Waltham High School Student Safety
A printer-friendly version of this document is also available.
Science is about discovery, and one way you will be making discoveries
is through science experiments. Some of these experiments make use of
equipment and materials that must be used safely. The science
department continues to do its part in assuring that you will have a
safe experience, but you must do your part, too. Please read the
following safety contract, then sign it signifying that you understand
it. Have a parent or guardian sign it, too, so that we can be sure that
everyone is committed to safe laboratory practice.
You should know that you have to continue to earn the right to use the
- Act appropriately at all times in the laboratory. The same high
level of care and attentiveness is required as might be found in a
wood working shop or any place where there are potential
hazards. The laboratory is not the place for horseplay, jokes, or
pranks. In other words, think before acting. And perform
procedures with deliberation; do not rush.
- Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully. If you do
not understand a direction or part of the procedure, ask the
teacher before proceeding.
- When first entering a science room, do not touch any equipment,
chemicals, or other materials in the laboratory area until you are
instructed to do so.
- Do not eat or drink in a science classroom.
- Do not drink from containers used in the laboratory.
- Be prepared for your investigation. Read all procedures
carefully before doing experiments.
- Keep the work area clear of everything except for materials,
data sheets, and instruction sheets. Keep book bags stored away
from the work area.
- Keep aisles clear. Do not crowd around hot plates, balances, or
- Your teacher will describe the location of exits and all safety
equipment. Know where the closest fire alarm is located.
- Notify the teacher immediately of any unsafe conditions you
- Labels and equipment instructions must be read carefully before
use. Set up and use the prescribed equipment as directed in the
laboratory instructions or by your instructor.
- When using chemicals or preserved specimens, keep hands away
from face, eyes, mouth and body. Wash your hands with soap and
water after performing all experiments. Clean all work surfaces and
equipment at the end of the experiment, and return all equipment to
the proper storage area.
- Do not leave an experiment unattended. For example, do not
wander from your assigned area to talk with friends.
- Students are not to enter science storage areas except under the
direct supervision of their teacher.
- If you have a particular allergy or sensitivity to chemicals,
please inform your teacher.
- Any time chemicals, heat or glassware are used, students,
teachers, and visitors will use laboratory goggles. There are no
exceptions to this rule. (Eyeglasses or contact lenses are not
substitutes for goggles.)
- Proper dress is important. Long hair must be tied back, and
dangling jewelry and baggy clothing are not appropriate. Shoelaces
must be tied, and sandals are not allowed.
- Lab aprons should be used when there is the danger of chemical
spills or biological contamination.
Accidents and Injuries
- Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut,
burn, etc.) to the teacher.
- If a chemical splashes in your eye(s) or on your skin, flush
with water. Inform the instructor immediately.
- All chemicals in the laboratory are to be considered dangerous.
Do not touch, taste, or smell any chemicals unless specifically
instructed to do so.
- Check the label on chemical bottles before using.
- Never return unused chemicals to their original containers.
- When transferring chemicals from one container to another, hold
the containers away from your body.
- Acids require special care. You will be shown the proper way to
dilute acids, but you will always add acid TO water.
- Never dispense flammable liquids anywhere near an open flame or
source of heat.
- Dispose of all chemical waste properly. Your instructor will
tell what materials can be poured down the drain and what materials
must be placed in a waste container. In general, solid chemicals,
metals, matches, filter paper, and all other insoluble materials are
to be disposed of in the proper waste containers, not in the sink.
Handling Glassware and Electrical Equipment
- Never handle broken glass with your bare hands. Use a brush and
dustpan to clean up broken glass. Place broken or waste glassware
in the designated glass disposal container.
- When working with glass tubing, follow the specific instructions
of your teacher. Puncture wounds by broken glass are some of the
most common laboratory injuries.
- Examine glassware before each use. Never used chipped or
cracked glassware. Never use dirty glassware.
- Do not immerse hot glassware in cold water; it may shatter.
- When removing an electrical plug from its socket, grasp the
plug, not the electrical cord. Hands must be completely dry before
touching an electrical switch, plug, or outlet.
- Report damaged electrical equipment immediately. Look for
things such as frayed cords, exposed wires, and loose connections.
Do not use damaged electrical equipment.
- If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, ask
the instructor for help. There is no shame in asking for an
Additional precautions may be given at the beginning of laboratory
Your signature on this contract indicates that you have read this Safety
Contract and that you subscribe to our efforts to insure the safety of
students and staff during science laboratory activities. No student
will be permitted to perform laboratory activities unless this contract
is signed by both the student and parent/guardian.
- Be careful around any heating device, but be especially cautious
around open flames. Take care that hair, clothing and hands are a
safe distance from the flame.
- Do not put any substance into a flame unless specifically
instructed to do so.
- Do not reach over any heating device.
- Do not leave a heating device unattended, and turn off a heating
device when not in use.
- You will be instructed in the proper method of heating and
boiling liquids in test tubes. Do not point the open end of a test
tube being heated at yourself or anyone else.
- Heated metals and glass remain very hot for a long time. They
should be identified as being hot and set aside to cool.
- Never look into a container that is being heated.
- Be careful not to place hot equipment on flammable material.
- Use tongs or heat-protective gloves if necessary.
|Student Signature ||Date |
|Parent/Guardian Signature ||Date |
1Adapted from "Flinn Scientific's Student Safety
File translated from
On 05 Sep 2007, 22:56.