• LABORATORY SAFETY

    During the course of this school year, you will participate in a number of laboratory

    activities.  Only by seeing, touching, and manipulating various systems can you truly

    understand them.  Science is most alive when you can actually test hypotheses! 

    However, if materials used in a lab are handled carelessly, accidents can happen. 

    Working safely while performing science activities is your responsibility!  By following a

    few safety precautions, you can achieve the objectives of the lab activity, and have an

    enjoyable experience as well!  Therefore, I will expect you to read, learn, and live by the

    following safety rules:

     

    1.   The first rule is the most important one:  Always follow the directions given to

          you  by your instructor, or as written in the lab procedure!  If you do not

          understand a direction completely, ask!

     

    2.   Know where safety equipment is located in the classroom, and how to use them.

     

          A. Fire Extinguisher

              Location?  In the front of the room on the cabinet wall opposite the

                                 classroom door

              What can it be used on?  Class A fires: (trash, wood), Class B fires: (burning

                                                           liquids), Class C fires: (electrical fires)

              How is it activated?  PASS -- pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze

                                                  the handle, sweep the nozzle at the base of the fire

     

          B. Fire Alarm

               Location?  As you are leaving this classroom it is located approximately

                                  three meters to the right of the door on the end wall.

               How is it activated?  Pull it downward

     

          C. Fire Blanket

               Location?  On the other side of the cabinet wall that has the fire

                                  extinguisher

               How is it used?  Remove the blanket from the metal container and cover the

                                           person who is on fire.  Gently pat them to smother the

                                           flames.

     

          D. Eyewash Station

               Location?   Same location as the fire blanket

               How is it used?  Push down on the handle and place your eyes in the water

                                           stream.  Leave them there until medical assistance arrives.

     

           E. Safety Shower

                Location?  Same location as eyewash station

                When should it be used?  When you have a chemical spill over a portion of

                                                             your body.

                How is it activated?  Pull down on the handle and stand under the water

                                                    stream.

    3.   Keep your work area clean and free of non-essential personal items, particularly

          when working with a flame or hazardous chemicals.  The only things within reaching

          distance should be the materials you need for the activity!

     

    4.   Use only the materials needed for the lab activity.  No substitutes without permission

           from your instructor.  If you don't have something you need, ask!

     

    5.   Safety goggles must be worn when working with heat and/or chemicals.  Wear them

          when directed to do so!

     

    6.   A lab apron should be worn when working with chemicals that are hazardous and/or

          may permanently stain clothing.  Wear one when directed to do so!  Also, consider

          wearing closed-toed shoes on lab days.  Sandals and open-toed shoes don't offer   

          much protection from spills!

     

    7.   Loose hair and clothing can be hazardous when working with chemicals, flames, or

          machinery.  Tie them back!

     

    8.   Never heat glassware that is not thoroughly dry.  Never pick up any glassware

          unless you are sure it is not hot.  If it is hot, use heat-resistant gloves or tongs.

     

    9.   Never use glassware that is chipped or cracked.  If you find such a piece of

          glassware, give it to your instructor.

     

    10.  Never heat anything in a closed container.

     

    11.  Always point a test tube or bottle that is being heated away from you and others.

           Chemicals can splash or boil out of the heated test tube.

     

    12.  Never smell any chemical directly from its container.  Treat all materials as if they

            are harmful!  Always use your hand to waft some of the odor from the top of the

            container toward your nose - and only when instructed to do so!  If you find

            something you're not sure about, give it to your teacher!

     

    13.  Never mix chemicals unless instructed to do so.

     

    14.  Always mark your containers before pouring chemicals into them.

     

    15.  Never touch or taste any chemical unless instructed to do so.  Do not eat or drink

            anything during a lab activity or without permission from your teacher.  Chemical

            remnants may be left on the table from a previous class!

     

    16.  Keep all lids closed when chemicals are not in use.  This will prevent accidental

            spills and keep the chemicals from going bad.

     

    17.  When diluting acids or bases, always pour the acid or base into the water, not

            vice-versa.  These reactions generate heat.  Also, pouring water into a strong acid

            or base can generate dangerous splashes!  Remember, Always Add Acid!

     

    18.  Solutions should be stirred with a glass stirring rod, not with your pen/pencil or with

            a thermometer.

     

    19.  Immediately rinse with water any chemicals, particularly acids, off your skin and

           clothes.  Notify your instructor.

     

    20.  Only glassware and weighing dishes should be put directly on a balance pan. 

            Never place solid chemicals directly on the pan!  (The same goes, of course, for

            liquids!)

     

    21.  Handle any sharp instruments with extreme care.  Never cut any material toward

            you; always cut away from you.

     

    22.  Never touch an electric appliance or outlet with wet hands.

     

    23.  Dispose of all chemicals as instructed by your teacher.  Don't just pour them down

            the sink or throw them in the trash can!

     

    24.  Always clean glassware thoroughly before putting it away.  Also, wash your hands

            after every experiment!

     

    25.  Notify your teacher in case of any accident, no matter how small!