Safety in the lab

When completing experiments you must abide by the rules of the lab. Safety is of the utmost importance and how we use materials and behave in class are vital to keeping everyone safe. Read through the following lab safety rules carefully. 

General Guidelines:
1. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory.

2. Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully.  If you do not understand a direction or part of a procedure, ASK YOUR TEACHER BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH THE ACTIVITY.

3. Never work alone in the laboratory.  No student may work in the science classroom without the presence of the teacher.

4. When first entering a science room, do not touch any equipment, chemicals, or other materials in the laboratory area until you are instructed to do so.

5. Perform only those experiments authorized by your teacher.  Carefully follow all instructions, both written and oral.  Unauthorized experiments are not allowed.

6. Do not eat food, drink beverages, or chew gum in the laboratory.  Do not use laboratory glassware as containers for food or beverages.

7. Be prepared for your work in the laboratory.  Read all procedures thoroughly before entering the laboratory.  Never fool around in the laboratory.  Horseplay, practical jokes, and pranks are dangerous and prohibited

8. Always work in a well-ventilated area. 

9. Observe good housekeeping practices.  Work areas should be kept clean and tidy at all times. 

10. Be alert and proceed with caution at all times in the laboratory.  Notify the teacher immediately of any unsafe conditions you observe.

11. Experiments must be personally monitored at all times.  Do not wander around the room, distract other students, startle other students or interfere with the laboratory experiments of others.

12. Know the locations and operating procedures of all safety equipment including: first aid kit(s), and fire extinguisher.  Know where the fire alarm and the exits are located.

13. Know what to do if there is a fire drill during a laboratory period; containers must be closed, and any electrical equipment turned off.

14. Dress properly during a laboratory activity.  Long hair, dangling jewelry, and loose or baggy clothing are a hazard in the laboratory.  Long hair must be tied back, and dangling jewelry and baggy clothing must be secured.  Shoes must completely cover the foot.  No sandals allowed on lab days.

Glassware Rules:
1. Never handle broken glass with your bare hands.  Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass.  Place broken glass in the designated glass disposal container.

2. Examine glassware before each use.  Never use chipped, cracked, or dirty glassware.

3. If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, ASK THE TEACHER FOR HELP!

4. Do not immerse hot glassware in cold water.  The glassware may shatter.

Heating Substances:
1. Do not operate a hot plate by yourself.  Take care that hair, clothing, and hands are a safe distance from the hot plate at all times.  Use of hot plate is only allowed in the presence of the teacher.

2. Heated glassware remain very hot for a long time.  They should be set aside in a designated place to cool, and picked up with caution.  Use tongs or heat protective gloves if necessary.

3. Never look into a container that is being heated.

4. Do not place hot apparatus directly on the laboratory desk.  Always use an insulated pad.  Allow plenty of time for hot apparatus to cool before touching it.

Microscope Rules

1.Always carry the microscope with two hands - one on the arm and one underneath the base of the microscope.  Hold it up so that it does not hit the tables or chairs. Never swing the microscope.


2. Do not touch the lenses.  If they are dirty, please raise your hand and ask for the special lens paper to clean the lenses.


3. If using a microscope with a mirror, do not use direct sunlight as the light source - eye damage may result.  If using a microscope with a light, turn off light when not in use.


4. Be cautious when handling glass slides and cover-slips. Please do not handle broken glass - notify teacher.


5. Always clean slides and microscope when finished.  Store microscope set on the lowest objective with the nosepiece turned down to the lowest position (using the coarse adjustment knob.) If using a lighted microscope, turn off light before pulling out the plug.