An Overview Why cover this? This year, you will be doing many hands-on laboratory experiments , many of which require the use and handling of hazardous chemicals. This lesson covers many tips for staying safe in the lab. General Rules No horseplay in the lab! Conduct yourself in a responsible manner. Practical jokes are dangerous and thus are prohibited! Follow all written and verbal instructions. If you do not understand the directions, ask your instructor before proceeding. Do not eat, drink, or chew gum in the laboratory. Do not use glassware as food or drink containers. Keep work area clean to avoid contamination of experiment or personal belongings. General Rules Know the locations of all safety equipment in the lab. (ex: fire extinguisher, eyewash station, safety shower, etc.) Work in a well-ventilated area. If you feel faint or sick, step out of the lab for fresh air. Be alert at all times in the lab. Be aware of your surroundings. Keep hands away from your face and mouth during the lab to avoid contamination. Clothing Rules Wear your goggles at all times during a lab!! Long hair must be pulled back. Dangling jewelry or loose-fitting clothing must be secured. Shoes must completely cover the foot. No sandals allowed. Lab aprons and/or lab coats may be worn if available. Accidents and Injuries Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) to your teacher IMMEDIATELY, no matter how trivial it may seem. If a chemical splashes in your eye or on your skin, flush it IMMEDIATELY with running water. Have a lab group member notify the teacher. When mercury thermometers are broken, DO NOT TOUCH the mercury. Notify the teacher IMMEDIATELY! Handling Chemicals All chemicals are considered dangerous. Do not touch, smell, or taste chemicals unless directly told to do so by your instructor. When asked to smell a chemical, be sure to “waft”, do not smell directly! Check the label twice on a chemical container before removing its contents. Take only as much as you need. Never return unused chemicals to their original containers. Handling Chemicals When diluting acids, always add ACID TO WATER, not water to acid. This may result in an explosion. (AP – Think about thermo rxns.) Never dispense flammable liquids anywhere near an open flame or heat source. Never remove chemicals from the laboratory area. Hold all chemicals securely when transporting them throughout the room. Walk carefully. Handling Glassware and Equipment Never touch broken glass with your bare hands. Use a brush and dustpan to pick up and place in glass disposal container. Examine glassware before use. Do not use broken, chipped or dirty glassware. When removing an electrical plug from the socket, grasp the plug, not the cord. Be sure your hands are DRY! Notify the teacher of any broken or frayed electrical cords! Do not use it! Handling Glassware and Equipment If you do not know how to use a piece of equipment, please ask your instructor prior to proceeding. Never place chemicals directly on the pan of a balance. Do not immerse hot glassware in cold/cool water. It may shatter. Heating Substances Exercise extreme caution when using a heat source (bunsen burner, alcohol flame or hot plate) Be sure long hair is tied back and loose clothing/jewelry is secured. Do not put anything into the flame unless specifically instructed to do so. Never reach over an open flame. Never leave a lit burner/hot plate unattended. Turn off all heat sources that are not in use. Heating Substances Do not point the open end of a test tube or flask towards yourself or other group members while it is being heated. Never look into a container that is being heated. Heated metals and glassware remain hot for a long period of time. You may not be able to tell whether something is hot just by looking at it! Do not place a hot apparatus directly on the lab bench. Always use an insulating pad.
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