In the past years, the Australian government has been implementing a national move on encouraging youngsters to join STEM. With this focus, the academe has been consistently collaborating with scientists, mathematicians, and tech experts to sustain this education enhancement. This collaboration impacts school curriculum and programs, possibly increasing demands for optimizing science laboratories and hiring school lab supervisors. Consequently, safety measures in the lab such as safety shower testing must be studied and familiarized carefully by lab supervisors.
How do you secure the lab experience for students and maximize lab activity? If you’re a school lab supervisor or a fresh graduate who wants to refresh their knowledge about safety management in the lab, then here are some reminders:
The state’s standard safety policies of school laboratory
There are state policies in Queensland that professionals need to conform in to enforce the proper safety precautions in a school laboratory.
If you’re a new school lab supervisor from a Brisbane educational institute, you can look for the online document indicating a school lab’s standard preservation and operating strategies in the Dept. of Education’s website. The digital document is parted into different sections from managing for-activity-only lab tools to recommended control measures in high-risk chemicals.
Laboratory supervisors are strongly encouraged to acquire the necessary knowledge even in a low-risk lab activity. They must also have prior experience if the students are required by the curriculum to engage with a medium to high-risk activity. Meanwhile, according to the document, supervisors must refer to Cert IV Environmental Management and Sustainability if they have enquiries about safety shower testing and getting an emergency shower and eyewash.
Basic school lab facilities and equipment
In order to secure a safe and effective laboratory area, lab supervisors must make sure to label every chemical container properly. They should also compose a safety sheet or checklist for each chemical with its corresponding and accurate material data with relevant information regardless of the activity’s degree of risk. It must also be easily accessible by the authorized lab personnel.
Meanwhile, to also avoid theft, supervisors must also keep the labeled chemical containers in a secure, private area. It’s also essential to provide enough amount of ventilation for areas that need space and air space. With that being said, never forget to check if the working area is well-ventilated for the students.
Preventive measures and risk management
Spillage and accidental contact with chemicals are always possible. However, preventive measures exist to prevent those from happening. If you really want to learn from qualified experts about spill response, you can try contacting Absorb Environmental Solutions.
You can suggest to your school’s admin to let you and the other lab supervisors enroll in a course about spill response called “Absorb Plus – Environmental Awareness and Spill Kit Induction + Practical”. This course is intended for those who may have to deal with liquid spillage every now and then. It costs for about $75 per enrollee and $750 per session.
The Queensland state government suggests school chem lab supervisors to reduce the possibility of spillage and accidents by following these set of actions:
- Limit chemical amounts used
- Orient students on proper handling of containers and washing
- Restrict kids from playing around the lab and moving unnecessarily
- Strongly prohibit usage of chemicals in large, unsupervised quantities
- Make sure that you have an eye wash station Australian standards require these days.
- Familiarize the handling, using, and disposing of chemicals. The Electrical Safety Guidelines is also a must-read for passionate lab supervisors.
- Study safety shower testing. Safety shower testing is making sure that potable water is readily available and working. Visit us at https://absorbenviro.com.au/.