SC49 Biology

Safety Contract
Red Mountain High School


Purpose: Biology and Marine Biology are hands-on laboratory science classes.  You will be doing many laboratory activities which require the use of chemicals.  Safety in the biology classroom is the #1 priority for students, teachers, and parents.  To ensure a safe biology classroom, a list of rules has been developed and provided to you in this safety contract.  These rules must be followed at all times.  The Biology Course Acknowledgement agreement must be signed by both you and a parent or guardian before you can participate in the laboratory.  A copy of this contract will then be kept in your biology notebook as a constant reminder of the safety rules for the remainder of the course.


General Guidelines:

1.      Conduct yourself in a responsible manner at all times in the laboratory.


2.      There is NO GUM ALLOWED in Red Mountain High classes AT ANY TIME!!!  There are consequences associated with gum chewing including but not limited to:

      Detention, Loss of points, etc.

      This policy is to protect the student as well as the living and preserved organisms in our classes.


3.      Do not eat foods or drink beverages in class or in laboratory setting.


4.      Students must know the location of all safety equipment.  This includes the fire extinguisher, fire blanket and the eye wash station/safety shower.  Know the emergency exit plan.


5.      Follow all written and verbal instructions carefully.  If you do not understand an instruction – ALWAYS ask for help from your instructor before proceeding.


6.      NEVER work alone.  No student may work without an instructor present.


7.      When entering a class or laboratory, do not touch equipment, chemicals, specimens, or any other lab materials until you are instructed to do so.


8.      Perform only the experiments that are approved by your teacher.  Never do anything in the lab that is not called for in the procedures or by the instructor.  Carefully follow all directions, both written and verbal.  Any unauthorized experiments are prohibited.


9.      Be prepared for lab work.  Read all procedures before coming to class and reread before beginning the lab.


10.  No horseplay and/or “fooling around” in the lab.  Most accidents happen this way.  Practical jokes and pranks are DANGEROUS and prohibited.


11.  Observe good housekeeping practices.  Work area must be kept clean and organized at all times.  Bring only your instructions, worksheets or reports to the lab area.  All other things (backpacks, purses, books, etc.) MUST be left at your table.


12.  Proceed with caution at all times.  Immediately notify the instructor of ANY unsafe conditions you observe.


13.  All chemicals must be disposed of properly.  Never mix chemicals in the sink drain.  The sink is only for water and solutions the instructor approves.  Check with your instructor if you are unsure of how to dispose of a material.


14.  Read all labels carefully.  Chemicals and equipment must be used properly.  Set up and tear down must be approved by instructor.


15.  Before leaving the lab areas, wash your hands with warm water and soap.  Lab areas must be cleaned using the approved cleaner or warm soapy water and dried before leaving.  Return all equipment as you found it: clean and dry!


16.  Experiments must be monitored.  Do not leave your experiment for any reason.


17.  Do no enter the science office or teacher prep area without permission.


18.  Know what to do in case of a fire drill.  All containers must be sealed, electrical equipment turned off and/or burners extinguished.


19.  All living organisms are to be treated in a humane manner.  Treat all preserved specimens with respect and dispose of them properly.


20.  Use caution when using sharp instruments.  Always carry them with tips or points pointing away from you or others.  Grasp sharp objects only by the handles.  Do not try to catch falling sharp objects.



21.  Any time chemicals, heat or glassware are used, students will wear goggles while in the lab area.  The lab area is designated by the teacher.  There will be no exceptions to this rule!


22.  Contact lenses should not be worn in the laboratory unless you have permission from your instructor.  ALL students must return the contact lens information paper, signed by the parent/guardian, before they will be allowed to participate in lab work.


23.  Lab aprons are available for student use upon request.  Please protect your clothing!


24.  Long hair must be tied back at all times in the laboratory.  If you have long hair (male or female) you must keep with you at ALL TIMES a method of pulling your hair back: Elastic band, Scrunchie, etc.


Accidents and Injuries:

25.  Report any accident (spill, breakage, etc.) or injury (cut, burn, etc.) to the instructor, no matter how trivial it may appear.  If you spill something on YOU, rinse it off first, then tell the instructor.  If you spill something on the counter, floor, etc., tell the instructor first.  You will then be directed how to clean it up.


26.  If a chemical should splash in your eye(s), IMMEDIATELY rinse your eyes for at least 20 minutes in the eye wash.  You or your partner must notify the instructor immediately.


Handling Chemicals:


This includes but is not limited to:

-         Isopropynol/Ethanol

-         Cleaning chemicals

-         Bleach

-         Mercury/Quiksilver

-         Any chemical not approved by the district or state to be in our classroom or schools!


28.  All chemicals should be considered dangerous.  Do NOT touch, taste, or smell any chemicals unless specifically instructed to do so.  The proper method for smelling chemicals will be demonstrated for you by your instructor.


29.  Always check the label at least twice before removing a chemical from its container.


30.  Only take as much as you need.  Your result will not be the same if you use too much.  LESS is MORE.  Remember to be conservative.  Excess chemicals are to be disposed of properly.


31.  NEVER return unused chemicals to the supply container.


32.  When transferring chemicals between containers, keep the containers away from your body.


33.  When transferring containers to a new location, hold securely and walk SLOWLY.


34.  Never remove stock bottles from the supply area(s).


35.  Never remove chemicals from the laboratory area.


36.  Acids must be handled with extreme care.  You will receive specific instructions as needed.


Handling Glassware and Equipment:

37.  Never handle broken glass with you bare hands.  Use a brush and dustpan to clean up broken glass on the floor or counter top.  Use forceps or tweezers to pick broken glass out of the sink.  Place ALL broken or waste glassware in the designated glass disposal container.


38.  Examine glassware before EACH use.  Do not use it if there are cracks, chips, or if it is dirty.


39.  If a piece of glass tubing in a stopper needs adjustment – take it to your instructor.


40.  When removing an electrical plug from the socket, grasp the plug NOT the cord.  Hands must by dry before plugging in or unplugging a piece of equipment.


41.  Report damaged electrical equipment immediately.  Look for things such as frayed cords, exposed wires, and lose connections.  Do not use damaged electrical equipment.


42.  If you do not understand how to use a piece of equipment, ask the instructor for help.


43.  Do NOT immerse/submerge hot glassware in cold water.  It may shatter!


Heating Substances:

44.  Exercise extreme caution when using a burner/hot plate.


45.  Keep all flammable substances away from a burner/hot plate.  Do not put any substance into a flame unless instructed to do so.


46.  Never leave a burner/hot plate unattended.  Turn off burner/hot plate when not in use.


47.  Heated glass and other materials remain hot for a long time.  Use caution at all times.  Use hot pads or tongs to pick up warm/hot materials and glassware.


48.  You will be instructed in the proper method of heating and boiling liquids in test tubes and beakers.  Do not point the open end of the test tube or beaker being heated at yourself or anyone else.


49.  Heated metals and glass remain very hot for a long time.  Hot and cold glassware have the same visual appearance.  They should be set aside to cool and picked up with caution.  Use tongs or test tube clamp, if necessary.  Use caution at all times.


50.  Never look into a container or substance that is being heated.


51.  Do not place hot apparatus directly on the lab counter.  Always use an insulating pad.  Allow plenty of time for hot materials/equipment to cool before touching it.