Scope on Safety: When is a classroom a laboratory?by: Ken Roy

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What are the bare bones that must exist for a room to be considered safe for teaching laboratory science? This month’s issue of Scope on Safety addresses this question by first defining when a laboratory is really considered a laboratory. Next, the basic safety standards for middle school science labs are outlined according to OSHA standards and the Environmental Protection Agency. Lastly, the article discusses how to meet the safety needs of the science activity with the facility.

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Reviews (5)
  • on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:40 AM

Students safety if a very important thing to consider. Loved everything this article had to offer about lab safety in a classroom. Many science classrooms are not set up as a science lab, knowing what needs to be done to ensure the safety of the students it very important. This article does a wonderful job in explaining everything that needs to be done and what steps need to be taken in order to have a safe classroom.

Natalie H
Natalie H

  • on Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:09 PM

It is sad that so many science classes are being taught in classrooms that are not set up properly for labs. I agree that this article needs to be shared with administration. It is an easy to read article with a lot of information.

Rosemary Chicca  (The Woodlands, TX)
Rosemary Chicca (The Woodlands, TX)

  • on Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:25 PM

This article is a good read for the teacher who does science laboratory activities in a classroom design for general education. After following fifth grade teachers for three years, I saw this occur more often than it should have. I believe that this is more common than not. For this reason this article should be presented to all teachers in all schools and to their administrators who often require activities without a proper lab facilities or who place general education teachers in a room designed specifically for a science laboratory without any knowledge or training of the dangers that this situation might present for the student, the teacher and the science teacher.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:07 PM

Teachers are often faced with turning a classroom into a laboratory in order to provide students with an opportunity to do science. However, when your classroom becomes a laboratory safety must be addressed. This article provided an accepted definition of a laboratory and address the safety requirements. It would be an excellent resource for teachers faced with the necessity of converting a classroom into a laboratory and to support the procurement of the required safety resources.

Pamela A
Pamela A

  • on Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:35 AM

From this article I learned that what is the laboratory like, the safety standards of science lab as well as the safety needs of the science activity with the facility. The laboratory should be well equipped and provided with a chemical safety plan for science instruction that involves the use of hazardous chemicals. A chemical hygiene plan is also imperative to ensure the safety of the lab and students. In addition, it is incumbent to employ safety equipment and materials such as safety glasses/goggles, gloves, aprons, eyewash units, fire extinguishers,ventilation, spill kits. Meanwhile the safety equipment/materials must fit the activity or work being done (Ken, 2007). The science teacher also need to be trained to identify potential hazards, evaluate potential hazards, and prevent or respond to hazards, which plays an indispensable role in students science learning and the safety of the lab and students. There is bottom line behind learning science: students must be able to do science in order to learn science, but with the safety condition (Ken, 2007).


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