Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Safer Science

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Safer Science

Article excerpt

November 2015, Best Practices for Safety Issues in the Science Classroom and Laboratory

Safety Acknowledgment Form for Earth and Space Science

All science teachers should have students and their parents review and sign a safety acknowledgment form, but those teaching Earth and space science must also include guidelines specific to their discipline. An introductory statement might read: "The Earth/space science laboratory is a place for serious work. It contains hazards that can make it unsafe. Students must adhere to the following procedures to help make the lab a safer place to work and learn."

Next, list specific safety procedures. General guidelines should include:

* Upon entering the lab, do not touch anything until instructed to do so.

* Follow all instructions. If you do not understand them, ask the teacher before proceeding.

* Only perform activities authorized by the teacher.

* Immediately report any accident or injury to the teacher.

* Horseplay and pranks are prohibited. Do not wander around the lab.

* Food and drink are not allowed in the lab.

* Dress appropriately: wear closed-toe shoes, tie long hair back, roll up long sleeves, do not wear dangling jewelry. Acrylic nails should not be worn.

* Wear appropriate eye protection (goggles or safety glasses) when instructed to do so.

* When an activity requires using gloves and aprons, they should be worn throughout the activity.

* Backpacks and books must be kept in an area designated by the instructor to prevent trip/fall hazards.

* Know the location of and how to use the fire extinguisher, safety shower, and fire blanket.

* If chemicals are splashed onto eyes, skin, or clothing, immediately use an eyewash or shower, as appropriate, for at least 15 minutes.

* Always wash hands with soap and water after completing a lab activity.

* Eyepieces should be sanitized after each use.

* Be aware that fieldwork may be done in environments that present potential hazards. Use caution when working in these areas and use the buddy system.

* Only use electrical equipment with ground-fault circuit interrupters. …

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