The biggest danger in the lab is YOU! You are at risk when you don’t understand the hazards or you are careless, or both. The person most likely to suffer from your mistakes is YOU!
- Only enter a lab when told to do so by a teacher. Never rush about or throw things in the lab. Keep your bench and floor area clear, with bags and coats well out of the way.
- Follow instructions precisely; check bottle labels carefully and keep tops on bottles except when pouring liquids from them; only touch or use equipment and materials when told to do so by a teacher; never remove anything from the lab without permission.
- Wear eye protection when told to do so and keep it on from the very start until all practical work is finished and cleared away.
- When using naked flames (eg, Bunsen or spirit burners or candles), make sure that ties, hair, baggy clothing etc are tied back or tucked away.
- Always stand up when working with hazardous substances or when heating things so you can quickly move out of the way if you need to.
- Never taste anything or put anything in your mouth in the laboratory. If you get something in your mouth, spit it out at once and wash your mouth out with lots of water. Tell your teacher immediately.
- Always wash your hands carefully after handling chemicals, microbes or animal and plant material.
- If you are burnt or a chemical splashes on your skin, wash the affected part at once with lots of water. Tell your teacher immediately.
- Never put waste solids in the sink. Put them in the bin unless I instruct you otherwise.
- Wipe up all small spills and report bigger ones to your teacher immediately.
- We have an unusual lab, you will have access to a lot of equipment that is fun to play with, but also fragile and expensive to replace (in some cases extremely!). Please look after the equipment with care and place everything back in its place when you have finished using it.