Author Archives: Kenneth Roy

Chemical Management

Middle and high school science teachers often have or should have the task of retrofitting their chemical storeroom. Critical issues such as what chemicals are acceptable for use and grade appropriate, how should they be labeled, how should they be … Continue reading

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Safety Training for Non-Science Instructors

Unlike science teachers, non-science educators have little to no training in hazard analysis, risk assessment, or safety-related issues. As a result, non-science employees, such as teachers of other subjects or special education and paraprofessionals, need to learn about the duty … Continue reading

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Safer Storage

From a safety and environmental regulation standpoint, proper storage is a critical issue. Teachers and their supervisors must secure appropriate storage spaces in science labs, especially during renovations or new construction projects. Continue reading

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Safer Science Labs

A Manhattan jury recently awarded nearly $60 million in damages to a former Beacon High School student who was badly burned by a teacher’s botched chemistry experiment more than five years ago. The student suffered third-degree burns over 30% of … Continue reading

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How Safe Are Biological Stains?

In middle and high school science labs, biological stains, such as basic fuchsin, crystal violet, and Congo red, are used to enhance properties of microscopic plant and animal cells/tissues. Fortunately, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) note that some of these popular … Continue reading

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Safety Labels for Hazardous Chemicals

The OSHA Laboratory Standard 29 CFR 1910.1450 details specific recommendations when labeling and storing hazardous chemicals within school laboratories. First of all, the laboratory standard [(1910.1450(h)(1)(i)] requires that labels on incoming containers not be removed or defaced. Incoming container refers … Continue reading

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Heat Source Safety

Many hands-on STEM activities and demonstrations require the use of a heat source. The challenge is to determine the appropriate heat source based on safety while still meeting the needs of the activity. For example, the Bunsen burner is perhaps … Continue reading

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Addressing Electrical Hazards in the Lab

Accidents in the lab involving electricity can produce fire, smoke, electrocutions, and explosions. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “electrical equipment shall be free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm … Continue reading

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Preventing Science Laboratory Fires

Most science and STEM laboratories contain chemicals and electrical wiring that could cause smoke or fires. For this reason, the National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 45 (section 6.3) standard, in accordance with NFPA 10, requires portable fire extinguishers to be … Continue reading

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Laboratory Evacuation Training for Science Teachers

School science labs need to be evacuated in the event of a fire, chemical spill, gas leak, the release of chemical toxins, or other laboratory incident or building issue. The top priority in an emergency evacuation is to ensure all … Continue reading

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