ABC of Safety in the Biological Sciences




Organic solvents and gases often develop high electrical charges when being dispensed and therefore all metal drums and gas cylinders, together with the receiving vessel, should be earthed. Metal drum should be bonded to each other with a length of anti-static wiring when transferring flammable liquids from one to the other. Plastic containers should be avoided for storing or handling flammable liquids as they are not good conductors of electricity and also cannot be adequately earthed.41

Clothing made from synthetic fibres (such as nylon), can build up high static electrical charges particularly when rubber soled shoes are worn. The static charge should be released by touching a metal surface or earth before dispensing any organic solvent or gas. It is normal to receive a slight shock when touching a metal surface if there has been a build up of static electricity.

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