Student Safety Contract ** more information can be found on the Flynn site, or click here for another excellent K-12 lab safety resource
Science is a hands-on class. You will be handling and working with a variety of chemicals and lab equipment this year and safety is the number one priority in the classroom. The rules of this safety contract must be followed at all times. The last page of this packet, signed by you and a parent, must be returned before you will be allowed to participate in any laboratory activities. You are receiving two copies of this document, one to keep in your binder, and one that you should keep at home for a reference for your pre-lab activities.
1. BE PREPARED
You must have completed and reviewed pre-lab procedures before doing any lab. Think about what you will be doing at each step. Safety precautions should be written in red ink at the appropriate step in your procedure. Think about:
What safety precautions are necessary for this lab?
When will I be taking measurements?
What other data do I need to collect?
How much of each material will I need? Can I estimate or do I need to measure?
If I’m using a burner, when do I need to turn it on and off?
What results am I looking for?
If it is clear that you did not prepare for the lab ahead of time, you will spend the period in the hallway preparing for the lab and will be required to make up the lab after school.
2. FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS Do not mix chemicals, dispose of materials, or change procedures without consulting with the teacher. Mixing can be dangerous, and not everything can go down the sink.
3. KNOW THE SAFETY EQUIPMENT You should know the locations of and be able to use the following items:
Safety goggles: Must be worn at all times when using any chemicals, liquids, or flame. First aid kit: Used for minor medical treatment Eyewash station: To flush eyes in the case of chemical exposure. Remove any contact lens before using, hold eye open, and wash from the nose towards the ear, to protect the unaffected eye from chemicals rinsed out of the affected eye. Rinse for 15 minutes. Fire Blanket: Used primarily for smothering clothing fires. Never wrap a student in it. Fire extinguisher: For fires not on a person. Primarily for chemical fires. Fire exit: The pathways of getting out of the room in case of fire.
4. REPORT ANY ACCIDENTS (NO MATTER HOW “SMALL”) IMMEDIATELY Accidents can and will happen. It is important that you inform the teacher immediately of any accidents. This includes spills, broken glassware, and any accidental skin/eye exposure to chemicals. You will be given further instructions. (Sometimes throwing water on it is the worst thing you can do.)
5. KEEP WORK AREA CLEAR You should only have on your desk what is immediately necessary for the lab. (Ex: lab notebook, textbook, equipment necessary for that particular lab only!) All other materials (Ex: binders, library books, pencil cases) should be put in the designated area.
6. CLEAN UP SPILLS AS INSTRUCTED After informing the teacher, you will be expected to clean up spills. Minor solid and liquid spills may be cleaned up with a moist paper towel. Large solid spills or broken glassware should be cleaned up using the blue dustpan near the door. Broken glass goes into the brown waste container near the window. Broken glass does not go in the regular garbage can. If there is a spill of hazardous materials (acids, etc.), tell the teacher and special instructions will be given.
7. CLEAN UP MATERIALS AND LAB EQUIPMENT APPROPRIATELY
1. Dispose of chemicals as instructed by the teacher. Respect the sink. (No gunk.)
2. NEVER put unused chemicals back into the original containers (contamination) 3. Wash and dry all glassware, and return it or leave it for the next class, as needed. 4. Wipe and dry the lab table. 5. Wash your hands.
8. DRESS APPROPRIATELY FOR LAB Avoid items that dangle on lab days. (Ex: bracelets, necklaces, sleeves, etc.) These can be accidentally dipped in chemicals or may catch on fire. Always tie long hair back. (If you have long hair, you might want to throw a rubber band or two in your “mailbox.”) Clothing or hair fires are the most dangerous types of fire.
9. NO EATING, DRINKING, OR GUM IN THE LAB Self-explanatory. Also, never taste anything in the lab unless instructed to do so. While we are on the subject, never smell anything directly either. Always use a wafting motion with your hand.
10. USE ALCOHOL BURNERS APPROPRIATELY * Using the burner: Wicks should be about 4 mm high. Never tilt a burner more than 45 degrees. * Filling the burner: The fuel level of the burner should be kept above the bottom of the wick and at least ½ inch below the top of the burner. Always fill at the filling station and not at your lab station. * Lighting the burner: Make sure the top is on tight and there is no burner fuel on your hands or on the side of the burner container. * * * NEVER LEAVE A LIT BURNER UNATTENDED * * *
USE GLASS SAFELY
* Always use a cloth and glycerine when putting glass tubing, bends, or thermometers into stoppers. Never force anything! If it appears stuck, tell the teacher. * Put thermometers and other round glass things into a container when not in use. Just laying them on the table puts them at risk of rolling off.
12. MAKE SURE THE EQUIPMENT “MATCHES” Small test tubes go in small clamps. Large test tubes go in large clamps. Ditto for stoppers. Sounds simple, but when you are in a hurry, it is easy to forget.
13. HEAT SAFELY
Never heat a closed container.
Always use boiling chips when boiling a liquid, to prevent “burping.”
Make sure the mouth of the test tube is pointed away from people when heating.
Glass and porcelain may appear cool, even when very hot. Take care when handling.
14. KNOW PROPER FIRE PROCEDURES
On a person: If you are involved in a fire, the old “stop-drop-and roll” is the most effective. If your partner is involved in a fire, get the fire blanket. Never wrap a student entirely in a fire blanket, as it will create a “chimney effect” and force the fire up towards the face.
Not on a person: Stay calm and inform the teacher. Some small alcohol fires will quickly burn themselves out. If the fire does not burn itself out immediately, you need to make a decision. (“Fight or flight.”) Remember an average classroom fire extinguisher has about 5-7 seconds of extinguishing agent to work with. You will have to act fast and close. If the fire can be extinguished using the classroom fire extinguisher, remember the acronym P-A-S-S. (Pull the pin, aim the extinguisher, squeeze the handle, and sweep the area.)
You are expected to know, understand and be aware of these safety rules at all times. If the rules are not followed, consequences will occur and may include removal from the laboratory, detention, failing grades, or parent conferences. If you cannot conduct yourself accordingly in the lab, you may be removed from the program. It is important to realize that even if you were “just kidding” or you “didn’t mean it,” it is just as serious as the actual offense. Your attention, as well as the teacher’s attention, should be on safe laboratory procedures at all times, and not compromised by horseplay. Please sign and return the attached page as soon as possible.
Safety Contract Agreement
To the student:
I have read and agree to all of the following safety rules in this contract. I understand that I am expected to follow these rules at all times to ensure the safety of my classmates and myself. I also agree to prepare adequately for lab procedures and closely follow written and oral instructions as given. I understand that if I act in an unsafe way, even as a joke, I may be removed from the laboratory, given a detention, receive a failing grade, or be dismissed from the course.
We, as a department, feel that you should be informed of the school’s effort and commitment to create and maintain a safe science classroom. With the cooperation of instructors, parents, and students, a safety program can reduce, prevent, and possibly eliminate accidents in the laboratory. Please read the safety contract with your student and discuss the importance of adhering to the rules. No student will be permitted to participate in the laboratory until this agreement, signed by both student and parent, is returned to the teacher.
Your signature on this contract indicates that you have read the Student Safety Contract, are aware of the measures taken to ensure the safety of your son or daughter in the science lab, and will discuss the importance of maintaining a safe learning environment with your student. Thank you!