Chemistry Notes: Ideas about experiment risk assessments
Doc Brown's chemistry revision notes: basic school chemistry science GCSE chemistry, IGCSE chemistry, O level & ~US grades 8, 9 and 10 school science courses or equivalent for ~14-16 year old science students for national examinations in chemistry
SOME GENERAL RISK ASSESSMENT IDEAS IN CHEMISTRY
and further Chemistry - Rates of reaction investigation ideas
This not some definitive list and is more appropriate to chemistry, but it should give you some idea how to think on risk assessment for some coursework project or assignment. Some of the health and safety aspects listed will help you with your RISK ASSESSMENT when designing and performing e.g. 'Rates of Reaction' experiments and many other experimental procedures. Some aspects listed are applicable to 'rates/kinetics' assignments, others are not applicable at all. Its up to you to decide!
'Area' of potential risk for either student or teacher
RISK ASSESSMENT (1) EQUIPMENT and its SAFE USE
|setting up a gas syringe with a stand and clamp, not too tight, but stable, check connections to flask
|holding material in tongs or test tube holder safely e.g. at the correct angle
|danger of test tube cracking on heating
|over-heating danger (bunsen position, flame size etc.)
|need for sand tray e.g. in oil distillation demonstration
|danger of test tubes falling out of rack
|water supply or reagent bottles near lab pack e.g. electrolysis experiments
|putting stoppers back on bottles, and on the right bottle to avoid contamination
|* ensure safe working space around you, not to close to anyone else
|* standing to do experiments, always?
|only take the quantities of chemicals instructed or required
|connecting bung in test tubes or flasks
|setting up and filling a burette, use funnel and pour carefully and lower burette to convenient level
|any of the chemicals flammable or oxidising? take with bunsen or the wrong chemicals being mixed!
|setting up equipment safely eg stand and clamp correct and stable, many situations, several mentioned above
|need for fume cupboard?
|RISK ASSESSMENT (2) GENERAL HEALTH and SAFETY
|* harmful gas/vapour e.g. alkanes, acid expts, chlorine may be irritating, poisonous, flammable ...
|* asthma suffers - increased risk of irritation
|inappropriate use of, or play with, spills/splints etc.
|inappropriate use of paper to light a bunsen
|* irritating/harmful chemicals on hands, face etc. action
|* need for plastic gloves? hazard or skin allergy risk?
|safety glasses (always class practical, demonstration?)
|need for safety screen in demonstration
|how close can the pupils be to the safety screen?
|RISK ASSESSMENT (3) ACCIDENT ACTION & TIDY UP
|clearing away chemicals and equipment safely, take care to avoid spillage or breaking expensive apparatus
|action required for anticipated accidents, read hazcards on both the chemicals and experimental procedures
|spillage kit for any chemical used, where special treatment is required
|disposal kit for hazardous chemicals that cannot be poured down the sink.
WARNING SYMBOLS (signs or labels)
A brief description of what the hazard might be.
Biohazard: Biohazardous materials include anything that may cause disease in living organisms or cause significant impact to the environment or community.
These are important symbols to know when dealing with
|For all experiments, appropriate risk assessments should be done and hazcards studied etc. This section just illustrates the use of hazard warning signs with common examples, and may NOT provide sufficient detail for specific experiments, concentrations, coursework write up etc., but Google can!
|Examples of what might be labelled/classified with this hazard warning sign (definitions above)
|Irritant: Most acidic and alkaline solutions unless very dilute; acidic gases like chlorine, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide; bleaches
|Harmful - poisonous but not toxic: Some acids e.g. nitric acid; acidic gases like chlorine, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide; bleaches; heavy metal ions e.g. of lead, barium and copper (e.g. as copper sulfate) some salts e.g. silver nitrate,
|Corrosive: All concentrated acidic and alkaline solutions e.g. conc. sulfuric acid, conc. sodium hydroxide solution, non-metals like bromine
|Highly flammable: Most organic solvents, petrol and other hydrocarbon fuels, alkali metals?
|Toxic - very poisonous: Chlorine, iodine, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic and compounds
|Oxidising: Chlorine and oxygen gases, potassium manganate(VII), potassium chlorate (in some weed killers), peroxides
|Radioactive: Radioisotopes giving off dangerous ionising radiation
|Explosive: TNT, hydrogen, fireworks, peroxides
|Biohazard: organisms and viruses infectious to humans, animals or plants (e.g. parasites, viruses, bacteria, fungi); and biologically active agents (i.e. toxins, allergens, venoms)
|Carcinogenic: nitrates, organic aromatic compounds like phenols,
Website content © Dr Phil Brown 2000+. All copyrights reserved on Doc Brown's Chemistry revision notes, images, quizzes, worksheets etc. Copying of website material is NOT permitted. Exam revision summaries & references to science course specifications are unofficial. Doc Brown's Chemistry KS4 science GCSE and US grade 8-10 level Chemistry Revision Notes for help when revising for AQA GCSE chemistry, Edexcel GCSE chemistry, OCR GCSE gateway science chemistry, OCR GCSE 21st century science chemistry GCSE 9-1 chemistry examinations.
ENTER chemistry words e.g. topic, module, exam board, formula, compound, reaction, structure, concept, equation, any 'phrase', homework question! anything of chemical interest, like your latest homework question! or anything of scientific interest! This is a very comprehensive Google generated search of my website. Using SEARCH some initial results may be ad links you can ignore - look for docbrown in the page URL.