2. Organize your work area. Accidents are more likely to occur if notebooks, equipment, and cultures are cluttering the lab bench.
3. Laboratory coats or aprons will help protect personal clothing from possible contamination. These are easier to remove and sterilize than personal clothes.
4. All surfaces should be scrubbed with a suitable disinfectant before work is begun. Microbes from the air may have fallen on the work area and could serve as a source of contamination to your work.
5. Encircle your space with all the needed equipment for easy access and eliminate all unnecessary materials such is books and personal belongings.
6. Be sure that all open flames are at a distance from any flammable materials such as alcohol or paper.
7. Do not eat in the lab. Foods that you find nutritious are excellent growth media for microbes.
8. Do not smoke in the lab. Keeping all things away from your face will greatly reduce the chances of ingesting microbes.
9. All microbial cultures should be maintained in an appropriate container, such as a test tube rack or petri dish container.
10. If a spill occurs, (1) notify the instructor or lab supervisor immediately; and (2) carry out the appropriate disinfection procedures for the particular problem.
The old proverb “a place for everything, and everything in its place” should be used as the most basic safety rule in any microbiological work.
Test tubes are usually used to culture microbes in the laboratory. The tube may contain microbes growing in liquid medium, broth culture, or they may be growing on medium that has been solidified on a slant in the test tube.
These tubes are known as agar slant cultures. Petri plates or dishes are also used to grow microbes. These flat glass or plastic dishes also contain a solid medium. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these culture containers.
In addition to plates and tubes, forceps, swabs, and syringes are used in microbiology laboratories. Each of these tools must also be sterilized and handled in aseptic manner.