Lab Safety: How to Prevent Common Laboratory Accidents

Lab Safety

All schools teach chemistry to students. So, it’s not surprising if your school’s chemistry teacher has encountered an accident or two in the laboratory. You might even have had to purchase new laboratory equipment following the incidents.

But, all of these accidents can be prevented as long as you know the common accidents that happen in the laboratory. By knowing what those accidents are, you’ll be better prepared in preventing them from happening.

Heat and chemical burns

In chemistry class, all students are required to handle equipment that are often hot to the touch. They have to heat beakers, flasks, and other equipment in the lab. Since you’re dealing with children, some of them might not have the presence of mind to use protective gear.

And as the name of the class suggests, the students have to handle chemicals, as well. Some of those chemicals are quite dangerous and could burn the skin if it makes contact.

Make sure that all of your students are wearing protective gloves before they handle any of the hot equipment. They should also use tongs to hold beakers and flasks.

In order to make them comply with all the rules, ask your chemistry teacher to warn the students not using the necessary protective gear that they’ll be automatically sent to detention. They’ll do anything to avoid that punishment.

Fire

Fire is a common sight and accident in a laboratory. Fires erupt in laboratories because some students can be careless when they’re handling the equipment. The equipment that some students neglect to handle with care is the Bunsen burner.

The Bunsen burner is a useful tool in the laboratory, but it could also be very dangerous if the person handling it is not entirely focused. Unfortunately, some students in a chemistry lab are more focused on playing with the equipment. They might turn the Bunsen burner a little too much that it will spew huge flames.

Inform your students about the dangers of playing with some of the equipment in the lab. Make sure that they understand the repercussions to prevent them from playing with the Bunsen burner.

Laboratory Accidents

Spillage

Another common accident in the lab is spillage. This happens frequently when a student is rushing around while holding a tray of chemicals. What’s concerning about this is that some of those chemicals could burn the skin or irritate the eyes if they spill to the floor.

Make sure that every student knows the consequences if they spill any of the chemicals they are handling. Also, the laboratory should have ample space for students to walk through without bumping into other worktables.

Inhalation

Since your chemistry teacher is working with students, chances are the chemicals they are using aren’t that dangerous. Even so, students need to wear facemasks to prevent the fumes from the chemicals entering their lungs. Constant exposure to those chemicals might lead to debilitating effects on the students’ lungs.

These are some of the most common accidents that occur in the laboratory. Take the necessary preventive measures to ensure the safety of your students.

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