Science Department


Biology Laboratory Safety Guidelines

            One of the first things a scientist learns is that working in the laboratory can be an exciting experience. But the laboratory can also be quite dangerous if proper safety rules are not followed at all times. Some hazards could include broken glassware, fumes, open flame, dangerous chemicals, sharp objects, electrical shock and slip and fall hazards.To prepare yourself for a safe year in the laboratory, read over the following safety rules. Then read them a second time. Make sure you understand each rule. All students working in the laboratory must act responsibly. Failure to follow these guidelines will result in suspension from laboratory activity, a lowered grade and possible disciplinary action. When you are sure you understand these rules, sign and date the Student Safety Contract that follows. This indicated that you are aware of the rules of the laboratory and the consequences for noncompliance.

1.      Always wear safety goggles properly when working with chemicals, heating glassware, hazardous
materials or any substance that might get into your eyes. Do NOT wear contact lenses during any lab investigation when advised by the instructor. Goggles must be worn until instructor indicates that it is safe to remove them.


2.      Long hair and loose clothing should be tied back. Roll up long sleeves and remove jewelry.


3.      Wear a protective lab apron or coat if possible.


4.      Do not wear sandals or open-toed shoes and never walk around barefoot or in stocking feet. 


5.      Be serious and alert when working in the lab and never play around.


6.      Be sure you have read and understood all directions before starting any work. Make sure you know how to operate all equipment properly. Follow directions exactly as they are given. Be aware of any special safety precautions.


7.      Never perform any activities that are not authorized and do NOT make modifications to procedures without permission.


8.      Keep the laboratory area clean and free of unnecessary books, papers, and equipment.


9.      Know the location and proper use of safety equipment such as the fire extinguisher, fire blanket, first-aid kit, safety shower and eye-wash.


10.  Notify your instructor of any medical problems you may have such as allergies or asthma as well as any physical disabilities that could restrict freedom of movement.


11.  Never eat, drink, taste or smell anything in the lab unless directed to do so. This includes food, drinks, candy and gum as well as chemicals. Wash your hands after every investigation.


12.  Report all spills and breakage as soon as they happen. Do not attempt to clean up an accident without proper knowledge of disposal techniques. Do not pick up broken glass with bare fingers.


13.  Do not put anything in the sink that does not dissolve in water. Dispose of waste only as directed in the appropriate containers.


14.  Report all physical injuries immediately no matter how minor they may seem.


15.  Never pour water into a concentrated acid. Rinse acids and other chemicals off your skin immediately by flushing with plenty of water in a large sink.


16.  Never heat anything in a closed container or point the open end of containers toward yourself or others. Do not heat anything you are not instructed to heat.


17.  Keep flammable materials away from heat. Do not touch with your bare hands glassware or items that have been heated. Do not put hot glass directly on cold lab surfaces.


18.  Keep equipment and materials away from the edge of the lab tables.  Do not lean on, rest on or sit on the lab tables.


19.  Use equipment only in the manner in which it was designed to be used. Do not use glassware that is chipped, cracked or badly scratched. Handle all sharp instruments with extreme care.


20.  Read all labels on chemical containers twice. Make sure you are obtaining and using the proper substances. Label all containers prior to placing materials into them.


21.  Open chemical bottles only when you are ready to use the materials within them and close the bottles quickly when you are done. Do not return unused chemicals to the bottles but dispose of extra materials
 as directed.


22.  Be aware of the work going on around you. Keep aisles clear and know the emergency exits from the room and the building. Clean up your lab area when finished and return all equipment to its proper place.


23.  Pay attention to special precautions for each investigation. Record any verbal modifications to printed directions.


24.  Do not use laboratory time to socialize or visit other lab teams. Hold noise and conversation to a minimum level. Work efficiently and plan carefully. All lab work must be finished in the allotted time.






Science Department


Biology Laboratory Safety Guidelines




                I have been given a copy of the Carmel High School Science Department Laboratory Safety Guidelines. I understand the rules and agree to observe them. I also agree to observe any and all additional safety rules and procedures/precautions that appear in writing in the instructional materials to which I am assigned.  I also understand that the penalty of disobeying these rules/guidelines will result in suspension from lab activities and a zero for the grade. I further agree to keep these rules/guidelines in my class notebook or folder and review them frequently.


Student Signature: _________________________________  Parent Signature:______________________________

Student Printed Name:______________________________ Parent Printed Name: ___________________________

Date and Class Period: ______________________________ Date: _______________________________________


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