What Not To Wear In The Lab

Ready to experiment like you’ve never experimented before this year? Sounds great – but if you reckon you need a bit of a health and safety refresh before you get going, take a look at our updated guide on what not to wear if you want to lab safely into the foreseeable future (and some of these are lesser-known, so get reading):

Contact lenses

Imagine, in a worst-case scenario, that some sort of corrosive chemical solution splashes straight up into your eye. Sounds nasty, but it happens in a lab, and you know it – that emergency eye wash tube isn’t hanging in plain sight on the wall for the fun of it. Now imagine you’re wearing contact lenses when such an incident arises. You’ll have a really hard time removing your contacts, and by the time you’ve managed it, the worst of the damage will probably be done.

Sandals or flip flops

This is a bit of an obvious one, but if it’s the middle of summer and your feet need a bit of breathing space, don’t make the mistake of leaving your home in your flip flops or sandals if you’re heading to lab. If you make a spillage, chances are, gravity’s going to do its job and send the spillage floor-wards. Straight on your toes.

Tops or bottoms that don’t cover your whole top or bottom

We’re not saying you need to wrap up like you’re off on a trip to Antarctica, but dressing in a crop top and shorts is just impractical in a lab situation, even with a lab coat over the top. As with the flip-flop thing, you’re giving your skin far less protection if you’re not covering up properly, putting yourself at risk of skin damage from harmful irritants.


There’s nothing like the distraction of full-volume music to guarantee your lab experiment goes wrong. Labs are controlled, calm environments by nature (or they should be). The point is to stay as focused as possible, which means ditching the headphones and focusing on the task at hand.

Mesh clothing

We’ll steer round the greater question of why mesh even exists as a fashion material in the first place, and simply say that mesh does not belong anywhere remotely near a science lab. The potential for pain if a spillage came into contact with your bare skin is pretty horrific to even consider.