Safety in the School Laboratory

Science is a hands-on topic, both in class and in real life. One will be doing many laboratory activities way may require the use of dangerous chemicals or tools. Therefore, the number one priority for students and teachers is safety. To ensure a safe environment, there is a basic list of rules that must be followed at all times.

General rules

1.Behave responsibly! Use your common sense when it comes to potentially dangerous activities.
2.Follow all directions. Make sure you understand everything before beginning.
3.Don’t touch any equipment that does not have anything to do with what you are doing.
4.Do not eat or drink in the lab
5.Keep personal belongings in a specified area
6.Put all waste in correct receptacles – waste that is disposed of incorrectly could react negatively with each other

Injury and injury prevention

1.Wear appropriate safety gear: safety goggles, lab aprons, closed-toe shoes, etc.
2.Know where the safety equipment is stored at all times. This includes the fire blanket, fire extinguisher, fire alarm, eye-wash station, emergency station and the first aid kit.
3.Report any injury or accident immediately to the instructor, no matter how minor.
4.If a chemical spills on your skin or in your eye, immediately flush with running water at the eye wash station for at least 20 minutes.
5.Dress appropriately during a lab activity. Long hair, baggy clothes, dangling jewelry must be secured.
6.Alert the teacher if you wear contact lenses.

Handling chemicals

1.Consider all chemicals in the laboratory dangerous. Do not inhale or ingest any chemicals.
2.Do not put hands near eyes, mouth, nose, or ears when using chemicals.
3.Use the proper technique for smelling chemicals.
4.Check the labels on chemical bottles twice before removing any of the contents. Take only as much as you need and never return unused chemicals to their original containers.
5.Do not point loaded test tubes, beakers or any other containers at you or another student or instructor.
6.Never remove chemicals or other materials from the laboratory area.

Handling equipment

1.Follow all directions for using a particular appliance or piece of equipment.
2.Carry glass tubing carefully as to not break them.
3.Never handle broken glass with your bare hands. Use a brush and dishpan instead and dispense all broken glass properly according to the instructor.
4.Wash all glassware properly after use.
5.Do no use glassware that is cracker or dirty.
6.Report damaged equipment immediately.
7.Never leave a heat source un-tended.

Remember, common sense is the best safety rule. If there is any doubt in your mind about the safety of an act, it is most likely a bad idea.