Science Department 2011-12
Cordova High School
THE PURPOSE OF THIS CONTRACT IS TO MAKE EACH
STUDENT AWARE OF HIS/HER RESPONSIBILITY
FOR SAFETY IN THE SCIENCE LABORATORY
Chemistry is a laboratory science. In the laboratory, you become actively involved in the
process of investigation and will develop an appreciation of the scientific method of inquiry. As a
result of some laboratory activities, you will “discover” important chemical concepts before they
are introduced in the classroom. In other activities, concepts learned in class will be reinforced or
The chemistry laboratory is a safe place to experiment if you are careful. You must
assume responsibility for the safety of yourself and your neighbors. Contained in this document
is a list of safety rules. However, the information listed is not intended to be all-inclusive, for no
publication can list safe practices for science laboratories that will cover every situation, good
judgment must accompany all action.
As a student in chemistry lab you should read and follow the safety regulations listed in
the following pages of this document. You and your parent/guardian are asked to sign and date
this document in the space provided below.
Note: Students must realize the implications of improper behavior. For example, courts have
ruled that students, as well as teachers, can be guilty of negligence in laboratory accidents.
I, ________________________________, have read and agree to follow the safety regulations
set forth in this document and any other oral or written instructions provided by the teacher
and/or school administration.
Student's Signature: ________________________________ Date: __________________
Student’s Name (Printed) _____________________________ Period: _________________
Parent's Signature: ________________________________ Date: __________________
General Lab Safety Guidelines
1. Be prepared to work when you arrive at the laboratory. If instructed to do so by your teacher, familiarize yourself with the lab
procedures before beginning the lab.
2. Perform only those lab activities assigned by your teacher. Never do anything in the laboratory that is not called for in the
laboratory procedure or by your teacher.
3. Work areas should be kept clean and tidy at all times. Only lab manuals and notebooks should be brought to the work area.
Other books, purses, briefcases, etc. should be left at your desk or placed in a designated storage area.
4. Clothing should be appropriate for working in the lab. Jackets, ties, and other loose garments should be removed. Long sleeves
should be rolled up or secured in some manner.
5. Long hair should be tied back or covered, especially in the vicinity of an open flame.
6. Jewelry that might present a safety hazard, such as dangling necklaces, chains, medallions, or bracelets, should not be worn in
7. Follow all instructions, both written and oral, carefully.
8. Safety goggles and a lab coat or apron should be worn at all times.
9. Set up apparatus as described in the lab manual or by your teacher. Never use makeshift arrangements.
10. Always use the prescribed instrument (tongs, test-tube holder, forceps, etc.) for handling apparatus or equipment.
11. Keep all combustible materials away from open flames.
12. Never touch or taste any substance in the lab unless instructed to do so by your teacher.
13. Never put your face near the mouth of a container that is holding chemicals.
14. When testing for odors, use a wafting motion to direct the odors to your nose. Never smell any chemical unless instructed to do
15. Any activity involving poisonous vapors should be conducted in the fume hood.
16. Dispose of waste materials as instructed by your teacher.
17. Clean up all spills immediately.
18. Clean and wipe dry all work surfaces at the end of class. Wash your hands thoroughly.
19. Know the location of emergency equipment (first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, fire shower, fire blanket, etc.) and how to use them.
20. Report all accidents to the teacher immediately.
21. Read and double-check labels on reagent bottles before removing any reagent. Take only as much reagent as you need.
22. Do not return unused reagent to stock bottles.
23. When transferring chemical reagents from one container to another, hold the containers out away from your body.
24. When mixing an acid and water, always add the acid to the water.
25. Avoid touching chemicals with your hands. If chemicals do come in contact with your hands, wash them immediately.
26. Glass tubing, especially long pieces, should be carried in a vertical position to minimize the likelihood of breakage and to avoid
27. Never handle broken glass with your bare hands. Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass. Dispose of the glass as
directed by your teacher.
28. Always lubricate a piece of glassware (tubing, thistle tubes, thermometers, etc.) with water or glycerin before attempting to
insert it in a stopper.
29. Never apply force when inserting or removing glassware from a stopper. Use a twisting motion. If a piece of glassware becomes
"frozen" in a stopper, take it to your teacher.
30. Do not place hot glassware directly on the lab table. Always use an insulating pad of some sort.
31. Allow plenty of time for hot glass to cool before touching it. Hot glass can cause painful bums. (Remember: Hot glass looks
32. Exercise extreme caution when using a gas burner. Keep your head and clothing away from the flame.
33. Always turn the burner off when it is not in use.
34. Do not bring any substance into contact with a flame unless instructed to do SO.
35. Never heat anything without being instructed to do so.
36. Never look into a container that is being heated.
37. Never heat a closed container.
38. When heating a substance in a test tube, make sure that the mouth of the tube is not pointed at yourself or anyone else.
39. Never leave unattended anything that is being heated or that is visibly reacting.
Safety Control Equipment
Instruments and tools play an important part in the safety program of your chemistry course. Throughout this course, references are
made to equipment and devices used to prevent accidents from occurring in the science classroom and laboratory. Before experimenting in
the laboratory, you should become familiar with the safety equipment listed below, know the location of each item, and know how to use it.
All equipment should be easily accessible to everyone and should be checked periodically to assure proper operation and cleanliness.
Eye and Face Wash Fountains
Eye and face wash fountains prevent or reduce injuries from chemicals splashing in or near the eyes. The fountain is designed to
provide a gentle flow of aerated water to cleanse the eye and surrounding areas of foreign substances. Affected areas should be flushed
immediately for a period of at least 15 minutes. Fountains should be checked daily for proper operation.
