Safety In the Science Lab

Safety In the Science Lab 

National Science Teacher's Association
 Standards of Student Conduct in the Laboratory and in the Field

1. Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory. Frivolous activities, 
    mischievous behavior, throwing items, and conducting pranks are prohibited.

2. Lab and safety information and procedures must be read ahead of time. All verbal and written
    instructions shall be followed in carrying out the activity or investigation.

3. Eating, drinking, gum chewing, applying cosmetics, manipulating contact lenses, and other unsafe
    activities are not permitted in the laboratory.

4. Working in the laboratory without the instructor present is prohibited.

5. Unauthorized activities or investigations are prohibited. Unsupervised work is not permitted.

6. Entering preparation or chemical storage areas is prohibited at all times.

7. Removing chemicals or equipment from the laboratory is prohibited unless authorized by the

Personal Safety

8. ANSI Z87.1 approved chemical splash goggles or safety glasses, as appropriate or directed by your
    instructor, shall be worn at all times in the laboratory or field, including
pre-laboratory work and
    clean-up, unless the instructor specifically states that the activity does not require the use of
    chemical splash goggles or safety glasses.

9. When an activity requires the use of laboratory aprons, the apron shall be appropriate to the size of
    the student and the hazard associated with the activity or investigation.
The apron shall remain tied
    throughout the activity or investigation.

10. All accidents, chemical spills, and injuries must be reported immediately to the instructor, no
     matter how trivial they may seem at the time. Follow your instructor’s directions for immediate

11. Dress appropriately for laboratory work by protecting your body with clothing and shoes. This
      means that you should use hair ties to tie back long hair and tuck into
the collar. Do not wear
      loose or baggy clothing or dangling jewelry on laboratory days. Acrylic nails are also a safety
      hazard near heat sources and should not be used.
Sandals or open-toed shoes are not to be worn
      during any lab activities. Refer to prelab instructions. If in doubt, ask!

12. Know the location of all safety equipment in the room. This includes eye wash stations, the
      deluge shower, fire extinguishers, the fume hood, and the safety blanket.
Know the location of
      emergency master electric and gas shut offs and exits.

13. Certain classrooms may have living organisms including plants in aquaria or other containers.
      Students must not handle organisms without specific instructor
authorization. Wash your hands
      with soap and water after handling organisms and plants.

14. When an activity or investigation requires the use of laboratory gloves for hand protection, the
      gloves shall be appropriate for the hazard and worn throughout the activity.

Specific Safety Precautions Involving Chemicals and Lab Equipment

15. Avoid inhaling in fumes that may be generated during an activity or investigation.

16. Never fill pipettes by mouth suction. Always use the suction bulbs or pumps.

17. Do not force glass tubing into rubber stoppers. Use glycerin as a lubricant and hold the tubing
      with a towel as you ease the glass into the stopper.
18. Proper procedures shall be followed when using any heating or flame producing device especially
      gas burners. Never leave a flame unattended.

19. Remember that hot glass looks the same as cold glass. After heating, glass remains hot for a very
      long time. Determine if an object is hot by placing your hand close to t
he object but do not touch

20. Should a fire drill or other evacuation emergency occur during an investigation or activity, make
      sure you turn off all gas burners and electrical equipment and exit t
he room as directed.

21. Always read the reagent bottle labels twice before you use the reagent. Be certain the chemical
     you use is the correct one.

22. Replace the top on any reagent bottle as soon as you have finished using it and return the reagent
      to the designated location.

23. Do not return unused chemicals to the reagent container. Follow the instructor’s directions for the
      storage or disposal of these materials.

Standards For Maintaining a Safer Laboratory Environment

24. Backpacks and books are to remain in an area designated by the instructor and shall not be
      brought into the laboratory area.

25. Never sit on laboratory tables.

26. Work areas should be kept clean and neat at all times. Work surfaces are to be cleaned at the end
      of each laboratory or activity.

27. Solid chemicals, metals, matches, filter papers, broken glass, and other materials designated by
      the instructor are to be deposited in the proper waste containers,
not in the sink. Follow your
      instructor’s directions for disposal of waste.

28. Sinks are to be used for the disposal of water and those solutions designated by the instructor.
      Other solutions must be placed in the designated waste disposal

29. Glassware is to be washed with hot, soapy water and scrubbed with the appropriate type and sized
      brush, rinsed, dried, and returned to its original location.

30. Goggles are to be worn during the activity or investigation, clean up, and through hand washing.
Use this sign to indicate the location of an eyewash station.
Eyewash Sign
This is the sign or symbol for a safety shower.
Safety Shower Sign
Use this symbol to identify the location of a first aid station.
First Aid Sign
This sign indicates the location of a defibrillator or AED.
Defibrillator Sign
This safety sign indicates the location of a fire blanket.
Fire Blanket Safety Sign
Unofficial Radiation SymbolR
Radiation Symbol
This is the safety symbol for a biohazard.
This trefoil is the hazard symbol for radioactive material.
Radioactive Symbol

This is the IAEA ionizing radiation warning symbol (ISO 21482).
Ionizing Radiation Symbol
Universal recycling symbol or logo.
Recycling Symbol
Skull and Crossbones
Skull and Crossbones
This is the hazard symbol for toxic substances.
This is the hazard symbol for an irritant or the general symbol for a potentially harmful chemical.
Harmful or Irritant
This is the hazard symbol for flammable substances.
This is the hazard symbol for explosives or an explosion hazard.
This is the hazard symbol for oxidizing substances.
This is the hazard symbol indicating corrosive materials.
This is the safety sign indicating an environmental hazard.
Environmental Hazard
This sign tells you respiratory protection is required.
Respiratory Protection Sign
This sign means you need to wear gloves or other hand protection.
Gloves Required Symbol
This symbol indicates mandatory eye or face protection.
Eye or Face Protection Symbol
This symbol indicates mandatory use of protective clothing.Protective Clothing SignThis sign indicates mandatory use of protective footwear.
Protective Footwear Sign
This sign or symbol means that proper eye protection must be worn.Eye Protection Required
U.S. Army symbol for chemical weapons.
Chemical Weapon
This is the symbol for a biological weapon of mass destruction or biohazardous WMD.
Biological Weapon
This is the US Army symbol for a radiation WMD or nuclear weapon.     This is the hazard symbol for nonflammable gas.
Nuclear Weapon


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