Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Safety in the Laboratory

Rosemary Wilson
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students are instructed by the teacher as to the locations and uses of all the safety devices in the laboratory. They are then required to sign a safety agreement which assures their commitment to safety in the laboratory.


The student understands the importance of a sense of responsibility, a commitment to peer review, truthful reporting of the methods and outcomes of investigations, and making the public aware of the findings.


-Safety Laboratory Report sheets for each student (See Associated File)
-Safety Agreement sheets for each student (See Associated File)
-Film, -Lab Safety: The Accident at Jefferson High,- directed by Peter Matulavich, Barr Films, 1986


1. Have copies of the Safety Laboratory Report sheets ready for distribution.
2. Have copies of the Safety Agreement ready for signing.
3. Arrange for film, -Accident At Jefferson High.-


Tell the students the basic rules for safety in the laboratory.
1. Follow instructions.
2. Clean up spills immediately.
3. Tie back long hair.
4. Carry chemicals defensively.
5. Wear approved safety goggles.
6. Do not pick up hot objects with bare hands.
7. Notify teacher of any problems.
8. Dispose of chemicals properly.
9. Avoid awkward transfers.
10. Clean up laboratory areas and replace all equipment where teacher instructs you to do so.
11. Wash hands thoroughly.
(You may want to add more rules of your own below.)
12. _____________________
13. _____________________
14. _____________________

2. Have the students walk around the laboratory with you showing them the various safety devices in your lab. Explain the function of each and describe the proper time for use.

3. Explain to students the different classifications of fires;
a. wood or paper
b. oil or grease
c. electrical
4. Explain the different types of fire extinguishers;
a. Class ‘A’ fights wood or paper fires.
b. Class ‘B’ fights oil or grease fires.
c. Class ‘C’ fights electrical fires.
d. Class ‘D’ fights all classifications of fires.

5. Remind students that it is a Federal offense to tamper with a fire extinguisher.

6. Explain that any gas with a color is poisonous. However, that does not mean that all colorless gases are non-poisonous. Carbon monoxide is a perfect example of a poisonous gas which is colorless.

7. Stress to the students that they should react to an emergency situation if one arises and they need to know the uses and locations of the safety equipment in order to do so.

8. When you have finished showing the safety devices and the students are seated, require them to sign a safety agreement which states they will abide by the rules of your laboratory to insure an accident-free environment. Read aloud the articles of the safety agreement so that they know what they are being required to sign.

9. Show the film ‘Accident At Jefferson High’. Require the students to take notes during the film.


1. Students submit a written laboratory report which will be assessed according to its comprehension of safety, location and use of safety equipment and language skills.
2. Include the question ‘Where is the fire extinguisher in the laboratory located?’ on the chapter test.
3. Include the question, 'What are the three classifications of fires?’ on the chapter test.


This safety lab activity is a prerequisite for all students before they can perform experiments.

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