Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Science Laboratory Safety Guidelines

Below are some suggestions for a safer science laboratory environment.
  1. Create a safety plan for the lab that all teachers are educated and up to date on.
  2. When planning a laboratory activity, always ask yourself if there is another investigation that could teach the same concept more safely.
  3. Require everyone in the laboratory to wear appropriate safety equipment - including visitors.
  4. If microscopes are being used, make sure cords are not stretched across walking areas - tripping on a cord could cause chemical spills, damaged microscopes and injuries.
  5. Have a plan in place in the event of an accident.
  6. Do not allow anyone to work alone in the lab, including teachers.
  7. Store all chemicals in an appropriate secured room when they are not in use.
  8. Test all safety systems at a minimum of once a month.
  9. Test safety shower, eyewash, drench hose, etc. each week and create a safety log to ensure regular testing procedures.
  10. Do not allow eating and drinking in the science lab.
  11. Keep only minimum amounts of chemicals on hand. Those that are no longer used should be disposed of properly.
  12. Maintain a clean working environment.
  13. Ensure students understand the properties of each chemical being used for experiment, as well as safety procedures.
  14. Require all science teachers to participate in a NIOSH-approved safety course every five years.
  15. Consider showing the class a science safety video at the beginning of each semester.
High School Microscope
High School Microscope HS-1M