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The establishment of safe working regulations and procedures is an attempt by the government to guarantee employees are working under reasonably safe conditions. In the science laboratory, many of these regulations are common sense. Consumable liquids are not allowed, as it is all too easy to pick up the wrong container and consume a substance that could be harmful if swallowed. Protective eyewear should be worn to protect the eyes from being exposed to harmful liquids. Protective clothing and enclosed footwear should be worn to protect the body from being harmed by spills or explosive reactions. Adequate ventilation by exhaust hoods should be employed to prevent inhalation of caustic fumes that could possibly cause irreparable damage to lung tissue. Many students view these regulatory mandates as encumbering, but it is important to remember, for each and every regulation in place, there has been at least one occurence in that regard that prompted such rules to be put in place. Having regulations in the lab is like having the police department patrol your neighborhood; I would rather live with them, than without them.
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