Safety Measures

Safety Rules:

The following are the Regulations Enforced in the Physics Laboratory

  1. No students will be permitted in the laboratory without an instructor. No visitors are permitted.
  2. Students may NOT begin working or gathering supplies and equipment until their instructor is present. Do NOT touch any equipment or supplies without specific authorization.
  3. All experiments performed in the physics laboratory must be approved by the instructor.
  4. Replacing, swapping, or moving equipment that has already been set up by the instructor or laboratory staff.
  5. Eating and drinking are not permitted in the laboratory. If you have a medical condition requiring an exception to that rule, notify your instructor.
  6. No one will be permitted in the lab with bare feet, sandals, or shoes that do not provide toe coverage.
  7. Some experiments may require students to wear protective gear such as aprons or safety goggles. Students must purchase their own shatter resistant goggles and wear them on the days such experiments are scheduled.
  8. Leave your lab bench as you found it. The equipment should be in the place and state as it was when you entered the lab.
  9. Students must know the evacuation routes and lab emergency safety procedures (posted on the wall by the lab door). In case of an evacuation emergency, turn off any running equipment except for computers and follow the established college evacuation procedures.
  10. Report immediately all unsafe conditions, unusual odors and personal injuries to the instructor or a staff member.

General Chemistry Safety and Laboratory Rules

Chemistry laboratories can be hazardous if the rules are not followed. During a chemistry course a student may handle materials which are carcinogenic, poisonous, flammable, and explosive. Some of these materials and equipment may also cause severe burns, cuts, or bruises if handled improperly or carelessly. Most accidents that occur in the chemistry laboratory are a result of carelessness, impatience, improper or unauthorized experimentation, and disregard for safety rules or proper operating procedures.

In order to minimize the chances of an accident in the laboratory certain rules and regulations must be obeyed at all times when one is working or observing in a chemical laboratory. Therefore, it is not advisable for anyone to work in a laboratory without proper knowledge of the dangers involved. Due to the inherent dangers present in a chemical laboratory exercise, it should be understood that the following rules must be obeyed to minimize the chance of an accident. The student is expected to exercise proper judgment and extreme caution at all times when working in the laboratory.

Learn and observe the safety and laboratory rules!

  • DO NOT perform unauthorized experiments or work in a laboratory alone.
  • Long hair and loose clothing must be confined while in a laboratory.
  • Appropriate clothing must be worn at all times while in the laboratory. You may choose to wear an approved laboratory coat or apron which does cover your legs to your knees.
  • Know the location and proper use of fire extinguishers, fire blankets, safety showers, eye wash devices, and first aid kits.
  • Before obtaining any chemicals carefully read the label on the reagent bottles.
  • Eating, smoking, and drinking are not allowed in a chemistry laboratory.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after leaving the laboratory.
  • Use the fume hoods when toxic or irritating vapors are involved.
  • Mouth suction is never used to fill a pipette.
  • Never force glass tubing through cork or rubber stoppers without proper lubrication.
  • Never direct the open end of test tube toward yourself or anyone else.
  • Never pour water into concentrated acid.
  • Learn the proper procedure for igniting and operating a laboratory burner. Always extinguish the flame when the burner is not being used. Make sure that all flammable reagents are well removed before lighting the burner.
  • Liquid and solid waste containers must be properly used at all times.
  • Never place chemicals directly on the balance pan. Always use a proper weighing container when using a balance to weigh a chemical. Never pour chemicals directly over the balance.
  • Never return unused chemicals to their original container (unless directed to do so by the instructor).
  • Securely replace lids, caps, and stoppers after removing reagents from containers.
  • Always wipe spatulas clean before and after inserting into reagent bottles.
  • Report any accident and/or injury, however minor, to your instructor immediately.
  • Never place anything that is not directly required for the experiment on laboratory desks; other items may interfere with the experiment.
  • Clean up any spill immediately.
  • Before leaving the laboratory, make sure your work area is clean and dry. Ensure that all gas, water, vacuum, and air valves are completely turned off.
  • Your instructor is available for any assistance you may need. Never hesitate to ask questions especially if there is any question concerning proper operating procedure. Be sure that you understand every instruction before proceeding.

Biology Laboratory Safety Rules and Recommendations

For all Students, Faculty and Staff using the Biology Labs

  • No food or drink is allowed in any lab- No gum chewing. No putting on of makeup. Lunches, thermoses, and water bottles can be stored inside backpacks or purses. They are not allowed on lab benches, the floor, near computers, or in sinks. Coffee cups are not allowed in the teaching and research labs
  • Be polite- no pushing, shoving, fighting or horseplay.
  • Always wear goggles- when you work with chemicals, hot liquids, or other materials that could harm you. Use caution when working with organic solvents if you wear contact lenses (especially soft lenses) – if you’re in doubt about what chemicals you’re working with ask the instructor.
  • Wear gloves while working in the laboratory gloves are not provided- you must purchase examination gloves yourself. Gloves are available for purchase at the campus bookstore. Please let us know if you have an allergy to latex.
  • If you have allergies or asthma or think you might be pregnant please inform the instructor.
  • Always wear closed toed shoes and long pants or a long skirt during labs to protect your legs and feet from spills.
  • Always alert your teacher to any spills on your skin or clothing.
  • Never taste or smell ANY chemicals unless your teacher tells you it is safe to do so.
  • Tie or pin long hair, scarves and headwear out of the way to avoid contact with flames or chemicals.
  • Be sure you know how to use equipment before beginning an experiment. If you are unsure – ASK!
  • Children are not allowed in the laboratory. There are too many hidden dangers for young people.
  • Mouth pipetting or drinking of solutions is strictly prohibited.
  • Broken glassware or sharp metal pieces should be placed in “sharps” boxes (also labeled “broken glass”) unless it is contaminated with body fluids or microorganisms. Contaminated sharps should be placed in an appropriate labeled metal or glass container for sterilizing.
  • Organic fluids (e.g., ether, acetone, chloroform) or other volatile liquids should be used inside a fume hood.
  • Chemical wastes should never be placed in a sink drain without permission. Please consult your instructor in all cases.
  • Media with microorganisms (liquid or solid) should be placed in a Biohazard bag or labeled autoclavable beakers for sterilizing and disposal.
  • All glassware should be rinsed after use and test tubes placed upside down in the racks provided. Slides and coverslips should be discarded.
  • Students and instructors should know the locations and operation of all safety equipment. This includes fire extinguishers, eye washes, body showers, first aid kits, and the nearest exit from their room.