ChemLab: General Information


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General Safety Rules
Safe laboratory practice is based on understanding and respect, not fear. The regulations below are intended to help you work safely with chemical reagents. These guidelines cover ordinary hazards and apply to any laboratory experiments you will encounter. Your instructors will discuss specific safety precautions relevant to each experiment during laboratory lecture. Your laboratory textbook or manual will point out specific hazards and precautions. Before beginning an experiment, be sure you have this information at hand and that you understand it. Do not hesitate to consult with your instructors if you have questions about any experiment or about these regulations.

When you have read the following information carefully and feel you understand it, please read and sign the Chemistry Laboratory Safety Regulations Agreement, at the beginning of the lab manual. At the start of your first lab session you will turn the signed Safety Agreement in to the faculty instructor. Only then will you be permitted to begin laboratory work.

Safety Rules in the Chem Lab

1. Working alone in the laboratory is strictly forbidden. Students may work in instructional laboratories only during regularly scheduled times and then only when supervised by an authorized Teaching Assistant or a member of the faculty.

2. Approved safety goggles must be worn at all times when in a laboratory. You are responsible for bringing your own pair of approved goggles to lab each week.

3. Students may only perform authorized experiments and then only at the assigned time.

4. Open flames (burners, matches, etc.) are not permitted.

5. Use every precaution to keep all chemicals off your skin and clothing, out of your nose, mouth and eyes, and away from flames. It is strictly forbidden to eat or drink anything (including water) in the laboratory.

6. Long hair and billowy clothing must be confined when in the laboratory. Shoes are mandatory; sandals or open-toed shoes are not allowed, even if socks are worn. Shorts and skirts must cover the knees.

7. All laboratory workers must know the location and proper use of all laboratory safety equipment, including eyewash, safety shower, fire extinguisher, and telephone. You will be expected to locate all safety equipment during the first week's lab.

8. You should know how to exit the lab via two different exits, in the event of an emergency.

9. All accidents, including contact with chemicals, cuts, burns, or inhalation of fumes must be reported to an instructor immediately. Any treatment beyond emergency first aid will be referred to the student infirmary. Severe emergencies will be referred to the Hospital emergency room.

10. It is your responsibility to read and abide by the "Laboratory Safety" section of the lab manual and to keep it with you in the laboratory. Any other safety handouts or special precautions mentioned during lab lecture must be scrupulously observed.

11. Laboratory equipment and work area must be cleaned after finishing work each week.

12. Failure to observe laboratory safety rules and procedures may result in injury to you or to fellow students. For a first violation, you may be asked to leave the laboratory for the day, while for repeated violations, you may be dropped from the course with a grade of E, at the discretion of the instructor.

It is in your own best interest to stay alert and to be aware of possible hazards in the laboratory. Do not hesitate to call unsafe practices by your colleagues to the attention of the instructors.
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