Top 10 Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope

Top 10 Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope

Top 10 Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope. The microscope is a highly important instrument with a wide range of applications. It allows scientists and students to study a range of microorganisms, cells and structures, playing an integral role in both research and diagnostics.

Microscopes should always be handled with care. Laboratories have a number of safety hazards that students and researchers need to be aware of in order to avoid injury and illness. Proper microscope use will help prevent damage to the equipment and prevent laboratory accidents such as breaking slides. 

Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope

How to Use a Compound Microscope

  1. Turn the revolving turret so that the lowest power objective lens (eg. 4x) is clicked into position.
  2. Place the microscope slide on the stage and fasten it with the stage clips.
  3. Look at the objective lens and the stage from the side and turn the focus knob so the stage moves upward. Move it up as far as it will go without letting the objective touch the coverslip.
  4. Look through the eyepiece and move the focus knob until the image comes into focus.
  5. Adjust the condenser and light intensity for the greatest amount of light.
  6. Move the microscope slide around until the sample is in the centre of the field of view (what you see).
  7. Use the focus knob to place the sample into focus and readjust the condenser and light intensity for the clearest image (with low power objectives you might need to reduce the light intensity or shut the condenser).
  8. When you have a clear image of your sample with the lowest power objective, you can change to the next objective lenses.
  9. You might need to readjust the sample into focus and/or readjust the condenser and light intensity. If you cannot focus on your specimen, repeat steps 3 through 5 with the higher power objective lens in place. Do not let the objective lens touch the slide!
  10. Lower the stage when finished, click the low power lens into position and remove the slide.

Top 10 Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope

What are the tips in proper handling of a microscope?

Cover when not in use. Only use special lens paper or wipes for cleaning the lenses. Look after the bulb. Store in a clean, dry place. Handle with care. Keep lenses clear of slides. Clean after using immersion oil.

What are three precautions you must take to prevent damage to the microscope?

Proper microscope use will help prevent damage to the equipment and prevent laboratory accidents such as breaking slides. Clean the microscope after each use and handle glass slides carefully.

How do you handle and maintain a microscope?

Clean the parts of the microscope with a clean cloth. Clean the objectives after each day’s work. Ensure that immersion oil residues are removed. Do not clean any part of the microscope with xylene, which will damage the microscope and is toxic.

Safety Precautions With Microscopes [Tips]

1. Carry with Two Hands

To prevent damage to the microscope and to protect yourself from injury, always carry the microscope with two hands. Place one hand on the arm of the microscope and place the other hand underneath the base of the microscope. This method will give the microscope the most support. If you are walking with it, always hold it up high to avoid hitting tables or chairs.

2. Do Not Look into the Light

If you are using a microscope with a mirror, never use direct sunlight as a light source. This could cause eye damage when looking into the microscope. If you are using a microscope with a light, do not look directly into the light.

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3. Storing the Microscopes

After you have finished using the microscope, always clean the slides off and wipe down the microscope with a damp cloth. Microscopes should be stored on the lowest objective with the nosepiece turned down to its lowest position. If you are using a microscope with a light, remember to turn off the light before unplugging it from the outlet.

4. Wear Protective Clothing

Put on protective clothing when using a microscope. This includes a lab coat, a pair of safety glasses and a pair of disposable gloves. The slides you are examining under the microscope could contain dangerous chemicals or biological material so, it is important to protect all parts of your body.

5. Be Cautious Handling Slides

Always be careful when handling glass slides and cover slips. If the slide or cover slip breaks, use protective gloves to clean up the broken glasses. This will help prevent cuts and contamination from slide contents. Dispose of the glass in a designated sharps container in the laboratory.

6. Cover when not in use

All microscopes are sold with dust covers. Always keep your microscope covered when not in use even if the microscope is stored in a cabinet. Eye tubes also need to be kept free of dust so do not store a microscope without the eyepieces. If the microscope eyepieces must be removed, cover the tubes with caps or a plastic bag with a rubber band around the eye tube.

7. Do Not Touch the Lens

Never touch the lens of the microscope with your bare hands. This could damage the functioning of the microscope. Instead, use a special lens paper to clean it. You may also use a soft cloth dipped in a small amount of isopropyl alcohol to clean the lens.

8. Look after lenses

When using your microscope, the objective lens is lowered to adjust the focus. However, be careful not to let the lens touch the slide you’re looking at, as this can damage the lens. Furthermore, dirty lenses are notoriously difficult to clean.

9. Handle with care

Improper handling is a common cause of many problems that occur with microscopes. When carrying a microscope, hold it by the base and the metal support arm. The stage on a microscope is the flat plate where the slides are placed for observation. Avoid picking your microscope up by the stage or the eyepiece holder, as this can cause misalignment.

10. Look after the bulb

Be aware if your microscope has a mercury lamp. A broken mercury lamp may release toxic mercury vapors. After using the microscope, turn off the illuminator and wait for it to cool for several minutes before putting it away. By allowing the bulb to cool you will extend its life. When turning the microscope on and off, use the switch not the power point. Do not switch the microscope on while using full light intensity. Never touch the bulb with your fingers as the body oils can burn into the bulb and reduce its life. Use a tissue. Keep a store of replacement bulbs and always use the correct bulb.

Top 10 Microscope Safety Precautions | 5 Steps Of Using A Microscope

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