In the time spent within the chemical laboratory, several safety precautions must be taken. First and foremost, wear goggles at all times. Goggles can be placed over prescription glasses but not put over contacts. Students must wear appropriate attire. Revealing clothes and open shoes should be avoided. Wearing long sleeves and long pants are ideal. Prior to mixing or interfering with any chemicals, read the labels twice to prevent any mistakes. Should there be any confusion, ask the lab professor. When transporting chemicals use carts with side railing to prevent any chance of the chemicals spilling.
Nothing should be consumed while in the lab. No outside food is allowed, including mint and gum. And definitely, no consumption of chemicals is allowed. Students should pretend that all chemicals are dangerous. If one is trying to smell a solution, never inhale directly from the container. Rather, cup your hands and waft the smell to your nose. Should any chemicals get in someone’s eyes, lead him or her directly to the eyewash and immediately flush out the chemical. When working with chemicals in beakers, be careful when touching the container. It may be hot. Hence, use tongs to prevent any burns. If anything spills and/or glass breaks, clean it up immediately. If the person feels uncomfortable cleaning the mess, he or she can ask someone else. Be wary of where things are disposed of. Don’t pour anything down the drain unless told to do so. If a person pours out too much of a chemical, he or she should never pour the excess back into the original container. This leads to contamination and should rather be disposed of. By following these guidelines, lab exercises can be fun yet also safe.