1. Students will work individually on some experiments, while other experiments will be done with partners or groups. For partner or group work each student should interpret data and answer questions separately unless directed otherwise.
2. Be prepared to work when you arrive at the laboratory. Familiarize yourself with the lab procedures before beginning the lab.
3. Carefully follow directions, both written and oral. Do only the steps described in the procedure of the experiment or that are described and/or approved by the teacher. If you are in doubt about any procedure, ask your teacher for help.
4. Everyone should be alert and proceed with caution at all times in the laboratory. Take care not to bump another student and to remain at your lab station while performing an experiment. An unattended experiment can result in an accident.
5. Wear safety glasses/goggles whenever you are in the lab. Aprons are required for some experiments. You may wear aprons at your discretion for any experiment to avoid staining or ruining your clothing.
6. Clothing should be appropriate for working in the lab. Jackets, ties, and other loose garments should be removed. Ideally, dress for lab should include long pants and shoes which cover the entire foot.
7. Do not engage in horseplay such as tickling, throwing objects, squirting water, etc. Some of the most serious lab accidents have resulted due to this type of behavior. Misbehavior such as horseplay could result in your dismissal from the classroom and you may not be allowed to participate in future labs and activities.
8. If you cut yourself, spill a chemical on yourself, or receive a burn by touching a hot object, run cold water over the affected area, and you or your partner notify your teacher immediately.
9. Learn the location of the eye wash fountain and/or water faucets in your school lab. If a substance is splashed in your eyes, immediately use the eye wash fountain or a water faucet to rinse your eyes. This should not happen if you are wearing goggles. Wear safety glasses/goggles at all times in the lab unless you are specifically told by your instructor that you do not need to wear them.
10. Do not taste, touch, or smell any reagents unless directed to do so by your teacher. When smelling chemicals or gases, use a wafting motion to direct the odor toward your nose.
11. Extreme caution should be used when using a Bunsen burner. Keep your head and clothing away from the flame and turn off the burner when it is not in use. Long hair should be tied back to avoid it catching on fire. If your clothing should catch fire, stop, drop, and roll while your lab partner notifies the instructor. Before leaving the lab, check to see that all gas valves and hot plates are turned off.
12. Keep flammable and combustible materials away from open flames. Some examples of flammable materials include alcohol, carbon disulfide, and acetone.
13. When heating a substance in a test tube, be careful not to point the mouth of the test tube at another person or yourself.
14. Use caution and the proper equipment to handle hot objects. Cool glass looks just the same as hot glass.
15. Handle chemicals carefully. Check the label of all bottles before removing the contents. Take only as much as your need. Do not return unused chemicals to reagent bottles. Report all spills or incorrect procedures to the teacher.
16. Handle toxic or combustible gases or chemicals only under the direction of the teacher. Use the fume hood when using these materials or when directed to do so.
17. Know the correct procedure for mixing acid solutions. ALWAYS add the acid slowly to the water. Never add water to a large amount of acid.
18. Never handle broken glass with your bare hands. Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass. Dispose of the glass as directed by your teacher. Record and report all breakage or loss of apparatus to your teacher.
19. Breakage fees for glassware and equipment broken due to misuse will be charged to the student(s) responsible for the broken item(s) at the replacement cost.
20. Keep insoluble waste material out of the sink. Dispose of waste material as instructed by your teacher.
21. Work areas should be clean and tidy at all times. Only lab procedures, lab notebooks, pencils and and sometimes calculators should be brought to the work area.
22. Aseptic technique (hand washing with antibacterial soap before and after the lab, disinfection of tables before and after the lab, and using the proper procedures for handling microbes) should be followed at all times when handling microbes) should be followed at all times when handling bacteria, protozoans, and fungi. Notify your teacher before you begin the lab of any health problems you have which may have compromised your immune system.
23. When an experiment is completed, always clean equipment and return it to the proper place. Clean your lab table.
24. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before leaving the lab.
25. Drinking during the lab is prohibited. Talking quietly is permitted, but it should not interfere with your work.
26. Do not let the potential hazards listed above make you afraid to participate in the lab. If instructions are followed and care is taken, the likelihood of an accident is greatly reduced. Labs are usually the most fun-filled part of any science course.