LABORATORY ACCIDENTS

Lab Safety: Everyone is Responsible!

"I didn't mean to" and "It wasn't my fault" are two statements that have no place in the lab. If someone is hurt or equipment is broken, these statements cannot undo the harm.

Horse-play will not be tolerated. If it occurs, those involved will be disqualified from the lab and given a zero for the assignment.

Lack of pre-lab preparation is the main threat to safety in our lab. If you and your group are unprepared, you will be unsure of yourself, waste time, and have a good chance of making a mistake that leads to a problem.

At the beginning of each lab period, you will be given a chance to ask questions. If you are unsure of some procedure, now is the time to ask. Always pay close attention to any verbal instructions given at this time.

 

 

 Students in a high school chemistry class were studying the difference between mixtures and compounds. In the first part of the lab sulfur was mixed with iron and the sulfur was removed by dissolving the sulfur in carbon disulfide. In the second part of the lab iron and sulfur were mixed in the correct proportions to make iron sulfide. The sample was heated to bring about the desired reaction. Unfortunately some of the students were much faster than others and the two parts of the experiment were occurring at the same time. One student placed her solution of sulfur and carbon disulfide in the chemical crock and put the cover back on. Shortly thereafter a second student placed a hot test tube in the crock. The resulting explosion sent broken glass flying in all directions. Fortunately all the students were wearing goggles and no one was hurt.

 

The most common cause of laboratory accidents is broken glass

 

Lack of pre-lab preparation is the main threat to safety in a lab. If you are unprepared,

you will be unsure of yourself, waste time, and have a good chance of making a mistake

that leads to a problem. Always keep in mind that, if someone is hurt or equipment is

broken, these statements cannot undo the harm.

 

Survey of Laboratory Accidents:

Accident Statistics (05/06) 

   (students: 91.7%;teachers: 0.5%; LTs: 1.8%

Laboratory accident stories:

 

The time the girl in AP biology who devoted rather more attention to her appearance than the rest of us leaned into her alcohol lamp and singed her bangs? Smelly.

 

I fell and sliced my hand badly on a broken Erlenmeyer flask, requiring numerous stitches.