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