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Lab Safety Rules

     You will frequently perform laboratory activities in Chemistry. While no human activity is completely risk-free, if you use common sense you should encounter few problems. Sensible laboratory conduct won't happen by memorizing a list of rules, any more than a perfect score on a written driver's test ensures an excellent driving record. The true test of common sense is your actual conduct in the laboratory.

     The following safety pointers apply to ALL laboratory activities. For your personal safety and that of your classmates, make following these rules second nature in the lab. I will point out any additional guidelines that apply to specific activities.

     Please read the following rules and make notes as to their purpose. Then sign the contract to certify that you have read, understand and will follow the entire document. Ask your parents to read and review this with you and sign the contract. Place the rules in your class binder and return the contract to your teacher.

1. If I do not understand any part of the experiment or its procedure I will always ask before I attempt to begin. I will read about any safety symbols shown on the lab handout or in the textbook.

2. I will complete all pre-lab assignments so that I may participate in lab. I understand that no one will be allowed into lab, for any reason, unless they have completed the required preparation. Students absent on or prior to the lab will have three days to make up the lab without loss of credit. I understand that it is my responsibility to re-schedule any lab that I have missed.

3. I will never perform an experiment or use any equipment, device or chemical unless the instructor is in the room with me and I have his permission to do so.

4. I will never perform an experiment that I have not been specifically told to do by the instructor. I will not change, modify, add to or omit any part of an experimental procedure without first obtaining the permission of the instructor.

5. I understand that I am financially responsible for any equipment that I break directly or indirectly.

6. I will wear safety goggles (required by law) and proper clothing when required. Closed toe shoes and pants (or long skirt) will be worn during lab. Loose or flowing clothing will not be permitted in lab. Long hair must be kept tied back during lab.

7. Contact lenses should not be worn during some chemistry experiments. Some chemicals have vapors that can melt or dissolve contact lenses while in the eyes. You will be told in advance of any lab that requires you to wear glasses or observe from a distance.

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8. I will not taste, eat, feel or smell any substance in lab unless specifically instructed to do so. [If instructed to smell a vapor do so by fanning (wafting) some of the vapor toward your nose, do not place your nose near the opening of the container]. I will never use lab glassware as food or drink containers, inhale chemicals or draw material into a tube with my mouth.

9. I will not bring food or drink into lab. (This includes gum, candy or any other substances.) NO EXCEPTIONS

10. I will know the location and proper use of the fire extinguisher, safety shower, fire blanket, eye wash, first aid kit, spill kit, fire alarm and emergency exits. I understand the danger and risk of life caused by false fire alarms and will never pull one unless there is a fire emergency.

11. I will consider all chemicals hazardous until otherwise instructed.

12. I will not enter the chemical stockroom for any reason.

13. I will not leave a Bunsen burner or heating containers unattended. I will light burners using match or striker only (no lighters).

14. I will take care when using glassware and realize that hot and cold glassware look identical.

15. I will keep my equipment and lab area neat and clean at all times. I will check my equipment for defects (check all glassware carefully for cracks). I will take only necessary items into the lab area.

16. I will never point the mouth of a test tube toward myself or another person while heating. I will observe the contents of a test tube from the side, never down the open end.

17. I will not remove any material or apparatus from the lab or class.

18. I will never run and will avoid unnecessary movement and talk.

19. If I hear the instructor announce "STOP", I will immediately (and safely) stop what I am doing and listen quietly for further instructions. This includes fire alarms & accidents.

20. I will not open any of the cabinets in the classroom unless I am asked to do so by the instructor.

21. I will report all accidents and injuries, no matter how minor or trivial, to the instructor immediately.

22. I will always behave in a calm, serious and mature manner while in lab. I understand that any horseplay can possibly cause death or injury to myself or my classmates.

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23. I will not sit on the lab tables because they may be covered in chemicals that can harm clothing and skin.

24. I will not return excess chemicals to the stock bottles (unless directed to do so) as that may contaminate them.

25. I will check chemical labels twice to make sure I have the correct substance. Some chemical names or formulas differ by as little as one letter or number.

26. I will use common sense while performing all experiments and will always try to prevent accidents.

27. I understand that failure to follow any of the laboratory rules will result in severe disciplinary action including the loss of credit for that lab.


1. Turn off the water and gas. Disconnect electrical devices.

2. Return all equipment to their proper places.

3. Dispose of chemicals and other materials as directed by your teacher. Place broken glass and solid substances in the proper containers. Never discard solid materials in the sink.

4. Clean your work area with water using a sponge.

5. Wash your hands thoroughly after working in the laboratory.



Burns               Apply cold water (lots of it) immediately.

Cuts and bruises    Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure using a                       sterile pad if immediately available. Protect yourself                       from body fluids. Apply cold compresses to bruises.

Fainting            Leave the person lying down. Loosen any tight clothing                       and keep crowds and objects away.

Foreign matter in eye  Flush with plenty of water using eyewash.

Poisoning           Note the suspected poisoning agent. Inducing vomiting is                     not always the best procedure.

Spills              Flush with large amounts of water or use safety shower.

Fire                Smother with fire blanket or use fire extinguisher.

Treat all situations seriously but do not induce panic or panic yourself. Call the teacher immediately if a situation arises.

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By signing this contract I certify that I have read the Lab Safety Rules document completely, understand all the rules stated and will comply with them at all times. I understand that I (the student) will be tested on material in the document and will not be allowed to continue in the class until I pass a lab safety quiz with a score of no less than 100%.

Student Signature ______________________________ Date __________


Parent or Guardian: The Lab Safety Rules document has been discussed in class. Please review the rules with your child if at all possible. If you have any questions feel free to contact me at school. I will attempt to notify you of any unsafe situations that occur in lab that your child may be involved in. Your signature certifies that your have read the rules and contract so you will have knowledge of them if the need to contact you arises.

Parent Signature _______________________________ Date __________