School science labs supply students with a unique hands-on learning experience.
While labs allow students to experience the fascinating world of discovery, they also place them in situations that have the potential to become dangerous. The use of toxic chemicals and fire makes safety in the science lab a subject every teacher must address. The tips provided below can help students stay safe while exploring the world of science.
Science Lab Safety Tips
- Before any equipment is taken out, students should be given a clear explanation of the experiment they are participating in. Verbal directions must be accompanied with written instructions, to ensure students fully understand the chemicals and equipment they will use. An accident is more likely to occur if a student is not properly informed. Encouraging students to ask questions about the experiment, provides them with the chance to clear-up any misunderstandings about chemicals or the order of steps in the procedure.
- A teacher who is constantly walking around the lab has a better chance of spotting a hazard and correcting the situation in time to prevent a disastrous outcome. A student who is continually reminded of their teacher’s presence is less likely to lose focus, which will stop them from making an unintentional error.
- The instructions provided by the teacher needs to include a list of safety gear the students must wear while conducting an experiment. If dangerous chemicals are used, proper gloves and aprons should be available to students.
- Goggles are a necessity in every science lab. No matter what type of experiment is performed, students must wear safety goggles. The protective eye wear provides a barrier that reduces the chances of a student’s eyes being harmed by vapors or unexpected splashes.
- Students with long hair must pull it back into a ponytail, which prevents their hair from contamination or the risk of catching fire. Loose clothing should also be secured, ensuring it does not become a hazard.
- Keep food and drinks out of a science lab. Both run the risk of becoming contaminated and then consumed by a student. An easy way to remind students that food and drinks are prohibited is by posting a sign on the entrance to the lab.
- Making students aware of the safety equipment and where it is placed throughout the classroom is vital. A science lab needs to have an eye wash and shower station, a fire blanket and extinguisher, a first aid kit, and heat safety items that allow students to handle hot and cold materials safely. All equipment must be easily accessible. An unobstructed path to the eye wash and shower station and to the fire blanket and extinguisher is critical to ensuring emergency care is provided promptly to a student in need.
Following these safety tips can help prevent a dangerous lab accident from occurring. If your science lab is in need of equipment, please contact us to view our science safety stations, as well as our extensive inventory of science lab furniture.