General Safety Policies
1. NEVER work in the lab unless the instructor or lab assistant is present.
2. Activities such as running, throwing objects, pushing, and other horseplay are not allowed.
3. NO FOOD, DRINKS OR CANDY are allowed in lab, even if you are not consuming them.
4. ALWAYS read labels and follow precautions carefully. It is a good idea to read about the properties of the chemicals you use in each experiment. Develop the habit of reading the label as you take the reagent off the shelf or bench, and then reading it again before using it. This will help avoid using the wrong reagents during an experiment.
5. ALWAYS do the experiment as described in the lab manual. The instructor may announce changes to the procedure, so pay close attention during the pre-lab period. Do not change the chemicals or the amounts used in an experiment without the permission of the instructor.
6. ALWAYS handle all chemicals as if they may be hazardous. (Of course, not all chemicals are hazardous, but it is better to be cautious than to think a chemical is harmless and be wrong with disastrous consequences.) If you spill any chemical on yourself, floor, lab bench, balance, etc., notify the instructor immediately. Also, avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes while in the laboratory. Finally, be sure to always securely close all bottles after use.
7. ALWAYS keep chemicals from coming into contact with your eyes, skin, clothing, or mouth.
8. ALWAYS be careful when working with hot plates and heating mantles. Hot plates and heating mantles can ignite flammable vapors, as well as can cause burns. When hot, they can also melt the insulation on power cords, possibly causing short circuits or electric shock when used later. Do not put a hot plate back on the shelf until the heating surface is cool.
9. ALWAYS report chemical spills and broken equipment to the lab assistant or instructor immediately. They will advise you of proper cleanup procedures.
10. NEVER leave an experiment unattended unless approved by the instructor. If you must leave the lab, have a classmate keep an eye on your experiment.
11. NEVER look into the opening of any vessel containing chemicals and keep all such vessels away from the face. Do not direct the opening of a vessel at anyone else.
12. NEVER work with open flames without checking with the instructor and then verifying that no flammable materials are nearby.
13. NEVER add water to concentrated acids or bases (Always add the acid or base to the water). Also, NEVER mix concentrated acids with concentrated bases.
14. ALWAYS familiarize yourself with the location of the exits and the safety equipment such as the eyewash, safety shower, fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.
15. ALWAYS be considerate of others in the laboratory. Alert all neighbors of any unexpected problems such as a spill or reaction that may boil over. Do not tamper with other’s equipment or chemicals.
16. ALWAYS dispose of chemicals, broken glassware, and other laboratory waste in accordance with the instructor’s directions. This is important for safety and environmental reasons.
17. ALWAYS clean up after yourself during the lab. If you spill a chemical at the balance or in the hood, notify the instructor, who will advise you on cleanup procedures. When you use instruments or equipment, make sure it is clean before you return it to its proper place.
18. ALWAYS be sure to clean up your lab area and wash your hands before you leave the laboratory.
You may be exposed to potentially hazardous materials in the process of completing your required laboratory activities. Persons with specific health concerns such as expectant mothers, wearers of contact lenses, persons with known hypersensitivities etc. should consult their personal physician for advisement about potential risks before enrollment in the course.