Plants & Human Affairs - Introduction
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Laboratory Safety 

For maximum safety and efficiency in the laboratory the following "rules" must be followed at ALL times.

General Rules:

  1. You are responsible for your own safety and that of your neighbors. Work slowly, and carefully and don't take chances. Don't fool around - that's when accidents happen. "Horse-play" can be dangerous and can endanger your neighbors.
  2. No eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum or tobacco, or applying cosmetics in the laboratory.
  3. Shoes must be worn at all times. No sandals or open-toed shoes.
  4. Do not work alone in the laboratory. You must always be supervised.
  5. Report all accidents, no matter how small, to your instructor immediately.
  6. Never pipette any solution by mouth.
  7. Perform only authorized experiments.
  8. Clean up all spills immediately. Report serious spills (i.e. acids, bases, organic solvents to your instructor.)
  9. Always wash your hands before leaving lab. It is a good idea to wash your hands at intervals during your experiments.
  10. Learn the location of appropriate safety equipment including first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, safety shower, eyewash station, and acid/alkali spill clean up materials.
  11. Many living organisms are biological hazards (i.e. poisonous, pathogens) and must be handled with extreme care. Contact your instructor for proper handling techniques.

 Lab Etiquette:

  1. You are responsible for the care and proper use of all assigned equipment.
  2. Never pipette reagents directly from stock bottles. Always transfer required amount to a beaker and pipette from it. Or, use the pipette provided with the reagent.
  3. Do not return unused reagents to the stock bottle.
  4. Label all materials with your name, date, and section. Do not write directly on glassware, but write on tape. Use a pencil or special lab marking pen.
  5. Never heat flammable solvents (i.e. methanol) over an open flame. Use a steam bath, heating mantle, etc.
  6. Do not use broken or chipped glassware. Return it to your instructor.
  7. Be certain to read the labels on reagent bottles before using them. Use the proper reagents in your experiment.
  8. Do not bring materials to be used by the entire class to your table.
  9. The laboratory door must remain closed for efficient ventilation.
  10. Only materials required for your experiments (i.e. notebook, pen, equipment) should be on your lab table. Leave books, coats, etc. in the hall.
  11. Clean up your work space and materials at the end of your experiment. Wash your dishes and remove all labels.
  12. Dispose all materials properly. Consult your instructor for proper techniques. Do not throw solids in the sink.
  13. Do not open petri dishes contaminated with fungi or bacteria in the laboratory. They must be autoclaved first or thrown away. Consult your instructor.
  14. Before using any equipment, be sure you know how to operate it. You will be charged for breakage due to improper or careless handling. This also applies to any equipment rendered useless because of failure to clean it properly.


    Safety goggles and/or gloves will be required for several experiments. You must wear the appropriate safety equipment to participate in these labs. I will have some available for you - or, you can bring your own (preferable).

Link to Safety Contract

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Last updated:  08/25/2008 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe