CSB, ACS remind educators of importance of lab safety in the classroom

Numerous incidents occur in educational, lab demonstrations

Posted August 22, 2018

The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) issued a statement reminding educators and students of the importance of safely performing laboratory experiments and classroom demonstrations to prevent injuries.

According to the CSB, from January 2001 to July 2018, over 260 incidents occurred during educational demonstrations and laboratory experiments in a laboratory, experimentation, or presentation setting, leading to numerous injuries and in some cases fatalities.

The CSB and ACS encourage educators and students to adopt the CSB’s key lessons:

  • Do not use bulk containers of flammable chemicals in educational demonstrations when small quantities are sufficient.
  • Implement strict safety controls when demonstrations require handling hazardous chemicals – including written procedures, effective training, and the required use of appropriate personal protective equipment for all participants.
  • Conduct a comprehensive hazard review prior to performing any educational demonstration.
  • Provide a safety barrier between the demonstration and the audience.

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