Author Archives: Kenneth Roy

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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Hand and Power Tool Safety

There are many safety hazards associated with the use of hand and power tools, and teachers and students should be trained to recognize them and understand what safety precautions should be taken to avoid them. Safety Precautions For hand tool … Continue reading

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How to Properly Dispose Chemical Hazardous Waste

Most middle and high school science laboratories produce chemical hazardous waste, but what exactly is it, and how do you dispose of it appropriately? Chemical waste is a substance that poses a hazard to human health or the environment, including … Continue reading

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Reducing the Risk of Liability in the Lab

If a student gets injured while taking part in a laboratory activity, the science teacher and school district have potential liability for their failure to prevent the harm to the student. This blog post describes the duty of care of … Continue reading

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Fridge and Freezer Safety

This blog post describes steps teachers should take to ensure that laboratory freezers and refrigerators are free from safety hazards. Science teachers should adhere to the following standard operating procedures, via the University of Texas at Austin. • Designate one … Continue reading

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