How To Avoid Common Lab Mistakes

by Sudarsan

Working in a laboratory requires concentration and hard work. Even with experience, mistakes are still part of the learning process. However, by identifying such mistakes, you can improve your methods. Below are some common lab mistakes and how you can avoid them. 

Chemical Burns 

Always wear protective gloves and clothing when you are handling chemicals. If you are a supervisor, instruct students on the importance of handling chemicals with caution and respect. Also, you should measure chemicals carefully and only use approved containers for holding irritating chemicals. Check here for how to handle liquid in the lab.

Experiment Documentation 

Your laboratory notebook must be detailed and contain all information about what you are working on. In other words, record everything. This includes the materials, methods, power failure, water, and every other thing that happened during the experiment. You can use a checklist to avoid forgetting anything. 

Incorrect Sampling 

Label correctly to avoid mixing samples and repeating experiments. If you want to use handwritten labels, make sure that the handwriting is legible and clear. Also, be sure it can withstand the required temperature and all other requirements. 

Fire And Heat Burns 

Always practice and review your procedures to reduce the risk of a fire outbreak. For example, store flammable materials in sealed storages and train students on how to use the fire extinguisher or inspect burners for leaks. For heat burns, explain how to properly use water baths, tongs, and other cooling equipment. 

Cuts And Contamination 

Don’t use sharp tools without instruction or supervision. Also, dispose of broken needles, blades, and glass with care as per the instructions. Wash your hands before and after using any foreign substance and protect your cloth and skin with aprons and glasses. 


Many things can go wrong in a laboratory. However, you can reduce the risk of errors by paying attention. Avoid taking shortcuts, and you will have fewer problems to worry about. 

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