Safety in the Chemistry Laboratory

Safety is of the utmost importance in the chemistry laboratory.  There are several things of which you should be aware before you begin working in the laboratory:

1.      Safety goggles are required by state law and should be worn for all experiments unless instructed otherwise.  You only have one set of eyes for your entire life.  Protect them!

2.      Wear shoes to cover your feet to protect from spilled chemicals or dropped objects.  Do not wear loose, dangling sleeves, necklaces, or bracelets.  Long hair should be pinned or tied back.

3.      Learn the locations of the fire blanket, fire extinguisher, emergency shower, eyewash, and other safety features in the laboratory.  Become familiar with their operation.

4.      Conduct only authorized experiments and no horseplay in the laboratory.  Accidents have been known to happen when fooling around.

5.      Report any injuries to your instructor, including minor cuts and burns.

6.      Do not throw broken glass into the garbage.  Place them into a sharps container.  This will prevent cuts that may be caused by reaching into the garbage.

7.      Clean up all chemical spills immediately.

8.      Never return unused chemicals to a reagent bottle.  They should be discarded.  Mistakes here may have disastrous consequences.  Get in the habit of taking only what you need.

9.      When heating anything in a test tube, always point it away for yourself and others.

10.    Always turn the burners off when not in use.  Never leave one unattended.

11.    No food, beverage, candy, etc. is allowed in the laboratory.  No exceptions.

12.    Always wash your hands before leaving the laboratory.

13.    Use common sense while observing all safety rules, posted and unposted in the laboratory.  This will contribute to a safe working environment for all individuals working in the laboratory.

14.    Always remember, safety first!