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General Lab Safety Rules

General Lab Safety Rules


Laboratory Safety. Image credit: Swenson College of Science and Engineering

The following are some of the general guidelines and rules that you should always observe when working in a laboratory.

  1. You are responsible for your own safety as well as the safety of others in the laboratory.

  2. Do not eat or drink in the laboratory. Do not use laboratory glassware to eat or drink from.

  3. Always behave responsibly in the laboratory. Do not run around or play practical jokes.

  4. In case of accidents or chemical spills call your teacher at once.

  5. Always check with your teacher how to dispose of waste. Chemicals should not be disposed of down the sink.

  6. Only perform the experiments that your teacher instructs you to. Never mix chemicals for fun.

  7. Never perform experiments alone.

  8. Always check the safety data of any chemicals you are going to use.

  9. Follow the given instructions exactly. Do not mix up steps or try things in a different order.

  10. Be alert and careful when handling chemicals, hot glassware, etc.

  11. Ensure all Bunsen burners are turned off at the end of the practical and all chemical containers are sealed.

  12. Never add water to acid. Always add the acid to water.

  13. Never heat thick glassware as it will break. (i.e. do not heat measuring cylinders).

  14. When you are smelling chemicals, place the container on a laboratory bench and use your hand to gently waft (fan) the vapours towards you.

  15. Do not take chemicals from the laboratory.

  16. Always work in a well ventilated room. Whenever you perform experiments, you should open the windows.

  17. Do not leave Bunsen burners and flames unattended.

  18. Never smell, taste or touch chemicals unless instructed to do so.

  19. Never point test tubes at people or yourself. When heating chemicals, always point the mouth of the test tube away from you and your classmates.

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