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Suggested minimum safety equipment


Relevant items from the following list must be readily accessible in a classroom during science activities. Most of them could be stored in a large plastic box that can be easily taken to the classroom when required.

  • Fire extinguisher or bucket of sand (for smothering small fires)
  • Fire blanket
  • First-aid kit
  • Source of water (such as a bucket of water)
  • Rubber-hose shower attachment (to use as a safety shower)
  • Plastic jug (to use for washing eyes with clean water)
  • Safety glasses or goggles
  • Lab coats (old shirts)
  • A container for broken glass and other sharp materials. See the printed version, page 30 of Safety and Science: A Guidance Manual for New Zealand Schools.
Safety procedures

It is advisable for students to wear some form of protective clothing, such as an old shirt, when carrying out chemical reactions or using biological materials.

Safety glasses or goggles should be worn if the particular activity involves a risk to eyes. Safety glasses require regular sterilisation, preferably by ultraviolet light. Local hospitals, universities, or research institutes may be able to carry out the sterilisation.

Cutlery used in science activities must be clearly labelled at school and kept separate from cutlery used for eating.