How to stay safe in a science lab at school

How to stay safe in a science lab at school
How to stay safe in a science lab at school

Science labs can contain dangerous chemicals and equipment. It is for this reason that it is important to observe all safety measures when using them. To be out of danger and not expose yourself to risks that can affect your safety and health, you must therefore know the laboratory rules and comply with them. You will also need to wear appropriate protective equipment and know how to properly use all instruments and tools to ensure that you get a safe and healthy laboratory experience.


Part 1 of 3: wear appropriate protective equipment

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 1

Step 1. Wear closed-toe shoes and long pants

One of the most important things about safety in a science lab is to prevent your body from being exposed to contaminants. The first step in wearing appropriate protective equipment is that you are properly prepared for entering the laboratory by putting on closed-toe shoes and long pants. Shoes with a hard coating are more suitable in case you spill a product on your feet.

  • As soon as you enter the lab, you will be able to wear the rest of the appropriate protective gear that will cover the other exposed parts of your body.
  • Wear loose clothing and roll up long sleeves.
Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 2

Step 2. Put on a lab coat during experiments

The lab coat is an essential accessory that will help protect you and your clothes from spills of substances and other chemicals. This can be quickly removed in case a substance or chemical spills on it. For reasons of efficiency, it is essential that the lab coat is suitable for you. You must therefore wear it whenever you are called upon to do something in the laboratory.

If the sleeves are too long, be aware that they can get in the way and get in the way as you work

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 3

Step 3. Protect your eyes by putting on glasses

It is not necessary to put on protective goggles all the time, but be aware that you must use them when handling chemicals or any object that presents a risk of explosion or splash.

  • Protective glasses should go on either side of the face to protect your eyes.
  • Prescription glasses usually do not provide enough splash protection. Put protective glasses on your prescription glasses.
Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 4

Step 4. Wear protective gloves

There are several different types of gloves that you will be required to put on depending on the nature of the job you have to do. For example, it is recommended to put on disposable nitrile or latex gloves to provide basic safety and protection against toxic chemicals. There is a good chance that you will use these accessories in your laboratory at school.

  • If you are handling substances at very high or low temperature, then it is important that you can wear special gloves that are suitable for the appropriate temperature.
  • If you handle objects which carry electric current and which could present a risk of electric shock, you will need to wear rubber gloves in this case.

Part 2 of 3: Meet Basic Laboratory Safety Standards

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 5

Step 1. Listen to your teacher and strictly follow the instructions

Before starting to carry out any work in the laboratory, your teacher will inform you about all the necessary precautions and adapted to this specific experiment. It should also detail all the security measures required at the start of the year.

  • If you are unsure about the best way to process or handle a product or substance, always take the trouble to ask your teacher so that it is safe to do what is asked.
  • Make sure you follow the safety rules posted in the lab at all times.
Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 6

Step 2. Avoid eating or drinking inside the lab

Eating or drinking during an experiment or inside the laboratory can be extremely dangerous and lead to injury. If you have a dangerous chemical in your hands and then touch your food with it, be aware that you could ingest it. This also applies to the consumption of drinks.

  • If you have to eat or drink anything, remember to take off your gown and gloves, wash your hands. Then leave the laboratory to do whatever you want in peace.
  • It is also not allowed to chew gum inside the laboratory.
Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 7

Step 3. Take off all your jewelry and tie your hair back

Hair and jewelry can be a hazard in case they catch on an object. You could also accidentally burn your hair in case it falls into a flame without you realizing it. Chemicals that are irritating or corrosive can actually become embedded under a bracelet or ring and cause irritation.

Make the effort to go to class without wearing any jewelry so you don't have to put it away or possibly lose it

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 8

Step 4. Store bags, chairs, and coats out of the way

When you enter the lab for the first time, take the trouble to store all your things in a place where they will be out of the way and will not present any risk of tripping. The locker at the entrance to the classroom and the underside of the laboratory bench are the two best places to store all these items.

When leaving the classroom, you must remember to take out all your belongings which are stored under the bench or wherever else you have put them

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 9

Step 5. Immediately inform the teacher about all incidents

You must have the instinct to immediately inform your teacher of anything that occurs such as accidents, breaks or chemical spills during the experiment in the laboratory. As trite as it may sound, know that it is important to keep him informed of everything that has happened. Thus, he will know how to handle things safely and make sure that no one is hurt.

If a product spills or a glass breaks, you should make an effort not to clean it until you have informed your teacher about it. What you may not know is that there might be a special technique for doing the cleaning

Part 3 of 3: Use the equipment safely

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 10

Step 1. Know where safety equipment is stored

It is important that you can request to receive instructions from a qualified person on the use of the safety equipment necessary for the procedure to be adopted before performing any laboratory work. In case you don't have any information on the safety equipment needed for the job you have to do, just ask. It's a good idea to have an idea of ​​what could go wrong before it happens. This way, you can react quickly and appropriately. Typical safety equipment you might come across include:

  • eye wash stations,
  • air showers,
  • fire blankets (intended to smother flames),
  • extinguishers for different types of fire,
  • extractor hoods,
  • closets and solvent containers,
  • locking devices intended to move devices,
  • neoprene gloves, eye protection, asbestos gloves and aprons.
Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 11

Step 2. Keep the test tubes away from you when heating them

You will need to slowly heat the test tubes to avoid rapid boiling and splashing of liquid. It is strongly recommended not to heat a test tube plugged in or not, as pressure could build up inside and cause it to break.

Keeping the test tube away from your face will prevent you from injuring yourself if it boils or splashes

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 12

Step 3. Pour acid into water, not water into acid

There is an exothermic reaction between water and acid, which means it releases heat. It is advisable that the acid is always added to the water, because if you do the reverse, there is a good chance that the acid could explode.

The acid can explode and get in your eyes and on others, which could cause serious injury

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 13

Step 4. Keep your workspace neat and tidy

If you make sure everything is in order, you will be able to avoid spills of products or chemicals. Having a clean workspace also saves you from contamination during experiments.

You should clean and disinfect your workspace when you finish each session in the lab

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 14

Step 5. Avoid replacing excess reagents in the original container

Once a chemical has been taken out of its container, there is no way it can be returned to it. This technique avoids contaminating the chemical with other substances, with dirt or dust.

If you have excess chemicals, be sure to dispose of them properly by following the procedures given by your teacher

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 15

Step 6. Take the necessary precautions against all flames

A Bunsen burner is an open flame and should be treated with great caution. You must make sure that there is no flammable product near the burner. Also avoid leaning towards the flame. So remember to immediately extinguish the flame when you have finished using it.

If your clothes catch fire, at the same time have the reflex to STOP what you are doing, DROP to the ground and ROLL on the ground until the flame is smothered

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 16

Step 7. Use an extractor hood

Consider using an extractor hood to handle volatile chemicals. Some chemicals emit noxious fumes which are very toxic when inhaled. Working in an extractor hood allows you to open up chemicals and not be exposed to fumes.

If you're not sure whether to use an extractor hood, you better be cautious and use it just in case …

Stay Safe in a Science Lab at School Step 17

Step 8. Wash your hands after the practical work

It is crucial that you can wash your hands before leaving the laboratory at the end of each experiment. This way you can be sure that you have cleaned all contaminants and chemicals from your hands.

  • Be sure to wash your hands after removing all of your appropriate protective gear.
  • Wash your hands with lukewarm water and rub them with soap for at least 30 seconds.


  • Avoid entering a laboratory at your convenience or without permission.
  • Avoid touching laboratory equipment unless you have received proper instructions and are instructed to do so.

Popular by topic