Safety showers prevent or reduce injuries from caustic chemicals or acid burns, from contact with toxic chemical reagents, or from
clothing fires. A good water supply is essential for a safety shower. The shower heads must be nonclogging, deluge-type fixtures capable of
covering a contaminated area of skin with a flood of water that is sufficient to dilute material to a safe level in 15 seconds. They should be
checked monthly for proper operation.
Fire blankets are used to smother flaming hair or clothes. If the clothing is polyester, the best way of putting out the fire is to use
the safety shower.
Fire extinguishers are labeled to indicate which of the four recognized classes of fires they can be used to extinguish. The teacher
and students should be familiar with the operating instructions for all fire extinguishers. Your local fire department can give instructions in
extinguishing each type of fire.
First Aid Kits
First aid kits are used to give emergency treatment for bums, cuts, or other minor injuries, and such treatment should be
administered only by your teacher. It is recommended that a chart showing proper treatment for specific injuries be posted prominently next
to the kit.
Lab aprons are used to protect body and clothing from chemical hazards. The front side of the apron should be coded so that you
always know which side may have caustic chemicals on it. Remember to clean the apron frequently.
Lab gloves protect your hands from laboratory hazards. Everyone should have a pair to wear when handling caustic chemicals, glass
tubing, or heated materials.
Safety Goggles protect your eyes from chemical and particle injuries. Each student should have his/her own pair, and the goggles
must meet the ANSI standard. The type most commonly used in the school laboratory is a flexible soft-sided plastic model with a single large
plastic lens. The goggles are available with baffled vents on the sides, so that air can flow through but liquids will not enter. Goggles can be
worn over prescription eyeglasses. The goggles should be washed frequently and stored in a protected place. Contact lenses should not be
worn in the laboratory because there is a possibility that chemicals may infuse under the contact lenses and cause irreparable eye damage.
Face shields protect head, face, and neck from chemical and particle injuries. One or two face shields should be available for the
teacher to wear when working in the storage room with large quantities of chemicals or with those that are highly reactive.
Sand is used to smother small fires such as ones contained in beakers. A scoop or hand shovel should be used to apply the sand.
Tongs protect the hands from bums and chemical injuries. Always remember to use them when handling heated materials,
especially in glass or porcelain containers.
Waste containers reduce the chance of fires, explosions, and pollution. Separate waste containers should be provided for each of the
following: chemicals, matches, broken glass. NEVER use the wastepaper basket for disposal of materials.
Ventilation hoods prevent the spreading of poisonous or noxious gases in an experiment. Ventilation-hood-escape outlets and fans
should be checked frequently to assure proper operation.
A heat-resistant mat should be placed under hot apparatus that needs to cool. This prevents the breakage of glass and porcelain
containers that might otherwise shatter when they come in contact with the cool surface of the lab bench.
Spill Control Packages
Spill control packages are designed to minimize the harmful effects of a chemical spill by absorbing the chemical and
restricting its movement across the laboratory bench or floor. Chemical manufacturers produce spill control kits that can be ordered.
Some spill control packages consist of a pail containing a mixture of sand and soda ash. Sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate is
useful in neutralizing acid spills. Other useful commercial products are spill control pads, pillows, and sponges that contain
In any science laboratory the labeling of chemical containers, reagent bottles, and equipment is essential for safe operations.
Proper labeling can lower the potential for accidents that occur as a result of misuse. Labels and equipment instructions should be read
several times before using. Be sure that you are using the correct items and that you know how to use them.
All chemical containers and reagent bottles should be labeled prominently and accurately with labeling materials that are not affected
by the chemical. Chemical labels should contain the following information.
1. Name of chemical and the chemical composition (formula).
2. Statement of possible hazards. This is indicated by the use of an appropriate signal word, such as DANGER, WARNING, or
CAUTION. This signal word usually is accompanied by a word that indicates the type of hazard present such as POISON,
CAUSES BURNS, EXPLOSIVE or FLAMMABLE.
3. Precautionary measures. Precautionary measures describe how users can avoid injury from the hazards listed on the label. Examples
include: "Use only with adequate ventilation," and "Do not get in eyes or on skin or clothing."
4. Instructions in case of contact or exposure. If accidental contact or exposure does occur, immediate treatment is often necessary to
minimize injury. Such treatment usually consists of proper first-aid measures that can be used before a physician administers treatment.
An example is: "In case of contact, flush with large amounts of water; for eyes, rinse freely with water for 15 minutes and get medical
5. The date of preparation and the name of the person who prepared the chemical are important for inventory. The location of preparation,
such as the manufacturer's address or the name of the school, should also appear on the label.
Name:_____________________________________ Pd:______ Date:_______________ Assignment No.: ______
Lab Safety Questions Worksheet
1. What must you do to assure that the chemistry lab is a safe place to conduct experiments?
2. What two things are you asked to do with this Safety Contract?
3. Before arriving at the lab, what should you do?
4. Describe what must be done with loose clothing, long hair, or dangling jewelry before doing a lab
5. What two tasks should be done at the end of the laboratory period?
6. Why do you think that it is important to not return unused reagent to the stock bottles?
7. Describe how you would mix an acid with water.
8. If chemicals come in contact with your hands, what must you do immediately?
9. Why do you think that hot glassware should not be set on the lab table?
What is the best method for handling hot glassware?
10. What is a possible hazard with regard to looking into a container that is being heated?
11. Draw an outline of the room and identify the location of the following safety control equipment: eye
wash, safety shower, fire blanket, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.