Safety Equipment In Biotechnological Industry Is Non Negotiable

| | Sumit Roy

Safety works as a buffer between a biotech lab and open environment surrounding it. Working at Biotechnology labs comes with greater levels of uncertainty. From volatile chemicals to hostile workplaces, the employees are highly vulnerable to various

Biochemical hazards arising due to laboratory experiments. The process and separation from the environments are costly. Any contamination may lead to a major man hour loss or even death.  Therefore, brave people who work in such a high-stress environment depend on innovative personal protective equipment solutions for complete protection.

The world is changing rapidly. As more nations become industrialized, they develop a greater need for personal protective equipment. The employers have understood the importance of using PPE in their workplace. Today, the companies are increasingly providing their workers with high standard protective equipment to get their jobs done safely and conveniently.

Some of the Personal Protective Equipment which is a must for biotech companies are:-

Personal Protection-Head and Face

2. Ear Protection – is available in the form of disposable, reusable, or headphone-type safety earplugs. Any sound above 85 dB can be harmful to human ears; so the workers are provided with safety ear muffs or ear plugs, to minimize the harmful impact of the high-pitched sound.

3. Respirators – Air carries pathogens, chemical vapour & granular suspended dust. To protect the lab professional from these contaminations respirators are used.

Personal Protection-Body

1. Disposable Sleeves/Aprons – are used for skin protection while dealing with poisonous lab chemicals.

2. Disposable Lab Coats/Coveralls – are a perfect choice for applications where washing wouldn’t be possible, such as large scale painting operations or exposures to industrial greases and oils, as well as for people visiting the biotech lab.

Personal Protection-Hand/Feet

1. Shoes & Boot Covers – protects your work environment from contaminants as well as your feet and shoes. You can find different options varying from simple disposable shoe covers to reusable knee-high boots that can be used in conjunction with coveralls.

2. Gloves – Latex, nitrile, or vinyl gloves are an absolute must in the biotech field. Workers must protect their skin from bodily fluids, greases, oils, chemicals, or anything that might present a health risk as well as protecting products from the oils, skin flakes and germs. Lab professionals who handle human blood, must take precautions against blood borne pathogens. Gloves need to be checked and replaced regularly.

“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Market is expected to grow from $38.52 billion in 2015 to $62.86 billion by 2022 with a CAGR of 7.24%.” [Report]

Working In Biotech Labs? Safety Procedures to be followed

1. While working with chemicals or working at a lab station, it is advised to wear safety gloves and goggles.

2. While handling Bunsen burners/microwaves, always wear silicone gloves instead of latex gloves.

3. In case of working with hot beakers or flasks, use hand protectors or lab mitts.

4. Disinfect every hood and laboratory surface.

5. For the removal of bacteria, it is ideal to use strong cleaners/disinfectants.

6. Use 10% bleach for cleaning up plant tissues.

7. Install fire extinguishers in places where it is easily accessible.

8. Install a safety shower and eyewash station.

“Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Market size is set to surpass USD 70 billion by 2024; according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc. Personal protective equipment is used to protect the body from infection, injury, and accidental hazards along with workplace safety to the employees.” [Report]

The use of PPE in the field of biotechnology is on the rise. The use of personal protective equipment can alleviate injuries that lead to lost time, workers compensation claims, low morale, high turnover, and poor output.


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