SAFETY REGULATIONS AND PRACTICES
SAFETY IS AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF
LABORATORY WORK. STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED TO OBSERVE ALL SAFETY
ALL TIMES IN THE LABORATORY.
- Safety goggles or glasses must be
worn over the
eyes at all times in the laboratory! Use of
lenses in the laboratory is STRONGLY
DISCOURAGED!. They offer no protection in themselves;
they are unsafe even under safety goggles; and various fumes may be
concentrated under the lenses causing
severe eye injury. If you disregard these warnings and decide to
contact lenses in lab, you will be required to sign a waiver.
- Never enter the lab without your
instructor. Laboratory work is not to be conducted
unless there are at least
two people (including the instructor) present in the laboratory.
- Smoking, drinking, and eating are forbidden in the laboratory
because of the possibility of chemicals getting into the mouth or lungs.
- Clothing worn in the laboratory should protect whole
This means no skin below the neck should be exposed. Therefore,
shorts, dresses, tank tops, sandals and other articles of
clothing that could lead to your exposure should not be worn into the
lab. If you are not properly attired, you will be asked
leave. Plastic gloves are available in the laboratory and are to
used when handling corrosive, or caustic chemicals.
- Confine long hair and loose clothing when in the laboratory.
Avoid wearing jewelry that can catch on objects, or under which
- Horseplay, pranks, and other acts of mischief are prohibited.
not run in the laboratory. Do not push. Give adequate room for people
behind or around your work area. Look around you before turning
- Keep drawers and cabinets closed while working. Keep all areas
free of obstructions such as chairs, stools, book bags, boxes, and
waste receptacles. Place your backpacks and coats on the hangers
on the side wall.
- Clean up all spills immediately
-- both liquids and solids. Wet floors are a major hazard!
Pick up ice, stoppers, glass beads, broken glass, and other small
objects from the floor.
- Keep workspace uncluttered. Work areas should be kept clear of
chemicals and scraps of paper. Keep measuring equipment such as
graduated cylinders and volumetric flasks where they will not be
knocked over easily. Support all small and top heavy containers.
- Never point an open container of hot liquid at anyone,
you. Likewise, never vent a separatory funnel toward anyone, including
- When adding liquids or powders to a vessel, do not pour
you. Use a funnel when practical, especially if the opening being
is small. Before pouring a liquid into a burette, dropping funnel, or
separatory funnel, make sure the stopcock is closed. Use a stirring rod
to direct the flow of liquids being poured.
- Unauthorized experiments are prohibited. Never leave your experiment unattended.
- Learn the location of, and how and when to use the eye wash
fountains, safety showers, fire extinguishers, fire blanket, first aid
kit, and spill cleanup chemicals. Ask your instructor to familiarize
you with the proper uses of these facilities.
- Learn what to do and where to go when an alarm sounds.
power is lost, then the lab must be evacuated. If the hoods fail,
if there is power to the rest of the equipment, then the lab must be
Remember to turn off all electrical devices, water, and gases
leaving the lab.
- All chemicals are harmful to some degree. Avoid direct contact
with any chemical. It is especially important to keep chemicals from
the hands, face, arms, legs, clothing and shoes. Wash thoroughly with
soap and warm water whenever a chemical contacts your skin. NEVER taste a chemical. NEVER
smell a chemical directly. When instructed to smell
something, bring a small sample of the vapor to your nose by means of a
- Never distill a liquid to dryness. Peroxides may form in
solvents (especially ether) upon prolonged storage (exposure to the O2
in air) and may explode if concentrated and heated in a distillation
In addition, an empty container quickly heats to the temperature
the flame and may shatter due to unseen micro cracks.
- Use the snorkel hoods whenever flammable gases, toxic vapors,
noxious odors are involved. Be aware that the hood on these
is made of plastic and must be kept away from strong heat sources.
- Before using an open flame or spark producing equipment such
motors or open heaters, be sure there are no flammable liquids, or
nearby. Use no open flames
permission or direction of the laboratory instructor. Never reach
a lighted burner.
- Use only equipment that is free of flaws such as cracks,
frayed wire, and obvious defects. Replace all defective glassware.
- Special white cardboard containers are to be used strictly for
the disposal of glassware. Do not put any paper towels or other
in these containers. Regular trash can be disposed of in the tall
- Apparatus attached to a ring stand should be positioned so
the center of gravity of the system is over the base and not to one
or behind the base. Always set up your
so that the heat source can be quickly withdrawn if necessary.
- Mouth suction should NEVER
be used to fill pipettes. Use a pipette pump.
- Carefully read the label before removing a reagent from its
container. Names of distinctly different substances are sometimes
nearly alike and using
the wrong substances can lead to accidents.
- Always add a reagent slowly; never "dump" it in. Beware of
- To avoid splattering always pour more concentrated solutions
carefully into less concentrated ones of into water with stirring. This
is especially true of concentrated sulfuric acid where tremendous
of heat are generated. Always add acids to water. Do not mix strong
with strong bases directly.
- Burns cause most of the injuries in
the laboratory, followed by cuts from broken glass. Do not attempt to pick
up shards of broken glass by hand. Use a brush and dust
- Special caution is advised when inserting (or removing) glass
tubing or thermometers through rubber stoppers, tubing, corks, or
rubber hoses, etc. When inserting glass tubing or rods into corks,
rubber stoppers, or rubber hoses, follow these procedures:
- make sure that the hole in the stopper is large
Glass tubing must be fire polished.
- lubricate the glass with soapy water and rinse off
- use heavy rubber gloves or a cloth wrapped around the glass
to protect your hand.
- hold the wrapped piece of glass not more than 5 cm from
nearest end to be inserted.
- insert the glass into the cork, stopper, or hose with a
twisting motion, avoiding too much pressure and torque.
- consult your instructor if in doubt.
- Small quantities of water soluble neutral substances may be
flushed down the sink with large quantities of running water. Water
insoluble organic solvents must be placed in the waste solvent
container in the hood. Waste solids, matches, labels, paper
towels, etc. are disposed of in the waste can and not the
sink. Remember, that the white cardboard boxes are for glass
- All accidents and personal injury, no matter how minor, must
reported to the instructor immediately.
- Rinse all glassware that has come in contact with NaOH or KOH
solutions with a dilute acid solution followed by distilled water to
prevent etching of the glass. This is particularly true for
burets. The base tends
to etch the tips and ruins them.
- If you feel that you cannot perform a particular lab procedure
safely due to medical or other reasons, you must tell your instructor
immediately. If it appears that you cannot safely carry out the
procedure, your instructor may ask you to leave the lab, or see the
- Before leaving the laboratory each
day, be sure to wipe off your laboratory bench with a wet sponge. Be
sure that the water and gas at your laboratory station are turned off
before you leave.
THE LABORATORY SAFETY
REGULATIONS WILL RESULT IN THE DEDUCTION OF POINTS FROM THE LABORATORY
DISREGARD FOR THE LABORATORY SAFETY REGULATIONS WILL LEAD TO EXPULSION
With my signature below, I am certifying
that I have read the above
lab and safety regulations, and understand that I am to follow them
With my signature below, I acknowledge
warned that the use of contact lenses in the lab is an unsafe practice
could lead to serious health problems:
(Updated 3/22/09 by C.R. Snelling)