Lab safety rules help create a safe environment in which to work and learn.
Read the Flinn Scientific Safety Contract for Students for detailed laboratory safety considerations. This is important information to remember in order to keep you, your instructor(s), and your fellow students safe while working in a science laboratory.
Why should you care about safety anyway?
Safety rules are established to protect everyone from accidents or injuries. They are usually written as a result of an accident or injury that happened to someone.
Example 1: Why can't I wear my sandals in the lab?
This student did not have on proper shoes while using chemicals in the lab. The accident resulted in second degree chemical burns to the feet.
Source: Kerry's Feet, The Consumerist, Flickr
Yes . . . This is a REAL picture! Can you list the safety rules and symbols he probably missed on his safety quiz?
In your notes, list the safety violations you see in the picture above.
Source: Safety Ladder in Pool, Orange County Register
Lab safety rules can be different depending on which area of science you are studying. Here is a list of some of the different rules that apply to different areas of science.
General Safety Rules
Animal and Plant Safety
Using Sharp Instruments
Heating and Fire Safety
After the Experiment
Safety Symbols and Labels
Directions: This is a brief overview of some of the most common safety symbols and labels that you might be asked to interpret. Drag and drop the correct label that matches with the safety symbol and meaning.
Images used for the exercise above as they appear, top to bottom:
Biohazard symbol, About.com
Flammable symbol, Warning Signs Direct
Poison symbol, Wordpress
Dangerous for the environment symbol, Warning Signs Direct
NFPA label, Compliance Signs
Sharp objects symbol, Science with Sandy
Eye protection required symbol, About.com
Corrosive materials symbol, About.com
Hand protection required symbol, About.com
>Hazardous fumes symbol, Science with Sandy
High voltage warning sign, About.com
Below is an illustration of students working in a science lab. Notice that each student has been labeled with a letter from the alphabet.
In your notes:
- List the unsafe lab behaviors you can identify in this picture. Explain why that behavior would be considered unsafe. Use the letter of the alphabet that corresponds with the student(s) that are exhibiting unsafe behavior.
- List the safe lab behaviors you can identify in this picture. Explain why that behavior would be considered safe. Use the letter of the alphabet that corresponds with the student(s) that are exhibiting safe behavior.
View unsafe lab behaviors or practices.
View safe lab behaviors or practices.