Knowledge of science is one key for understanding our world, while we need to keep safety in mind while we explore. Exploring is such a great way to learn science, leading to deeper understanding and memorable experiences. I like this quote: “Safety is a continuing journey, not a final destination.”
A side note: Being safe should be on our minds not only while doing science activities, but cooking, cleaning, crafting, gardening, car maintenance, and many other areas of home life also require precautions, personal protective equipment, and thought.
Another side note: Brandon Gaille, a marketing blogger, has a list of 155 catchy slogans: http://brandongaille.com/155-catchy-safety-slogans-for-the-workplace/
“Accidents hurt, Safety doesn’t. Be a safety hero – score an accident zero. Don’t be a fool, cause safety is cool, so make that your rule. Safety is a frame of mind – So concentrate on it all the time.” I’m totally geeking out!
Suggested rules for science activities
Main areas of concern for personal protective equipment are eyes, hearing, burns, chemicals, clothing protection, and fumes. A beginning kit could include lab glasses, gloves, aprons or lab coats, hair ties, and ear plugs. Each activity will need its own set of precautions and equipment. Think carefully to make choices and develop procedures for your local situation.
- Always wear goggles
- No eating or drinking in the experiment area!
- Wear closed-toe shoes
- When using flame, watch for loose clothing. Clip and tie back long hair. If a substance is in a closed container, don’t heat it! Heat-protective gloves or special tongs should be used to handle hot objects. Put out flames when finished.
- Check glass for cracks or breaks. Only adults should clean up broken glass. Clean glass carefully when finished.
- When using chemicals, only smell, touch, or taste if an adult says it is ok. Keep chemical containers closed when not measuring. Use a clean spoon or spatula when measuring chemicals. Do not return chemicals to container. If a chemical touches your skin, rinse immediately with water and tell an adult. Ask where to dispose used chemicals (most times, not the sink!).
- You will need more rules if you are working with living organisms or electricity.
- Lab glasses, chemical splash goggles
- Nitrile gloves, disposable gloves, oven gloves
- Ear plugs
- Hair ties, clips
- Polyethylene broom and dust pan
- Broken glass disposal box
- General Lab Safety resources from Flinn Scientific. Be sure to check out the Student Safety Contract.
- Safety in the Science Classroom. Books and resources from the National Science Teachers Association.
- Forms for the international rules and guidelines for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Contains checklists for assessing risk and planning for safe conduct.
- Guidelines from Science Buddies
- Order bifocal lab glasses like my sock monkey is wearing from Mfasco
Affiliate links: if you make a purchase using these links, I’ll receive a small compensation towards maintaining this blog, at no extra cost to you.
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3M 91252-8002S Tekk Protection Chemical Splash and Impact Resistant Goggle
Liberty DuraWear Vinyl Apron with Adjustable Ties, 35″ Width x 45″ Height x 6 mil Thick, Blue (Case of 12)
Howard Leight FUS30-HP Fusion Earplug Reg Corded In Hearpack (3 Pair)
Benchtop Disposal Box – VWR Broken Glass Disposal Carton – Model 56617-804 – Pack of 6
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Let’s talk story
With a chemical engineer, an engineering project manager, a physicist, an expert woodworker, and a chemist in the family, it’s probably no wonder that we are geeks about being safe. I’d be surprised if you’ve seen a family that gets more excited about discussing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)! I had the privilege a few years ago to be on the design team for the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NC State University. I had to do research and talk to experts about designing a lab that was safe for children and adults. I’ve been a believer ever since.
I’ll be looking for comments below, or contact me at lisa[at]thecasabouquet[dot]com.
Disclaimer: All information provided on this site is for entertainment purposes only. Using any information from thecasabouquet.com is at your own risk.