The ACS Committee on Chemical Safety has published new Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety in Secondary Schools. This document is organized with the R.A.M.P. concept – Recognize the hazard, Assess the risk of the hazard, Minimize the risk of the hazard, and Prepare for emergencies. The online document includes two pages for each letter that could be printed and posted in the classroom to reinforce these principles of safety. The documents are provided to strengthen the safety practices of teachers and help them to promote a culture of safety that their students will take with them throughout their academic and professional careers.
Suggested learning outcomes are provided that teachers can use to integrate safety practice and assessment into their curriculum. Science teachers should be familiar with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) by now. The words and symbols used within GHS and the information found in Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are reviewed. All of these will help teachers and students to assess the hazards and risks associated with any lab activity.
Lists of incompatible chemicals, common hazards, important terms, as well as glassware and equipment are provided. Suggestions for disposal of chemicals and protocol for emergencies round out the advice. A sample safety contract is included and parent and student signatures are recommended. The authors even provide suggested responses to violations of the student code of conduct. This document should be shared with your science education network.
Check the Committee’s website for more safety information and resources.