1. Safety goggles or glasses must be worn over the eyes at all times in the laboratory!  Use of contact 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 wear contact lenses in lab, you will be required to sign a waiver.
  2. 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.
  3. Smoking, drinking, and eating are forbidden in the laboratory because of the possibility of chemicals getting into the mouth or lungs.
  4. Clothing worn in the laboratory should protect whole body.  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 to leave.  Plastic gloves are available in the laboratory and are to be used when handling corrosive, or caustic chemicals.
  5. Confine long hair and loose clothing when in the laboratory. Avoid wearing jewelry that can catch on objects, or under which chemicals can be trapped.
  6. Horseplay, pranks, and other acts of mischief are prohibited. Do not run in the laboratory. Do not push. Give adequate room for people to move behind or around your work area.  Look around you before turning or walking.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.
  10. Never point an open container of hot liquid at anyone, including you. Likewise, never vent a separatory funnel toward anyone, including you.
  11. When adding liquids or powders to a vessel, do not pour towards you. Use a funnel when practical, especially if the opening being poured into 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.
  12. Unauthorized experiments are prohibited. Never leave your experiment unattended.
  13. 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.
  14. Learn what to do and where to go when an alarm sounds.  If power is lost, then the lab must be evacuated.  If the hoods fail, even if there is power to the rest of the equipment, then the lab must be evacuated.  Remember to turn off all electrical devices, water, and gases before leaving the lab.
  15. 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 cupped hand.
  16. 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 flask.  In addition, an empty container quickly heats to the temperature of the flame and may shatter due to unseen micro cracks.
  17. Use the snorkel hoods whenever flammable gases, toxic vapors, or noxious odors are involved.  Be aware that the hood on these snorkels is made of plastic and must be kept away from strong heat sources.
  18. Before using an open flame or spark producing equipment such as motors or open heaters, be sure there are no flammable liquids, or vapors nearby. Use no open flames without permission or direction of the laboratory instructor. Never reach across a lighted burner.
  19. Use only equipment that is free of flaws such as cracks, chips, frayed wire, and obvious defects. Replace all defective glassware.
  20. Special white cardboard containers are to be used strictly for the disposal of glassware.  Do not put any paper towels or other trash in these containers.  Regular trash can be disposed of in the tall metal cans.
  21. Apparatus attached to a ring stand should be positioned so that the center of gravity of the system is over the base and not to one side or behind the base. Always set up your apparatus so that the heat source can be quickly withdrawn if necessary.
  22. Mouth suction should NEVER be used to fill pipettes. Use a pipette pump.
  23. 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.
  24. Always add a reagent slowly; never "dump" it in. Beware of exothermic reactions.
  25. 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 quantities of heat are generated. Always add acids to water. Do not mix strong acids with strong bases directly.
  26. 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 pan. 
  27. 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:
    1. make sure that the hole in the stopper is large enough.  Glass tubing must be fire polished.
    2. lubricate the glass with soapy water and rinse off afterwards.
    3. use heavy rubber gloves or a cloth wrapped around the glass to protect your hand.
    4. hold the wrapped piece of glass not more than 5 cm from the nearest end to be inserted.
    5. insert the glass into the cork, stopper, or hose with a twisting motion, avoiding too much pressure and torque.
    6. consult your instructor if in doubt.
  28. 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 disposal only.
  29. All accidents and personal injury, no matter how minor, must be reported to the instructor immediately.
  30. 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.
  31. 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 school nurse.
  32. 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.


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 while in the laboratory: 

Instructor: Course: Date:

With my signature below, I acknowledge that I have been warned that the use of contact lenses in the lab is an unsafe practice and could lead to serious health problems:  


(Updated 3/22/09 by C.R. Snelling)