Student laboratories provide young people with an exciting opportunity to expand their knowledge about the world around them. Unfortunately, when completing experiments in laboratories, injuries can happen due to the hazardous chemicals, sharp equipment, and flammable substances that classes often use. To reduce students’ risk of injury, it is important to implement practices that help keep them safe during their time in the lab. To learn how to keep students safe in the lab, continue reading.
Stock your lab with easily-accessible safety equipment
One of the most important measures you can take to help keep students safe in your lab is to stock it with essential lab safety equipment. Examples of safety equipment that your student lab should have include safety goggles, eyewash stations, safety showers, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, and first aid kits. To ensure you can treat injuries as soon as possible, such equipment should be in easily-accessible areas, and you should make all students aware of their location.
Go through an emergency plan
If an emergency occurs, it’s important to be able to react as quickly as possible to minimize injury. As such, you should have a plan for dealing with dangers that could arise in a lab such as fires, chemical spills, or gas leaks. Make sure that your students understand these plans and know how to effectively use the appropriate safety equipment.
Provide a demonstration of the experiment
Before starting an experiment, it is important to thoroughly explain the directions to students, so they know how to use the equipment and complete the experiment without injuring themselves. Because many kids learn visually, this explanation should include more than a simple sheet of printed instructions or a quick verbal description of the experiment. Instead, provide a demonstration of the experiment so that students can see exactly how to complete it in a safe manner.
Create a thorough list of safety rules
Creating a thorough list of safety rules will help your students avoid risky behavior. Safety rules for your lab should include the following:
- always wear protective gear
- no running
- do not leave experiments unattended
- no eating or drinking in the lab
Going through your lab’s safety rules with students before starting an experiment should reduce lab-related accidents.
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