Few places in schools are as exciting as science labs. Young minds perform experiments for the first time and learn a lot. However, teachers must keep these learning environments safe. Most teachers already provide protective equipment, which is one of the most important safety measures. You can improve school science lab safety beyond protective clothing, so keep reading to learn how.
Teach Fire Safety Measures
Your students probably started learning about fire safety in kindergarten. Many experiments require you to use open flames, so remind students of fire safety before using flaming elements. Teachers can teach students about fire safety in many ways, such as practicing drills. No matter how old or young your students are, prioritize fire safety this school year.
Demonstrate Hand and Eye Washing
Students who are old enough to perform experiments in a science lab already know how to wash their hands. However, they’ve probably never washed chemicals off their hands like the ones you’ll use during the lab. Go over proper hand-washing techniques at the beginning of the school year. Demonstrate eye washing techniques as well in case liquids splash around safety glasses or another accident occurs.
Check Glass Lab Ware for Damage Before Experiments
Another safety measure you should perform prior to experiments is checking glass lab ware. Most schools store glass safely in cabinets during breaks, so many teachers assume these items are safe to use immediately. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Check the sides and bottoms of these glass items before handing them out for an experiment, just in case a crack has developed since your last experiment.
Use Lab Packing for Disposal
Many school science labs use chemicals that you can’t throw away in normal waste bins. This situation requires chemicals to be lab packed. You can teach students to lab pack waste safely and store it somewhere secure. Alternatively, you may want to perform the packing and storage yourself. While this will take longer, the results of doing it yourself are often better. Once your lab pack bin is full, you can call a professional waste management service for disposal.
Teachers care deeply about their students, which is why improving school science lab safety is so important. While teaching about fire safety, demonstrating washing techniques, checking glassware, and packing chemical waste takes time, these steps are necessary to protect students from hazards.