Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Heed Safety Documents

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Heed Safety Documents

Article excerpt

School administrators sometimes misunderstand the hazards associated with hands-on science compared to other academic disciplines. Some science teachers have been told: "Don't worry if the eyewash doesn't work!" "Labs are supposed to smell!" Some administrators even outright reject the fact that a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and an appointed Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) are mandated for schools under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) jurisdiction. Even if your school is not under OSHA's jurisdiction, better professional practices, as stated in position papers by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), make CHPs and CHOs a necessity. Make sure department supervisors and school administrators are up to date on specific safety issues by sharing safety information with them.

Fact sheets and position statements

For resources on legal safety standards, OSHA's website provides a number of free, printable fact sheets (see "On the web"). The "Laboratory Safety Chemical Hygiene Plan" fact sheet helps employers understand their obligation to employees in the area of laboratory safety. The introduction specifically notes that a CHP is necessary and that it should outline the employer's policies, procedures, and responsibilities to lab employees. The document goes on to list the prescribed components of the CHP, required medical exams and consultations, and work training requirements.

OSHA's "Labeling and Transfer of Chemicals" fact sheet is also relevant to teachers who use hazardous chemicals in the lab (see "On the web"). This sheet mandates that chemicals should be stored in proper, labeled containers and addresses portable secondary container labeling procedures and replacement container labeling requirements. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.