17 Laboratory Safety Rules and precautions for chemistry labs

Laboratory Safety Rules: Learning outcomes of a practical work

As experiments are so important in the study of chemistry. we must make the science laboratory a safe place to work in by practicing Laboratory Safety Rules. Students are required to carry out practical work as an integral part of the course. They are advised to maintain a laboratory record book in which they record all their practical work, the experimental arrangements used, the observations made, and the analysis of these observations.

Through experimental work, the students are expected to acquire the skills as follows.

  • Adopt safety procedures in the chemistry laboratory.
  • Handle chemical apparatus and use compounds and reagents etc.
  • Keep and store poisonous compounds properly.
  • Control explosive reactions.
  • Determine the melting point of organic solids.
  • Determine the boiling point of organic liquids.
  • Carry out sublimation.
  • Carry out the distillation process.
  • Prepare solutions of different strengths.
  • Carry out dilution of solutions.
  • Determine which solutions conduct electricity from a set of different given solutions.
  • Perform metal displacement reactions in an aqueous medium.
  • Perform a reaction for the preparation of a binary compound from two elements.
  • Perform a decomposition reaction that produces new compounds.
  • Conduct exothermic and endothermic processes.

General safety procedures and Laboratory Safety Rule’s

bellow are safety rules for working in the school, college, or relevant laboratory.

Before you begin…….

  1. Keep your work table neat and clean. Make sure that it is not full of unnecessary things such as school bags, files, clothes, books, etc.
  2. Read all the instructions in your practical manual/ book before you do anything.
  3. Look out for possible safety precautions.

While you are doing the experiment

    • Follow the directions in the practical manual/ book closely.
    • Do not wander around and do not endanger people around you.
    • Wear or use protective devices that are provided to you. These protective devices include goggles, gloves, aprons, and safety tongs.
    • Use wire gauze or sand bath for heating. Never leave the heating apparatus unattended. Turn off a bunsen burner or spirit lamp when you have to leave your work table for a while or when you have finished your experiment.
    • Handle the laboratory apparatus and other instruments particularly sharp objects to avoid damage and loss.
    • If you have broken any glassware (beakers, test-tubes or thermometers, etc.) or split anything, report it to your teacher at once. you have to help with cleaning up.
    • Be aware of where fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and first aid boxes are located in the laboratory.
    • Leave school bags outside the laboratory.
    • Do not run around the laboratory.
    • Wear safety goggles and tie back your long hair.
    • do not eat in the laboratory or even taste any chemicals.
    • Always handle chemicals with a spatula, never your fingers.
    • Do not point a test-tube toward another student.
    • Clean up any apparatus or spilled chemicals.
    • Always light a Bunsen burner with the air-hole closed.
    • Read all instructions carefully before doing the experiment.
    • Report any accidents immediately to your teacher.

After you have finished…..

  1. Turn off water and gas taps, disconnect electrical connections, and return your apparatus to laboratory staff.
  2. Clean your work table again.
  3. Do not dispose of material in the sink unless you are instructed to do so.
  4. Wash your hands thoroughly.

Note: the best preventive measure is always to be careful and alert. Take care of yourself and your neighbors.

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