Work Ethics for the Laboratory Chemist

Work Ethics for the Laboratory Chemist
We take pledge pledge to ethical working

As a chemist your responsibilities are not limited to sample collection, analysis and reporting of results. Work ethics plays an important role in discharge of your duties. Unethical practices can at best give short-term gains but will surely lead you onto a disastrous career path. Always listen to your conscience before moving ahead on your options. In this article some general guidelines are provided that could assist you in following the right track.

Loyalty to your organization

First and foremost requirement under code of ethical practices is loyalty and sincerity towards your organization

  • Do not deviate from standard test procedures in order to cut short on analysis time
  • Laboratory test results and operating procedures should not be disclosed to outside parties
  • Your reporting should not be influenced by pressures or monetary inducements from your colleagues or customers
  • Do not remove any chemical, glassware, test method or test sample from the laboratory premises without authorization
  • Proficiency testing results should not be disclosed to any competing laboratory
  • Adhere to committed time schedules
  • Do not test any unofficial samples in your laboratory

Commitment to your customer

As a chemist you will come across two types of customers:

Internal customers

These include your management and representatives from other departments such as manufacturing or commercial. In academic institutions internal customers can be your research supervisors

External customers 

These are  your clients who provide samples for analysis against payment and have certain expectations from your services

  • Adhere to committed reporting time frames
  • Results of a client samples should not be disclosed to third parties
  • Testing should not be influenced by client demands or by pressures from within your own organization
  • Manufacturing details or material composition of samples should not be passed on to competitors

Commitment to society

A chemist plays an important role and his actions, deliberate or otherwise, can result in immeasurable harm to other workers in the laboratory or to society at large.

  • Qualifying a failed consumer product under monetary inducement or otherwise can pose serious risk to consumers
  • Safety measures should be in place to prevent laboratory accidents or to a a section of population in the laboratory vicinity
  • Laboratory wastage should be disposed as per prescribed guidelines and prevalent civic body regulations
  • Chemists working on environmental samples should be even more cautious as their reporting can spell disaster for human and animal life.

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