Chemistry

Safety in the Chem Lab

I am a preservice teacher that will be joining the work force next school year. I am very excited but I still have a lot of questions regarding safety in the classroom. I know all of the basics and what to do in emergencies, but there are two things that I still struggle with:

  1. Safety contracts.
  2. Laboratory Inspections.

I am hoping some of you can shed some light on these topics. What are some good examples of safety contracts and the most important information to include? What is the best method to hold students accountable for these contracts to ensure their safety?

What are the criteria for annual laboratory inspections that faculty have to deal with? What issues present a problem to you the most that you may have some advise about?

Thank you!!

 

Cameron Mackowski
Cameron Mackowski
515 Activity Points

Cameron - 

Your state or school district may have a Chemical Hygiene Plan (or similar document) that addresses laboratory inspections and other safety concerns. Here is a link to the Florida public schools document. 

The American Chemical Society has a Science Coach program. You could seek a mentor through this program to work on safety at your school. I served as a mentor 2 years ago and focused heavily on safety with my mentee. 

 

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
4755 Activity Points

1.) Check to see if your school district has a contract that they require you to use.  If so, use theirs, but keep a list of suggestions that you have for revisions in the future.  Also, I have heard people say that general contracts, that are not too specific, might be better in the event that there is an accident in your classroom (liability purposes? not sure)

2.) Laboratory inspections - keep an updated inventory log (maybe a google doc that every science teacher who uses the chemicals can update on their own), have a plan for waste disposal (log, containers, waste management...does a company come and pick it up?  how often?  or is there a specific way you prep the waste for the regular trash)

 

~Cristina Welch

Cristina Welch
Cristina Welch
400 Activity Points

You can make sure the students know their responsibilities in the lab to keep them safe. No open-toed shoes, no jewelry, hair slicked back, always wear gloves and goggles when in the lab.

- Shelzy H.

Shelzy Hernandez
Shelzy Hernandez
215 Activity Points

The lawyer for my institution stated that contracts don't really hold much water but it is better to have them than to not in case you are called to the table for a civil or criminal investigation. 

The American Chemical Society offers professional liability insurance plans. Your institution might already have coverage for you. 

Regarding inspections, this falls under duty of care. In the event of an accident (injury or property damage), you will need to demonstrate that you exercised your duty of care. If you cannot produce inspection records, you will have a weaker case in demonstrating your duty of care. 

This is a good read: https://www.nsta.org/about/positions/liability.aspx 

Emily Faulconer
Emily Faulconer
4755 Activity Points

I use a safety contract that I got from NSTA a few years ago- I can't find it on the site now and I can't seem to attach it. There are others on most of the science supply sites as well (Wards, Flinn, etc...) I do now allow students to participate in labs until I have it signed by parents. I also have the "Big 6 Science Room Rules" that can be immediate removal from the room and a "0" if broken during lab. They are:

1) No Horseplay!

2) No Throwing of Anything

3) No Eating, Drinking (except water), or Chewing Gum

4) No Sitting on Tables or Lab Benches

5) Stay Out of Prep Room, Cabinets, and Drawers Unless Instructed to Do So

6) No Harassing, Touching, Feeding, Watering, or Messing with Living Organisms Unless Instructed to Do So

Ryan Stander
Ryan Stander
200 Activity Points

Thank you so much for the reply!

I love this "big 6" idea because it will allow them to understand the most important rules ib the classroom.

Upon further investigation, I have found one from Flinn that I think it really comprehensive, so thanks for that suggestion!!

Cameron Mackowski
Cameron Mackowski
515 Activity Points

Post Reply

Forum content is subject to the same rules as NSTA List Serves. Rules and disclaimers