Introduction; Art; Biology; Chemistry; Earth Sciences; Elementary School Laboratories; Graphics Laboratories and Darkrooms; Physics; Safety Contract; Safety Rules

Part 7                   Physics

Introduction:  Provide the students with an introduction to the subject matter to be covered during the course of the class.  This should include the instructor’s behavioral expectations of each student during and at the completion of the course.  Students should be made aware of the consequences for failing to follow established procedures, including the threat of chemical exposure to both the student and those around him or her.  This shall include a short description of the District’s and the instructor’s own personal disciplinary policy and/or penalty provisions (i.e. demerit points, non-participation, suspension, etc.).

Safety Equipment:  Show students the location of all installed safety equipment and demonstrate its proper operation.  Inform students when such equipment should be utilized and stress the importance of keeping these areas free from obstructions.

•  Eye Wash Stations
•  Safety Showers
•  Fire Blankets
•  Fire Extinguisher (note: students are not expected to put out fires)

Emergencies:  Steps to be taken during and after an emergency should be stressed to the students with an emphasis on remaining clam.  Inform the students that:

•  All accidents, no matter how minor, must be reported to the instructor.
•  The instructor shall be the one to pull the fire alarm in the even an evacuation is necessary.
•  Evacuations must be done in an orderly manner with no talking and/or running.
•  All work in-progress during an emergency shall cease immediately until otherwise instructed.

Personal Dress:  Students must be informed that appropriate clothing is to be worn when handling hazardous chemicals and that all exposed areas of skin above the knee should be covered.

•  Open-toed footwear (e.g. sandals, thongs, etc.) is prohibited.
•  Contact lenses must not be worn unless medically necessary.
•  Long hair must be tied back when using burners.

Note:  The wearing of inappropriate clothing is an issue that needs to be assessed by the instructor on a situational basis, taking into account the nature of the day’s experimentation, the chemicals used, and the handling of the chemical substance.  Students with exposed skin above the knee should be provided with a lab coat after taking into account the conditions stated previously.  When possible, district dress code practices should be cited.  PPE required by a specific SOP must be worn when indicated, regardless of conditions of use.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):  Inform students of the basic PPE that will be provided for their protection and demonstrate the proper donning of each item.  Students should be informed of the hazards each piece of PPE is designed to protect against along with a short description of the limitations associated with each piece of PPE.  The proper care, maintenance, storage and disposal of each PPE item should also be discussed.  Discuss items used in your class.

PPE Item

Protection Against




Safety Goggles

Liquid Splashes.  Flying objects.

Severe impact hazards.  Ultra-Violet light.

Keep clean.  Report damage.

Store in a manner to prevent damage.

Face Shield (must be worn with goggles).

Severe impact from flying objects and liquid splashes.

Falling objects.  Ultra-Violet light.

Keep clean.

Report Damage.

State Location.

Lab Coats.

Body exposures.

Fire. Flying sparks.

Dispose or wash if extremely soiled.

State location.  Disposable coats may be repeatedly worn.

Disposable Gloves.

Hand exposure and blood stream uptake of toxins.

Acids, Solvents, Hot Objects.


Dispose after use.

Rubber gloves.

Hand exposure to acids and solvents.

Hot Objects.

Rinse after each use.

State location.  Do not crumble.

  1. Chemical safety goggles shall be worn when handling chemical substances.
  1. Gloves and other personal protective equipment must be inspected by the student for deterioration before use.  Deteriorated or damaged PPE must be reported to the instructor immediately.
  1. Chemically resistant gloves must be washed after each use to remove residual contaminants from the glove and protect the next wearer.
  1. Remove smocks or coats (if worn) immediately upon significant chemical contamination

Classroom Rules:  The following basic rules must be explained to students along with any conditions that may be specific to the instructional area in which chemicals are to be used.

  1. Work areas shall be kept in a neat, orderly, and clean condition at all times.
  1. Work areas shall be cleaned upon completion of operation or activity. 
  1. Access to exits, emergency equipment, and utility controls must remain clear at all times.
  1. Liquid chemicals must be transported from the storage area in an outside container or bucket.
  1. Handle and store glassware with care to avoid breakage.  Use extra care when handling Dewar flasks and other evacuated glassware.
  1. Use equipment only for its designated purpose.
  1. Wash areas of exposed skin after handling specimens or chemicals.
  1. Intentional smelling or tasting of chemicals is prohibited unless directed by the instructor.
  1. Horseplay, practical jokes or other behavior which might confuse, startle or distract other personnel is prohibited. 
  1. Pipeting or siphonining by mouth is prohibited.
  1. Students are not allowed to take chemicals outside of the classroom.
  1. Compressed gas cylinders shall not be moved, handled, or connected by students.
  1. Broken glassware use is prohibited.
  1. Eating, drinking, gum chewing, or application of cosmetics while handling chemical substances is prohibited.  Special activities that are conducted in chemical use areas that also serve as classroom areas shall be allowed only after ensuring all potential sources of chemical contamination have been mitigated.  For example, food consumption inside the classroom shall only be allowed after all countertops, desks, and surface areas in which food may be placed is cleaned and wiped dry with a suitable detergent solution.  In such cases, food and drink shall not be consumed near chemical containers.
  1. Food or drinks shall not be placed in refrigerators, oven or hot plates used for chemical storage and use.
  1. Chemical glassware shall not be used as a container for food or drinks.
  1. Students may not handle chemical substances unless an instructor is present.
  1. Corrosive acids and flammable substances, if used, shall be stored in their respective safety cabinets.
  1. Never use a chemical from an unlabeled container.
  1. Students may not bring chemical substances to school from home.

Chemical Handling:  Students should be informed of the types and classes of hazardous chemicals they will be working with along with a description of the hazards posed by each class of chemicals as follows.  Discuss only those classes used in your classroom:

Chemical Class


Flammable Substances

Fire or explosion.  Solvents may defat the skin.  Many solvents are also toxic.

Corrosive Substances

Chemical burns to the skin, eyes and mucous membranes.  Uncontrolled reactions or rapid dissolution may cause splattering or explosion.

Water Reactive Substances

Many react with moisture in the air to generate fire, corrosive by-products, or toxic gases.

Compressed Gases

In addition to being toxic, gases can cause asphyxiation and death.  Uncontrolled release of gases can cause serious physical harm due to flying objects.


Many are shock or heat sensitive and can explode unexpectedly.  Contact with bare skin can cause severe chemical burns.

Toxic and Poisonous Substances

Over-exposure or exposure to unprotected areas of the body can result in toxic effects up to and including death.

Waste Disposal:  Indicate to the students the following basic waste disposal practices.

  1. Nothing may be disposed down the drain unless authorized by the instructor.
  2. Waste solvents must be placed in waste solvent cans located in the cabinet.
  3. Oils must be placed in oil cans located in the cabinet.
  4. Solvent or oil soaked rags must be placed in the rag can after use.
  5. Broken glass must be placed in “sharps” containers.
  6. Disposable gloves can be placed in regular garbage.