Make It A Priority!
Another school year is about to begin. Do you have a lab safety instruction unit ready to use with your science students?
Every year at this time I review how I am going to address lab safety with my biology and chemistry students. I update my lessons and materials that I will use with my students. And I say a silent prayer that another school year will pass and my lab will remain accident free.
Our science students absolutely need GREAT lab experiences. They need to use chemicals, Bunsen burners, hot plates, and glassware. To do less would be depriving them of a good science education. If you make laboratory safety a top priority with the students, they will respond. When they see you being safe and stressing safety at the beginning of each lab, they will behave appropriately. And if they don't, drastic measures will have to be taken before that student can enter the lab again.
One goal that I have set for my blog, it to post a "Lab Safety Tip of the Week." To prepare for this series of blog posts, I did some online searching into lab accidents. I was looking for up to date statistics about safety in middle and high school labs. While I haven't yet found the stats I am looking for, I did come across this video. It is posted by CSB: US Chemical Safety Board. The video is called, "After the Rainbow." Without reading another word of this blog post, take 5 minutes to watch this video.
Did you watch it? If that doesn't make you stop and consider your lab safety instruction, nothing will.
Back to the Lab Safety Tip of the Week. Here is my first lab safety tip.
Before students walk in the door, have a plan. The first few days of your class must include the following:
- Students must get written copies of your lab safety rules.
- You must go over each and every rule.
- Take the students to the lab and point out all of the lab safety features: Eyewash, safety shower, fire extinguisher, fire blanket, etc.
- Students must sign a lab safety contract. Parents must sign it too!
- Students and parents must fill out a medical emergency form.
- Students must take and pass a lab safety quiz.
Make sure that you know what you are going to do in case of an emergency. Talk to your school admin to make sure that all parties agree on a plan of action.
Lab Safety Tip of the Week #1: Develop and implement a lab safety plan.
Looking for a place to start? These resources are posted in my TpT store: