Lab Safety Rules

In the Physics Lab

An important part of your science work will take place in the laboratory. The lab is a safe environment in which to work if some general rules are observed and if the people who work in the lab are informed and careful. These guidelines are specifically for all of Dr. Scott's classes.

1. To protect your eyes from possible injury, always wear safety goggles when working with heat, chemicals or glassware. Your grade will suffer if you aren't wearing safety goggles. Wear glasses rather than contact lenses unless you have permission from the instructor. Goggles will fit over glasses.

2. Tie back long hair and loose clothing and remove jewelry when you work at the lab station. Roll up loose sleeves that might fall into chemicals or become caught on equipment. Dr. Scott's lab is the only location at TRIS where students can wear hats as protective headgear.

3. Do not wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the lab and never go barefoot.


4. Prepare for the experiment by reading all of the directions before you start the lab. Be sure you understand all directions. Discuss the procedures with your lab partner or team. Assign specific tasks to individuals, especially if time is a factor in the procedure.Before you begin work, make sure that you know how to operate the equipment that will be used in the experiment.


5. Keep your lab work area clear of any materials that are not needed for performing the experiment. Texts, notebooks, bookbags, sweaters and other materials should be stored away from the work area. Place them in the back of the lab in the area provided. Push in stools or chairs when not in use and as you leave the lab area.

6. Handle all equipment as directed. Note safety precautions in the instructions for your experiments.

7. Handle all sharp instruments with extreme care. Remember that they are considered weapons if they go out of the room or are handled in an inappropriate manner. Never try to catch falling sharp instruments.

8. Do not stir anything with a thermometer; use a glass stirring rod. If a thermometer breaks, inform Dr. Scott at once, and Dr. Scott will arrange to have it cleaned up. Do not touch the mercury from broken mercury thermometers.

9. Take extreme care not to spill materials in the lab. Report all spills immediately, and follow your Dr. Scott's directions for cleaning them up. Keep your lab area neat and clean.

10. Use tongs or a clamp to pick up hot containers. Test the temperatures of equipment and containers that have been heated by placing the back of your hand near any object before picking it up. If you can feel heat, the object might be too hot to handle.

11. Dispose of materials only as directed. Do not pour chemicals or other solids into a sink or put specimens or their parts into the trash or sink.

12. After you have completed your work, turn off all equipment and clean your work area. Return all equipment and materials to the place that you got them. Report any broken or missing equipment.

13. Keep hands away from your face, eyes, mouth and body while using chemicals or preserved specimens. Wash your hands before and after each experiment.

14. Never eat, drink, or chew gum in the lab. Never eat or drink from lab equipment.

15. Perform only those experiments authorized by Dr. Scott. Never do an experiment that is not called for in the laboratory procedures.

16. Do not work alone in the lab. When entering the room, do not touch any equipment, chemicals or other materials in the laboratory area until you are instructed to do so.

17. Experiments must be personally monitored at all times. You will be assigned a laboratory station at which to work. Do not wander around the room, distract other students, or interfere with the laboratory experiments of others.

18. Report any accident to Dr. Scott immediately, no matter how minor the accident might seem. Follow your Dr. Scott's recommendations for further treatment.

19. Report all fires to Dr. Scott at once, and leave the room after turning off electrical equipment. Do not try to put out a fire by yourself. If a person's clothing or hair are on fire, smother the fire with a fire blanket or use the water faucets.

20. Know the locations of the fire extinguisher, fire blanket, first aid kit, and other safety equipment. Learn how to use each item.

21. Know the shortest exit route from the lab, from the corridor, and from the building.

22. Read the labels on chemical containers twice. Many chemicals look alike. Label all containers into which you put materials. This is very important!

23. Do not touch, taste, or smell chemicals unless directed to by Dr. Scott. Waft fumes toward your nose by waving your hand over the mouth of the container if directed to smell a chemical.

24. To avoid the contamination of chemicals, take only what you need, and do not return unused chemicals to the bottle. Dispose of chemicals only as directed by Dr. Scott.

25. Always pour acid into water; never pour water into acid. Use the mnemonic, "Acid Rain falls into the Ocean", to help you remember.

26. Do not use your mouth to draw liquids into a pipette; use a pipette bulb.

27. Never point the open end of a heated test tube toward yourself or anyone else.

28. Do not use cracked, chipped, scored, or badly scratched glassware.

29. Never handle broken glass with your bare hands. Tell Dr. Scott, and let him make arrangements to clean up broken glass.

30. Allow plenty of time for hot glass to cool before touching it. It shows no visible signs of its temperature, and can cause painful burns.

31. Learn the names of the equipment and glassware you use so there is no misunderstanding.

32. Treat all microorganisms as if they were harmful. Use antiseptic procedures, as directed by Dr. Scott when working with microbes. Dispose of microbes as he directs.

33. Treat living organisms carefully. Do not cause pain, discomfort, or injury to an organism. Follow Dr. Scott's directions when handling animals. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling animals or their cages.

34. Place the dissection specimens in the pan. Do not dissect a handheld specimen. Treat specimens respectfully.

35. Use dissection tools as directed. Use the right tool for the job.

36. Move from area to area carefully. Do not make sudden moves. Other students may be endangered.

37. No horseplay.

38. No practical jokes or pranks, except on April 1st. Rest assured no labs will ever be scheduled on April Fool's Day.