Safety in the Lab

Plastic, penicillin, and rubber - what do they all have in common? They were all made in a laboratory. In fact, most historic scientific discoveries happened in a laboratory. Chances are you will be working in the science lab this year. You will be performing experiments and using equipment that scientists use. It is important to practice safety in the lab. Here are some important tips to keep in mind.

The most important safety rule is to always follow instructions. These may be instructions your teacher gives you. They might be instructions that you have to read in a book or manual. Always follow directions exactly as stated. Even if you think you know a "better" way to do something, do it the way the directions tell you.

Reread instructions several times. If you don't understand something, ask your teacher to explain it to you. Your grandmother would say, "It's better to be safe than sorry." This means that if you get hurt in the lab, you'll be sorry that you didn't ask for help.

You need to think about what you are wearing when you are in the lab. You should always remove loose jewelry. If you have long hair, always tie it back. You don't want to let these things touch chemicals or flames that you might be working with.

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