Safety issues

1. Risk of electric shock

Improper use of the high voltage power supply can provide a risk of electric shock. Before starting to work with HV, all safety measures should be considered. All connections, especially the earth, should be investigated. Make sure they are connected correctly.
The high voltage power supplies in electrospinning machines can vacate the high voltage from a few centimeters to any conductive point such as human body. So, you should not open the door of the machine while the HV is working. Also, you should not connect the HV cable to any place except the collector and spinneret.
Note: Compliance with safety tips for you and your colleagues is your responsibility.

2. Safety equipment and emergency procedures

2.1. General Information
Chemistry laboratories are equipped with one or more eye to wash fountains and safety showers. Each person who uses such laboratories must be familiar with the locations of this equipment and know how to use it. Properly equipped laboratories will also have fire extinguishers; do not attempt to use a fire extinguisher unless you have been trained by a qualified firefighter to use it. Your laboratory has a plan for everyone to follow if an evacuation is necessary. Make sure that you know the main and the alternate evacuation routes as well as the procedures for assembling outside the building and accounting for each person who was in the laboratory.
In case of an emergency, as much as possible, follow procedures that have been established and you have practiced. The first and most important step in any emergency procedure is this:
Before helping another person, evaluate the potential danger to yourself. If you are injured and you try to help, you cannot be of much further help to someone else.

When an emergency occurs, doing the following actions are recommended:
• Report the nature and location of the emergency to your instructor and, if necessary, to the appropriate fire or medical facility. State your name, location, and phone number you are using. Tell where you will meet the emergency vehicle. If individuals are involved, report how many; whether they are unconscious, burned, or trapped; whether an explosion has occurred; and whether there is/has been a chemical or electrical fire.
• Tell others in the area about the nature of the emergency.
• Do not move any injured individual unless they are in immediate danger from chemical exposure or fire. Keep them warm. Unnecessary movement can severely complicate neck injuries and fractures.
• Meet the ambulance or fire crews at the place you indicated. Send someone else if you cannot go.
• Do not make any other telephone call unless they relate directly to the control of the emergency.

2.2. Fire Prevention
The best way to fight a fire is to prevent it. You can prevent fire and reduce its severity considerably through proper housekeeping and thoughtful reflection about what you are doing.
This includes:
Maintaining unobstructed aisles and exits, storing only limited quantities of flammable material, promptly disposing of waste, and separating flammable liquids from combustible materials, such as cardboard boxes and paper towels.
Stand back, take a look, and ask:
• Are there any frayed wires?
• Is a stirrer with a sparking motor being used to stir a flammable liquid?
• Are those bottles too close to the edge of the bench?
• Is the workspace cluttered?
• Do I understand each of the potential hazards in what I am about to do?
• Am I prepared in advance to take preventive steps?

2.3. Dealing with a Fire
When a fire occurs, the following actions are recommended:
● Fire in a small vessel can be often suffocated. Do not pick up a vessel that is on fire. Do not cover it with dry towels or cloths; use a wetted material. Remove nearby flammable materials to avoid spreading the fire.
● Activate the fire alarm. Notify co-workers and your instructor. Call the fire department.
● If the fire is burning over an area too large for the fire to be suffocated quickly and simply, everyone should evacuate the area except those trained and equipped to fight fires. Use the stairs to leave the building, do not use the elevators. Follow evacuation procedures that have been established and that you have practiced during prior fire drills.
● It is easy to underestimate a fire. Never attempt to use a fire extinguisher unless you have been trained to use it, and know that it is likely to extinguish the fire. If you have been trained in the use of a fire extinguisher, locate yourself between the fire and an escape route (e.g. a door) and fight the fire from this position, but be sure you can escape. Small fires just starting can be often extinguished, but not always. If not extinguished, a fire can quickly threaten your life and your co-workers.

3. Chemicals on skin, clothing, and eyes

For small liquid spills that only affect a small area of skin, immediately flush with flowing water for at least 15 minutes. Remove any jewelry to facilitate removal of possible residual liquid. If there is no visible injury, wash the entire area with warm water and soap. Check the MSDS to see whether any delayed effects should be expected. It is advisable to seek medical attention for even minor chemical burns. Hydrofluoric acid spills require special treatment; Solid chemicals that are spilled on the skin can usually be brushed off with no adverse consequences. The brushed-off solid should, of course, be put into the appropriate hazardous waste container. If the solid adheres to your skin, call your instructor.
Larger spills of a liquid on the skin and any spills of liquid on clothing can have serious consequences. Do not waste time by attempting to wipe or flush off the spill; get to the safety shower immediately. Quickly step under the showerhead and in the falling water spray; remove all contaminated clothing, shoes, and jewelry while the safety shower is on. Don’t waste time with modesty. Try to avoid spreading the chemical further over your skin, especially into your eyes. Do not contaminate your eyes by removing pullover shirts or sweaters—someone else should cut the garment off with scissors while you are still in the shower. Flood the affected body area with temperate water for at least 15 minutes. Resume if pain returns. Do not use creams, lotions, or salves. Get medical attention without delay.
Launder contaminated clothes separately from other clothing or discard, as recommended in the MSDS.
Note: Never work with chemicals in a laboratory unless it is equipped with a safety shower that has been tested within the past six weeks.
A record, usually a tag affixed to the safety shower, should state the most recent test date and the tester’s initials. For splashes into the eye, immediately flush the eye with temperate potable water from a gently flowing source for at least 15 minutes. Use your thumb and forefinger to hold your eyelids away from the eyeball, move your eyes continuously up and down and sideways, to flush out thoroughly behind the eyelids and behind the eyeball itself. An eyewash fountain should be used, but if one is not available, injured persons should be placed on their backs and water gently poured into the corners of their eyes for at least 15 minutes. After any first aid treatment to the eyes, promptly visit a member of a medical staff or an ophthalmologist who is acquainted with the management of chemical injuries to the eyes.
Note: Do not touch a person in contact with a live electrical circuit. Disconnect the power first! Otherwise, you may be too seriously injured.

4. Spills cleanup

Clean up all spills promptly, efficiently, and properly. Call your instructor for help. Warn all individuals who may be at risk to be exposed to the hazard, and minimize its spread. The toxicity of the substance is often more important than the volume of the spill.
If a flammable material is spilled, warn everyone to extinguish all flames immediately to turn off spark-producing equipment such as brush-type motors, and leave the area. You should do any work with a flammable toxic material in a laboratory hood; if a spill occurs, close the hood and call your instructor.
The smaller area is involved, the less the damage is and the easier the cleanup. Follow your instructor’s directions.
Many small liquid spills on the floor or laboratory bench (e.g., less than 200 ml) can be absorbed with paper towels, sand, or special absorbent. Of course, whatever is used becomes contaminated and must be handled as a hazardous waste. Be particularly careful that flammable liquids absorbed during cleanup are not present in the fire hazard.
Most spills of solids can be brushed up and disposed of in appropriate solid waste containers, but exercise care to avoid reactive combinations with a chemical that was put in the container earlier. Do not leave materials used to clean up a spill in open trash-cans. Follow your instructor’s directions.
Dike larger liquid spills on the floor by surrounding the involved area with an absorbent retaining material. Commercially available or homemade spill control kits can be useful. If possible, use an absorbent material that will neutralize the liquids (limestone or sodium carbonate for acids, sodium thiosulfate solution for bromine, etc.). Commercial absorbents (e.g., Oil-Dri and Zorb-All), vermiculite, or small particles (about 30 meshes) of kitty litter or other satisfactory clay absorbents can be used. Dry sand is less effective.
Use a dustpan and brush, and wear protective gloves to clean up dry spills and liquid spills that have been absorbed by an absorbent. Wear leather or other protective gloves while cleaning up broken glass. Then, clean the contaminated area with soap and water, and dry it. Place a warning sign that says “Wet and slippery floor,” or sprinkles some absorbent on the spot.
However, note that vermiculite, kitty litter, and some other absorbents can create a slipping hazard if they are scattered on a wet surface.

5. Apparel in the Laboratory

• Wear appropriate eye protection (i.e. chemical splash goggles) in the laboratory.
• Wear disposable gloves, as provided in the laboratory, when handling hazardous materials.
• Remove the gloves before exiting the laboratory.
• Wear shoes that adequately cover the whole foot; low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles are preferable. Do not wear sandals, open-toed shoes, open-backed shoes, or high-heeled shoes in the laboratory.
• Avoid wearing shirts exposing the torso, shorts, or short skirts; long pants that completely cover the legs are preferable.
• Secure long hair and loose clothing (especially loose long sleeves, neck ties, or scarves).
• Remove jewelry (especially dangling jewelry).
• Synthetic finger nails are not recommended in the laboratory; they are made of extremely flammable polymers which can burn to completion and are not easily extinguished.

6. Hygiene Practices

• Keep your hands away from your face, eyes, mouth, and body while using chemicals.
• Food and drink, open or closed, should never be brought into the laboratory or chemical storage area.
• Never use laboratory glassware for eating or drinking purposes.
• Do not apply cosmetics while you are in the laboratory or storage area.
• Wash hands after removing gloves, and before leaving the laboratory.
• Remove any protective equipment (i.e. gloves, lab coat or apron, chemical splash goggles) before leaving the laboratory.

7. Emergency Procedure

• Know the location of all the exits in the laboratory and building.
• Know the location of the emergency phone.
• Know the location of the following things and know how to use them:
• Fire extinguishers
• Alarm systems with pull stations
• Fire blankets
• Eye washes
• First-aid kits
• Deluge safety showers

In case of an emergency or accident, follow the established emergency plan as explained by the teacher and evacuate the building via the nearest exit.