To work safely in the laboratory students must understand that some laboratory equipment, chemicals, and specimens can be dangerous if handled improperly. Laboratory accidents do not just happen. They are caused by carelessness, improper handling of equipment and specimens or inappropriate behavior.
Safety in the laboratory is the student’s responsibility. It is up to them to alert them to the hazards and prevent them from happening. Students need to be acquainted with the rules and guidelines. They should remember that an accident takes only a moment to happen.
- Be serious in the laboratory. Running, pushing, and joking are not appropriate in the laboratory. Such behavior can lead to accidents.
- Know the location and use of all safety equipment, fire blanket, fire extinguisher, safety hood, and eye washes. Know how to get to all exits.
- Read all the directions for an activity BEFORE work begins. Pay special attention to CAUTION statements in the procedure. CAUTION statement alerts you to potential hazards.
- Report any accidents to the teacher immediately.
- Do not eat, drink, or taste substances used in the laboratory.
- Wash hands before and after each activity.
- Perform only those activities assigned by the teacher and never work alone in the laboratory.
- Report chemical spills to the teacher.
- Make sure that all hot plates, gas outlets, burners and water faucets are turned off at the end of the period.
Follow the teacher’s instructions on proper clean up and disposal of all materials.