New Jersey Student Learning Standards
Science safety is a team effort
involving not only teachers and students but also school administrators
and parents. But where can you go for guidance about proven safety
Safe Schools: A Healthy and
Safety Check. Developed
by the Public Education and Risk Communication Division Environmental
and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey School of Public Health
with funding support from the New Jersey Department of Education,
Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Adult Programs.
The New Jersey Department
Office of Office of Vocational-Technical, Career and Adult Programs
Riverview Execitive Building
Building 100, P.O. Box 500
Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0500
Additional information regarding
the Safe Schools Project can be found at http://www.njsafeschools.org/
New Jersey Administrative Code refer
to NJAC:19-10 Safety and Health Standards
Manyif not allissues
related to science safety are addressed by the Council of State
Science Supervisors (CSSS). From chemical storage to safety equipment
recommendations, CSSS's Web
site provides readers with a wealth of practical information.
The following is a suggested checklist
of safety concerns in K-12 science labs adapted with permission
from the Council of State Science Supervisors. (This and other
related materials are available online at: http://www.csss-science.org/safety.shtml.
- Keep appropriate
safety equipment on hand, including an emergency shower, eye-wash
station, fume hood, fire blankets, and fire extinguisher. All
students and teacher(s) should have and wear safety goggles
and protective aprons when working in the lab.
- Ensure proper eye protection
devices are worn by everyone engaged in supervising, observing,
or conducting science activities involving potential hazards
to the eye.
- Provide protective rubber or
latex gloves for students when they dissect laboratory specimens.
- Use heat-safety items such as
safety tongs, mittens, and aprons when handling either cold
or hot materials.
- Use safety shields or screens
whenever there is potential danger that an explosion or implosion
- Keep a bucket of 90 percent sand
and 10 percent vermicullite or kitty litter (dried bentonite
particles) in all rooms in which chemicals are handled or stored.
The bucket must be properly labeled and have a lid that prevents
other debris from contaminating the contents.
- Set a good
example when demonstrating experiments by modeling safety techniques
such as wearing aprons and goggles.
- Help students develop a positive
attitude toward safety. Students should not fear doing experiments
or using reagents or equipment, but they should respect them
for potential hazards.
- Always demonstrate procedures
before allowing students to begin the activity. Look for possible
hazards and alert students to potential dangers.
- Explain and post safety instructions
each time you do an experiment.
- Maintain constant supervision
of student activities. Never allow students to perform unauthorized
experiments or conduct experiments in the laboratory alone.
- Protect all laboratory animals
and ensure that they are treated humanely.
- Remind students that many plants
have poisonous parts and should be handled with care.
- For safety, consider the National
Science Teachers Association's recommendation to limit science
classes to 24 or fewer students.
Student Safety Tips
- Read lab materials
in advance. Note all cautions (written and oral).
- Never assume an experiment is
safe just because it is in print.
- Do not eat or drink in the laboratory.
- Keep personal items off the lab
- Restrain long hair and loose
clothing. Wear laboratory aprons when appropriate.
- Avoid all rough play and mischief
in science classrooms or labs.
- Wear closed-toed shoes when conducting
experiments with liquids or with heated or heavy items.
- Never use mouth suction when
filling pipettes with chemical reagents.
- Never force glass tubing into
- Avoid transferring chemicals
to your face, hands, or other areas of exposed skin.
- Thoroughly clean all work surfaces
and equipment after each use.
- Make certain all hot plates and
burners are turned off before leaving the laboratory.
- Place smoke,
carbon monoxide, and heat detectors in laboratories and storerooms.
- Ensure that all new laboratories
have two unobstructed exits. Consider adding additional exits
to rooms with only one door.
- Frequently inspect a laboratory's
electrical, gas, and water systems.
- Install ground fault circuit
interrupters at all electrical outlets in science laboratories.
- Install a single central shut-off
for gas, electricity, and water for all the laboratories in
the school, especially if your school is in an earthquake zone.
- Maintain Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDS) on all school chemicals and an inventory of all
- Conduct frequent laboratory inspections
and an annual, verified safety check of each laboratory.
Science Lab Activity
For more in-depth, comprehensive
information on science safety, we encourage you to visit the
following Web sites:
Science equipment suppliers that
provide science safety information
Schoolwide Student Safety
Science safety is most likely to
be achieved when students and teachers work together to ensure
a respectful school and classroom environment. Operation Respect,
a non-profit organization, disseminates free educational resources
that help to extablish a climate of respect and safety in schools
and classrooms throughout the United States.
View or download the DuPont Science
Safety Zone poster (pdf file,
This science safety awareness program
is sponsored by the DuPont Center for Collaborative Research & Education
in cooperation with A+ Media, Inc., the Council of State Science
Supervisors, and the North Central Eisenhower Mathematics & Science
Center for Collaborative Research & Education
P.O. Box 80030
Wilmington, DE 19880-0030
Copyright © 2003 by E.I. DuPont
de Nemours and Company
Prevention and Right to Know (NJDEP)