Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Laboratory Safety

Safety Standards


Safety Organizations

Safety contracts

Chemical Hazards

Safety Links

Chemical Storage


Laboratory Safety "Scavenger Hunt"

ASSIGNMENT: Answer the following questions and submit your answers as text in a response to the appropriate safety questions prompt on the HyperNews Discussion Group. Do not join the group as a member, but simply add a contribution to the discussion. Note: It is essential that you first open the lead article of a thread and post a response to it. Do not add messages to the root directory. You may wish to see additional Safety Resources for further information.

MSDS: Review the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for the following chemicals: benzene, hydrochloric acid, sodium. Summarize (a) the health hazards and (b) the storage requirements for teach.

SAFETY CONTRACTS: Examine sample safety contracts (Flinn Safety Contract; Sample Safety Contract ) and identify three rules or features that you should include in your safety contract that you had not previously thought of. Explain why each is important.

SAFETY ISSUES: Review science laboratory safety literature and answer the following questions:

(a) What is the recommended laboratory space per pupil?

(b) What are five specific things that a teacher should do to ensure a safe laboratory?

(c) Review the reasons that accidents occur and identify the two most likely reasons that they might occur in your laboratory.

OSHA: What is OSHA and why should science teachers know about it? Scroll through the OSHA database and identify a particular topic relevant to your school. Include a paragraph describing information that you may find useful to your school environment.

EPA: Use the Environmental Protection Agency website to determine:

  • The pollution concerns or hazardous waste sites near your school.
  • The environmental conditions and trends in your county.
  • Two EPA regulated sites closest to your school.
  • The environmental conditions or activities in your school community's watershed.

FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: What are the three types of fires? What type of fire extinguisher should you have in your classroom?

CHEMICAL STORAGE: Define the meanings of red, white, yellow, blue, and gray storage codes.

Laboratory Safety Issues
INTRODUCTION: Make sure that you can address all of the safety issues pertaining to each of the items listed below. You may wish to see additional Safety Resources for further information.
Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA)
School District Policies
Professional Liability
Contributory Negligence (even if kid is negligent, can still have % suit)
Keeping Records (Safety lectures, safety checks etc.)
Teacher's Responsibilities (Duty of instruction and Supervision)
Location of Gas Main Valve
Location of Electrical Panel
Location of Water Main Control
Detecting Gas Leaks
Evacuation Procedures
Fire Extinguishers
Fire Blankets
Eye Washes
Safety Showers
Sand Bucket
Dilute Acetic Acid of Boric Acid
Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate
First Aid Kit
Face shields
Lab coats
Shoes with tops
Dress code sandals, long ties, contact lenses, loose long hair, loose jackets
(Flinn Safety Contract; Sample Safety Contract )
HUMAN FLUIDS: Saliva; Blood; Urine
Broken Glassware container
Disposing of Strong Acids
Disposing of Solid Wastes
Disposing of Hazardous Wastes
"Disposal Pools"
Questions About Policy
Utilizing the University
Utilizing the Fire Department
Disposing of Mercury
Halogens (Ventilation, Collect under water, Cause damage to Mucous Membranes)
Iodine (Poisonous vapors: use in small amts. only)
Hydrogen Fluoride (very poisonous)
Diluting Acids (add acid to water)
Alkali Metals (in porcelain dish, not glass beaker)
Organic Solvents
Cyanides (KCN, potassium ferrocyanide)
Carcinogens (benzene, vinylchloride, asbestos, inorganic As)
Teratogenic chemicals (affect pregnancy, formaldehyde, CCl4, toluene
xylene, lead, aniline...warn females)
Grounded Outlets
Impulse-type shocks (paralysis, difficulty breathing)
Thermal burns (arc)
Extension cords (avoid)
Flammable liquids (don't store near activated electrical equip)
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (safety)
Homemade equipment (dangerous)
Combustibles (ether, benzene, methanol...metal cabinets, fire cans)
Poisonous Chemicals (mercury, carbon disulfide...metal cabinets)
Acids and Bases (acid resistant shelving, on Floor)
Chemicals that can react (glycerin and nitric acid, KClO3 & organics)
Earthquake Preparedness
Preventing Theft (PCP etc, scales)
Red and White Phosphorous (cut under water, red is safer)
Sodium and Potassium (under kerosene)
Mineral Hazards (lead, asbestos, manganese dust)
Use of glycerin
Glass bending
Glassware storage
Disease carrying animals (bats, certain insects, snakes)
Animals causing allergic reactions
California laws (no vivisection, pathology,injury, drugged)
The epileptic
The fainter
The physically handicapped