your industry.
While designing what safety equipment to add to your lab, you should consider the available space. If you have a small lab, you want to be sure you put every square foot to good use.
Although it’s best to have all the necessary equipment, you should also keep your lab functional. So, measure your space before picking products to ensure they fit the room.
Doing so will help you make space for other essential items or devices while maintaining productivity and efficiency within the lab.
Keep It Within Budget
Laboratory safety can cost a lot if you fail to make a proper purchase plan before you buy items. As a result, you might find yourself paying for more than the budget allows.
If you want to avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses, you should have a fixed budget or range for each piece of equipment you need. Make sure you keep them realistic and according to the features and quality, no matter how much you want to save.
Some products won’t have the price listed on the website or in-store. When this happens, get an estimate from the manufacturer as soon as possible. It lets you see if it falls within your budget or if you need to make adjustments with other essential gear.
Assess Maintenance and Repair
Most people overlook the maintenance and repair required for their equipment before they buy them. While it’s something you have to worry about later, it reflects the quality and price value of each item.
Let’s say you buy a chemical fume hood for a low cost because it presents good quality. But in only a few months, you had to make several repairs to it already. In this case, it feels a lot like you paid a high price for a product that constantly needs replacements.
On the other hand, if you buy equipment for a higher price but can go a year with only one maintenance check, you’re getting good value. So, look into the possibilities of maintenance when you choose your items to measure which offers the best deal.
Choose the Right Lab Safety Equipment Today
Having the right lab safety equipment is essential to ensure no harm or damage occurs during experiments. The better the safety procedures you follow in the lab, the less likely you have to spend on extra costs.
Note that the key to knowing which safety equipment to get is understanding your lab’s needs. From there, you get to see what to buy, how to set a budget, and which items would work the best in your space.