All experiments in your laboratory manual are micro-scale or small-scale, which reduces most potential risks. However, there can still be unforeseen risks. The need to prevent injuries and accidents cannot be overemphasized!
Use of the lab manual and the LabPaq are expressly conditioned upon your agreeing to follow all safety precautions and accept full responsibility for your own actions. Thus, it is prudent to review the LabPaq’s basic safety rules and relevant safety precautions. You should study the safety section of the manual until you can honestly state the following:
I know that, except for water, most solvents such as toluene, alcohols, acetone, ethers, ethyl acetate, etc., are highly flammable and should never be used near an open flame.
I know that the heat created when water is added to concentrated acids is sufficient to cause spattering. When preparing dilute acid solutions, I will always add the acid to the water (rather than the water to the acid) while slowly stirring the mixture.
I know that it is wise to wear rubber gloves when handling acids and other dangerous chemicals, that acid spills should be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and that acid spilled on the skin or clothes should be washed off immediately with a lot of cold water.
I know that many chemicals produce toxic fumes and that I should follow cautious procedures when smelling any chemical. When I wish to smell a chemical, I will never hold it directly under my nose but instead will use my hand to waft vapours toward my nose. When I experiment at home, I will keep a window or door open while performing experiments.
I will always handle glassware with respect and promptly replace any defective glassware because even a small crack can cause glass to break when heated. To avoid cuts and injuries, I will immediately clean up and properly dispose of any broken glassware.
I will avoid burns by testing glass and metal objects for heat before handling. I know that the preferred first aid for burns is to immediately hold the burned area under cold water for several minutes.
I know that serious accidents can occur if the wrong chemical is used in an experiment. I will always carefully read the label before removing any chemical from its container.
I will avoid the possibility of contamination and accidents by never returning an unused chemical to its original container. To avoid waste I will try to pour out only the approximate amount of chemicals required.
I will select a work area that is inaccessible to children and pets while experiments are in progress. I will not leave experiments unattended, and I will not leave my work area while chemical equipment is set up unless the room will be locked.
To avoid the potential for accidents, I will clear my home-lab workspace of all non-laboratory items before setting up my lab equipment and chemical experiments.
Before beginning an experiment, I will first read all directions and then assemble and organize all required equipment