High School Safety Web Pages http://wwitch.unl.edu/ safety/hslabcon.html
Chem Lab Safety _______________ presented under the auspices of: the Department of Chemistry University of Nebraska-Lincoln C. A. Kingsbury Safety Director Hamilton Hall, UN-L
formulated with major financial support from: The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New York, NY players: Kristen Kinnan Jason Kinnan cameo scene: Darrel Kinnan _________________________________________________
We gratefully acknowledge the advice of: Helmut Koch South Sioux City High School South Sioux City, NE Daryl Jahn Millard North High School Millard, NE Ed Lyons East High School Lincoln, NE website design D. Nathan Hood [email_address] UN-L
Safety: Accidents in the science lab, as in the home or work place, can be prevented: * Stop to think! * Common sense will help, if exercised. * What will be the consequences of what I do next? * If in doubt, ask the teacher. The following scenes graphically illustrate some difficulties as well as downright dangers that you could face in lab, mostly due to failure to observe ordinary safety precautions, and common sense.
Personal Protective Equipment Many states require by law that students wear approved safety goggles or safety glasses when in the lab. This is an absolute "MUST"!
The following is not acceptable!
Proper attire: Avoid floppy garments; avoid things that dangle. These get tangled up in equipment or glassware and cause accidents. Avoid long, loose hair styles for the same reason. When Bunsen burners are in use, long hair sometimes catches on fire.
The Safety Code of most schools will not approve of open footwear; so avoid sandals and thongs.
Handling of Acids or Bases Many schools will require the use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves. "Vinyl" gloves or "nitrile" gloves (often green or blue in color) are preferred. When diluting acids, pour the acid into the water. Work over the sink, not over your table top. Neutralize and clean up acid spills.
For even more dangerous liquids, thick "nitrile" gloves should be used. These are very safe, but heavy and ungainly. Also, they become slick, when wet, and it is easy to drop things. * You probably will not use dangerous materials in high school. * Keep the above in mind for later years.
Safety Equipment Fire Extinguishers Fire Blanket Eye-wash Fountain First-Aid Kit
Fire Extinguisher Operation There are two main types of fire extinguishers, carbon dioxide and dry chemical (powder).
USAGE: Locate the "KEY" (the round object). Twist the "KEY" to break the stiff Nylon retaining cord then pull the "KEY" out.
Raise the nozzle in order to direct the stream of carbon dioxide . The CO 2 will cool the fire, and restrict oxygen. The fire, lacking oxygen, should go out.
Squeeze the handle to begin operation
Fire Blanket Yank the blanket out of the wall holder. Wrap it around the victim to smother the fire.
Eyewash Fountain If you get something from the lab in your eye GET IT OUT IMMEDIATELY!
Run some water through the eyewash fountain before you use it.
Retract your eyelid (hold it open);Don’t squint—this restricts water access.
Retract your eyelid (hold it open);Don’t squint—this restricts water access. Run fresh water over your eye for several minutes. Go to the school nurse immediately afterward.
First Aid Kit These items may be used temporarily for small injuries (say, a cut finger). Go to the school nurse immediately afterward.
First Aid Kit However, if blood is in evidence-- STAY AWAY! Let the victim apply his/her own bandage. If blood is on the floor or lab bench, let trained personnel do the clean-up.
Use of the FUME HOOD Use the HOOD for reactions that give off vapors, especially smelly vapors. The draft of the HOOD will sweep away vapors so that the lab itself maintains reasonable air quality.
Safety Shower Shower should be used for dire EMERGENCY only! If you (or a lab mate) is ON FIRE, position yourself (or your lab mate) under the safety shower.
Pull the handle—a deluge of water will result. Flames will be rapidly extinguished. The safety shower should also be used if you suffer a massive spill of a dangerous chemical on yourself, and need to get it off rapidly.
Broken Glass Sweep it up right away . Don’t track in it all period. Place the broken glass in a "SHARP’S CONTAINER.
Place the broken glass in a "SHARP’S CONTAINER. If such a container is not available, a milk carton is an acceptable substitute. This is a thick walled carton, that will be sealed and discarded .
Student Use of the Laboratory No UNAUTHORIZED experiments! These are terrible dangers.
No EATING or DRINKING in the LAB.
DO NOT drink from lab equipment. NOT EVEN distilled water.
You do not know what another person might have added to the "distilled water" jug.
When using pipettes, DO NOT suck the liquid into the pipette directly by mouth.
DO use a rubber bulb to create a vacuum.
TESTING of ODORS: Do NOT smell the flask directly .
If you must test the odor, carefully waft the vapor from the flask toward your nose with your hand. Keep the flask quite distant from your face.
Proper heating of glass tubing or glass rods in order to bend it:
Remember NOT to hand the red-hot glass rod to another person, especially the teacher.
Make sure that reaction tubes, e.g. test tubes, are not directed toward yourself or other persons. The chemicals may splatter out the tube.
A better technique:
DO NOT add WATER to CONCENTRATED ACID. The heat generated may cause splattering.
DO add ACID to WATER instead of the reverse order of addition. The heat generated will be less, but splattering still may occur.
A GOOD PRACTICE: Read the experimental procedure ahead of lab. NOT as you do the procedure Mistakes, then, are common.
Bunsen Burner Usage Make sure the rubber hoses are firmly attached. Both at the gas outlet and at the burner. Otherwise, the flame may "strike-back".
Turn up the gas flow until you hear a gentle flow of gas. Light the burner by bringing the match UP from the base toward the burner nozzle.
The match should be quenched with water, NOT thrown into the waste directly. Fires may occur.
Avoid Horseplay In a laboratory setting, horseplay, even if good-natured, is absolutely unacceptable. No pushing; no shoving.
Ask your teacher about the disciplinary measures in effect at your school for accidents in the lab resulting from horseplay. Serious accidents all too often result involving the glassware or solutions in use.
At the end of the lab period: Exit the lab in an orderly manner. Again: no running, no pushing, no shoving.