Lab Safety


    1.    Demonstrate proper behavior in a lab situation.

    2.    Determine the proper procedure in the event of a lab accident.

    3.    Recognize Safety Symbols used in the text, experiments and in the classroom.

Key Terms:

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"There lies a man so cool and placid

He poured the water into the acid

Alive are the ones that did what they ougtherí,

they poured the acid into the water"

Remember that safety is your responsibility in the laboratory.  Read all directions carefully and ask your instructor whenever there is a question.  Pouring water into acid creates a violent reaction liberating large amounts of hydrogen gas.  The cool person now is the one who read directions.

Safety Guidelines    Symbols    Fire    Chemical handling    Eye Safety    Clothing protection    Glassware Safety    Sharp objects    Heating safety    Fire/explosion safety    Electrical safety    Poison    Animal safety    Plant safety

Safety Guidelines

1. Read through the procedures of each laboratory activity before you start the lab

so that you are familiar with them.

2. Know how to locate and use all safety equipment in the laboratory, including the

fume hood, emergency shower, first aid kit, fire blanket, fire extinguisher, and eyewash.

Also be sure to locate the nearest exit in case of an emergency.

3. Avoid dangerous behavior in the laboratory.

4. Always conduct your experiments with adult supervision.

5. Wear safety goggles when handling all hazardous chemicals, working with an open

flame, or when otherwise instructed.

6. Wear an apron or a smock to protect your clothing in the laboratory when using chemicals.

7. Tie back long hair, and secure any loose-fitting clothing.

8. Never eat or drink in the laboratory.

9. Wash your hands before and after each activity in the lab.

10. Keep the work area free of any unnecessary items.

11. Wash all utensils thoroughly before and after each use.

12. Never smell or taste any chemicals unless instructed to do so by your teacher and the

experiment instructions.

13. Do not experiment or mix chemicals on your own. Many chemicals in the lab are

explosive or dangerous.

14. When using scissors or a scalpel, cut away from yourself and others.

15. When heating substances in a test tube, always point the mouth of the test tube

away from yourself and others.

16. Clearly label all containers with the names of the materials you are using.

17. Report all accidents to the teacher immediately, including breakage of

materials, chemical spills, and injury.

18. Do not pick up broken glass with your hands. Sweep up broken glass with a

broom, and dispose of the glass in a container labeled for glass disposal.

19. Never return unused chemicals to their original containers. Follow your teacherís

instructions for the proper disposal and cleanup of all materials.

20. Clean up your equipment and work area before leaving the lab.

21. Be certain that all Bunsen burners, gas outlets, and water faucets are turned off

before leaving the lab.


Safety Symbols

In Case of Fire
The first rule is never panic. Do not run away. Your instructor may to put out the fire before it spreads.   The first 5 minutes of fire fighting is very important and most fire can be contained within this time. Alert your instructor other workers in the laboratory for help or to seek help. If fire has gone beyond control then quickly alert everybody in the building and leave. Most laboratories fire can be put out with CO2 fire extinguishers. For fires involving active metals or metal hydrides, use dry chemical extinguishers or sand ónever use water!

When clothing is on fire, the victim should not run. This merely fans the flame. Either smother the fire by wrapping the victim in a fire blanket/wet coat or douse the fire under the emergency shower.



Handling of Chemicals:

1)        Respect all chemicals and be cautious when handling them, especially those you know very little about.

2)        Corrosive and toxic chemicals must be handled in the fame hood.

3)        Laboratory coats and safety glasses must be worn.

4)        Never use your mouth to pipette dangerous liquids- Use a rubber safety bulb for all pipetting purposes.

5)         Do not carry bottles containing corrosive liquids (concentrated acids, bromine etc) by their necks. There are baskets specially made for that purpose.

6)         Do not pour or dispose of hazardous materials in the sink. Labeled residual bottles should be used and kept in the fume cupboard.

7)        Compressed gas cylinders must be properly strapped and not left standing on their own.


Eye Safety

1)        Wear your laboratory safety goggles when you are working with chemicals, open flame, or any                     substances that may be harmful to your eyes.

2)        Know how to use the emergency eyewash system. If chemicals get into your eyes, flush them out with plenty of water for 15 minutes.  Inform your teacher.


Clothing Protection

        Wear your laboratory apron. It will help to protect your clothing from stains or damage.


Glassware Safety

1)        Check glassware for chips or cracks. Broken, cracked, or chipped glassware should be disposed of properly.

2)        Do not force glass tubing into rubber stoppers. Follow your teacherís instructions.

3)        Clean all glassware and air-dry them rather than drying with a towel.


Sharp Objects

1)        Be careful when using knives, scalpels, or scissors.

2)        Always cut in the direction away from your body and from others who are nearby.

3)        Inform your teacher immediately if you or your partner is cut.


Heating Safety

1)        Turn off heat sources when they are not in use.

2)        Point test tubes away from yourself and others when heating substances in them.

3)        Use the proper procedures when lighting a Bunsen burner.

4)        To avoid burns, do not handle heated glassware or materials directly. Use tongs, test-tube holders, or heat-resistant gloves or mitts.

5)        For heating, use glassware that is meant to be used for that purpose.

6)        When heating flasks or beakers over the laboratory burner, use a ring-stand setup with a square of wire gauze.

7)        Use a water bath to heat solids.

8)        When heating with a laboratory burner, gently move the test tube over the hottest part of the flame.

9)        Do not pour hot liquids into plastic containers.


Fire/Explosion Safety

1)        Tie back long hair and roll up long sleeves when working near an open flame. Confine loose clothing.

2)        Do not reach across an open flame.

3)        Know the location and proper use of fire blankets and fire extinguishers.


Electrical Safety

1)        Be careful when using electrical equipment.

2)        Check all electrical equipment for worn cords or loose plugs before using.

3)        Keep your work area dry.

4)        Do not overload electric circuits.

5)        Be sure that any electrical cords are not in a place where someone can trip over them.



1)        Do not mix any chemicals unless directed to do so in a procedure or by your teacher.

2)        Inform your teacher immediately if you spill chemicals or get any chemicals on your skin or in your eyes.

3)        Never taste any chemicals or substances unless directed to do so by your teacher.

4)        Keep your hands away from your face when working with chemicals.

5)        Wash your hands with soap and water after handling chemicals.


Animal Safety

1)        Handle live animals with care. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, inform your teacher.

2)        Do not bring wild animals into the classroom.

3)        Do not cause pain, discomfort, or injury to an animal.

4)        Be sure any animals kept for observations are given the proper food, water, and living space.

5)        Wear gloves when handling live animals. Always wash your hands with soap and water after handling live animals.


Plant Safety

1)        Use caution when collecting or handling plants.

2)        Do not eat or taste any unfamiliar plant or plant parts.

3)        Wash your hands with soap and water after handling plants.

4)        If you are allergic to pollen, do not work with plants or plant parts without using a gauze face mask.