Science is a wonderful thing and experiments can be a lot of fun as well as intellectually stimulating but they can also be dangerous. Staying safe in the Labratory is vital when dealing with gas taps, bunsen burners and explosive chemicals! Bearing that in mind, here's a list of some important lab safety tips to help keep you safe and ensure a productive experiment for everyone.
Important Safety Tips:
#1 - Never work alone. Until you are a qualified Scientist with a Master's degree you cannot possibly know all the potential risks in a Science lab so make sure you have supervision at all times.
#2 - Don't eat or drink in a lab, not even breathmints. If you were to leave your food on the table and spilt just a dribble of a chemical on them then injesting it could have disastrous consequences. Even if you feel that your experiment is perfectly safe you don't know what experiments may have been conducted previously in the lab and there may still be certain gases in the air so for your own safety avoid food or drink in a laboratory.
#3 - No messing around. It sounds obvious but honestly what seems like a bit of fun can become incredibly dangerous quickly. When I was at school someone was messing around waving a bunsen burner around and didn't know that tiny particles of magnesium had been left on someone's book. The flammable element quickly ignited and the teacher had to frantically throw a towel on the burning book to blanket the flames. Science is serious stuff so take it seriously, trust me.
#4 - Make sure the lab is safe. It's all well and good you behaving sensibly but you must have a sand bucket/fire extinguisher in case of a fire, you must have a well ventilated room for when gases are used and you absolutely must have protective goggles to protect your eyes from any dangerous substances. Your eyes are far too precious to risk damaging.
#5 - Dress appropriately. Hair should be tied up, neckalces and watches etc. put away in a bag or pocket and anything that could interfere with the experiment removed. Lab coats will also protect your clothes from harmful chemicals or even simply getting dirty!
I hope I didn't come across too bossy and I'm sure you're all well aware of potential dangers in Science class and stay safe but just in case make sure to give these a read and enjoy the wonders of Science safely! If you think I missed any important safety tips or have a different suggestion then why not leave a comment below? We hope to hear from you!