Author Archives: Kenneth Roy

Extended Lab Shut-down Closeout

I. Best of Times, Worst of Times With the extended closing of schools resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, it is possible that some school district may need to be closed for the balance of the academic year. In any case, … Continue reading

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Being Shielded to Avoid A Safety Pickle!

I. Demonstration Hazards A common demonstration that science teachers have used over the years is titled “The Electric Pickle.” It illustrates the fact that when an electric current passes through a salt solution, the sodium ions will emit a signature … Continue reading

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LAB SAFETY/SECURITY! (Part II)

I. The Wake-up Call For effective science laboratory safety and security, appropriate preparation is critical! The January 2019 NSTA Blog commentary focused on building preparation for safety and security. This February commentary focuses on providing some specific strategies for making … Continue reading

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School Facility Safety/Security! (Part 1)

I. Unsecured School Facilities School buildings can be a potentially dangerous place for teachers and students if safety and security are ignored. For example, science labs have potential biological, chemical and physical hazards which can be present health and safety … Continue reading

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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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