Mr. Walker's Lab Safety Rules & Procedures


BE PREPARED for your work in the laboratory. Read all procedures thoroughly before entering the laboratory.

THE STOCK ROOM is off limits to students unless under supervision of instructor.


SAFETY GOGGLES must be worn at all times during an experiment, which calls for eye protection.

CONTACT LENSES in the laboratory are strongly discouraged. Contact lenses may act as sponges and absorb vapors of some chemicals.  This could lead to serious eye irritation, damage or infection.You may ask your instructor for permission to wear contact lenses in the laboratory. Parents must sign a statement that states that they will accept responsibility for any injury caused by wearing contact lenses.

APRONS (or Lab Coats) are required during most experiments.

SHOES must be closed toe (not sandals)

CLOTHING should cover your legs for your personal protection. Loose or baggy clothing are hazardous and must be secured, and jackets are not allowed. 

HAIR longer than shoulder length and loose clothing must be confined when working in the laboratory. Remember that hair is extremely flammable.

DANGLING JEWELRY and rings are not allowed during experiments. 


UNAUTHORIZED EXPERIMENTS and the use of any equipment in an unauthorized or unsafe manner are strictly forbidden.

HORSEPLAY, practical jokes, boisterous conduct and excessive noise are strictly prohibited.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES are prohibited in the laboratory. Do not use chemical apparatus for eating or drinking.

WORK WITH YOUR PARTNER and do not visit or socialize with other lab stations. Do not wander around the room, distract other students, or interfere with the laboratory experiments of others.

WASH YOUR HANDS at the end of the laboratory session before you exit the laboratory. Keep your hands away from your face as much as possible when in the lab.


CHEMICAL SPILLS onto your skin must be immediately washed with water. You or a fellow student must notify the instructor as soon as possible.

CHEMICALS should never be tasted. When you are instructed to smell a chemical, do so by gently fanning the vapors toward your face.

MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets Search) are available in lab and online for all chemicals in use. These will inform you of any hazards and precautions of which you should be aware.

TEST TUBES  should never be pointed toward you or your neighbor when heating or carrying out a reaction. It may boil out rapidly and unexpectedly into their eyes and face.

BUNSEN BURNERS should not be left unattnded when lit, and should be near the center of your table.

GLASS TUBING should always be used with a test tube manipulator or towel when inserting rods, tubing or thermometers into stoppers. The glass must be lubricated with water or glycerol. Tubing ends must always be firepolished. Make sure that the glass is cool before you touch it. HOT GLASS LOOKS JUST LIKE COOL GLASS!

CHEMICAL APPARATUS must be examined for defects before performing any experiments. You must not use damaged, cracked or otherwise dangerous glassware. Dispose of broken glassware in the boxes provided in the laboratory. If you break a thermometer (or find a broken thermometer), report it to your instructor immediately.

SINKS must be kept clean. Solid matter not soluble in water (notably paper, towels, broken glass, stoppers and rubber tubing) must be kept out of the sinks at all times to minimize the danger of plugging drains. Do not wash chemicals down the drain unless instructed to.

BENCH TOPS & FLOORS must be kept as free from unnecessary apparatus as possible. Keep a paper towel handy and clean up chemical spills (including water) immediately. The desk top must be cleaned thoroughly before leaving the laboratory. Keep aisles clear. Push your chair under the desk when not in use.

ACIDS are added to water. When diluting concentrated acids ALWAYS pour the acid slowly into the water with stirring; NEVER ADD WATER TO CONCENTRATED ACIDS because of the danger of spattering.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT is located at various places in the lab. Know the location of the fire blanket, eyewash stations, safety shower, fire extinguisher and any other safety equipment.

  • Consider all chemicals to be hazardous unless you are instructed otherwise.
  • When transferring chemicals from one container to another, hold the containers away from your body.
  • Do not hold a container while someone else fills it.
  • Graduated Cylinders should always be held when they contain chemicals. Keep cylinders laid down near the center of the table when not in use.
  • Work in the center of your lab table. Do not place items near the edge of the table that can be easily knocked over. 
  • Do not reach over burners.
  • Hold containers over the sink when filling.
  • Fill wash bottles only with distilled water and use only as intended, e.g., rinsing glassware and equipment, or adding water to a container.


    Additional safety precautions will be announced in class prior to experiments where a potential danger exists. Students who fail to follow all safety rules may be asked to leave the lab and/or suffer grading penalties.