Lab Accidents

The US Chemical Safety Board is an independent federal agency in Washington DC. They investigate industrial accidents. They just released a video of a young woman speaking about a high school chemistry class accident she was a victim of. She was watching her chemistry teacher perform a common demonstration in which salts are dissolved in alcohol and lit to show the variety of flame colors produced. This is a reminder of how diligent we must be to avoid putting ourselves and our students in dangerous situations. For me, it raises several questions. Is there real value to these types of demos in our classes that make it worth the risk? Have chemistry teachers been adequately trained in safety? Who is responsible for making sure the teacher is trained in safety and using sound safety protocol?

Watch the video.

Video 1: After the Rainbow video released by the US Chemical Safety Board Dec 2013 (accessed 12/18/2013)