Safety In The Chemistry Laboratory

Whenever anyone is in a chemical laboratory they must use caution and observe some basic rules. Most of these are common sense, but they must be strictly adhered to in order to keep the laboratory safe.

1. Always wear safety glasses. No one is allowed into the laboratory without eye protection. If there is a spill use the eyewash immediately, before the material runs behind the eye protection. If chemicals come in contact with the skin, immediately wash with copious amounts of water and inform the instructor. Always inform the instructor of any accident.

2. Food and drinks are not allowed in the laboratory. No smoking, drinking, eating, or chewing is permitted at any time in the lab.

3. Shoes must be worn in the laboratory at all times.

4. Secure loose clothing and hair while working in the lab.

5. Dispose of chemicals as instructed.

6. Never taste anything or directly smell the source of any vapor or gas. Use the hood as instructed.

7. Never point a test tube that is being heated at yourself or anyone else.

8. Clean up all broken glass immediately. Inform the instructor whenever anything is broken.

9. Always pour acids into water. Doing it the other way around can produce a lot of heat and cause spattering. Be especially careful with sulfuric acid which is more dense than water and may sink under the water, build up heat, and spatter. Always slowly pour the acid into the water while stirring constantly.

10. Never pour "extra" chemicals back into the original containers.

11. Never work alone in the laboratory.

The laboratory can be a safe place. It is expected that everyone will be serious and attentive while working in the laboratory.