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Safety in Science Laboratories

A. Science Laboratory Safety Rules

Before You Start …

1. Enter/Work in the laboratory only when permitted by a teacher and in his/her presence

2. Place your bag, files, water bottle etc. neatly on the back benches

3. Ensure that you are properly attired e.g. secured clothing, long hair is tied

4. Keep your workbench neat and clean at all times

5. Check that the apparatus given are in safe working condition

6. Listen carefully to instructions and act accordingly

7. Report any accident in the laboratory to your teacher immediately

During the Experiment …

8. Wear appropriate protective gear and use proper laboratory handling equipment to safeguard               against injuries:

Use a pair of heat-resistant gloves, tongs or test-tube holder to avoid burns

Wear safety goggles when heating, pounding, transferring solutions or working with                                 chemicals/substances that may be harmful to your eyes

Handle solid chemicals with spatulas given – with your fingers or hands

Dispose of any broken/chipped/cracked glassware in the bins placed at the front of the laboratory


9.   Guard against any burns and injuries from flame/heat:

Keep flammable materials away from any flame or heat source

Watch over a naked flame

Do not reach across an open flame

Manage the Bunsen burner properly – turn on the gas only when you are ready with the lighter             and turn off the gas when the burner is not in immediate use

Point the test tube away from yourself/others when heating

Do not heat flammable solvents directly


10. Guard against any chemical burns:

Keep your hands away from your face when working with chemicals

Do not mix chemicals unless directed in a procedure or by your teacher


11. Guard against electric shocks:

Disconnect electric circuits/equipment from their power supplies first before altering or adjusting         them

Dry your hands before touching any electrical switch/plug/wiring

Do not overload electric circuits


After the Experiment …

12. Clean up your workbench and wash your hands thoroughly

13. Turn off the water/gas taps after use

14. Return all materials/apparatus to their proper places

15. Do not dispose of materials in the sink unless you are instructed to do so


B. Checklist for the use of Science Laboratory

Prior to the Commencement of a Practical Session

1. Ensure that the back door of the laboratory is unlocked and open

2. Remind pupils to place their bags with water bottles kept inside at back bench

3. Brief pupils during the 1st PRACTICAL Session in January on:

(a) general lab safety rules (refer to Student’s Handbook)

(b) procedures concerning accident/fire, including:

    • evacuation route

    • locations/use of first-aid boxes and fire-fighting equipment

4. Alert pupils to specific lab safety rules pertaining to each practical session

5. Remind pupils to wear goggles when

(a) heating 

(b) pounding

(c) transferring solutions


While Conducting a Practical Session

6. Be vigilant throughout the session

7. Follow procedures listed on the notice board in case of an emergency

Upon Completion of a Practical Session

8. Ensure that gas taps and all electrical appliances are switched off

9. Remind lab staff to store 15 EPs in locked metal cabinet


C. Standard Emergency Procedure for Science Laboratory

When an alarm sounds,

1. Stop all activities immediately

2. Listen to the announcement through the PA system

Teachers are to:

1. Make sure that all power, gas taps, utilities and equipment/machinery are switched off

2. Carry out a head count and prepare pupils for evacuation

3. Advise pupils to:

     • evacuate when instructions are given

     • move quickly in an orderly manner

     • make use of the nearest safe exit points

     • assemble at the field, unless instructed otherwise