Occupational health and safety


Chemistry Experiment using reflux and distillation

Chemistry Experiment using reflux and distillation: Is there an organic practical that uses two of reflux, distillation and liquid-liquid extraction that does not require a fume hood? The most common practical is esterification, but as I understand it that needs a fume hood and probably a water bath, and at present I don't have access to either. Or can I do it without those since it is under reflux?

Preparation of Equipment for Dissections

Preparation of Equipment for Dissections: Is it now a requirement that all dissection equipment be disinfected BEFORE being dispensed to a class?

I usually put all items through the dishwasher after dissections and they come out completely clean. Is it required that we then disinfect the items after this process?

Bromine Water

Bromine Water: I have been asked to make up bromine water for testing its reaction with hydrocarbons. I know that this is very toxic and requires an S7 Poisons Permit. Would the alternative "bromine water" made by adding a few drops of commercial bleach to a 0.5 M solution of potassium bromide still work for this experiment?

Reaction between iron and sulfur

Reaction between iron and sulfur: When we conduct the reaction between Fe and S, it seems to create SO2, which is toxic, and sometimes I smell H2S. Are we allowed to carry out this reaction in the lab? Also, could you please clarify the reaction between FeS and acid? My understanding is that it produces H2S. Is it okay to do this reaction outside?

Flame testing

Flame testing: What would be considered safer for Year 8 students attempting flame testing of chemicals? Using a small quantity of solid chemical in a flame on a metal loop, or a chemical solution sprayed into the flame? Or would this be better carried out as a teacher demonstration?

PVA Slime

PVA Slime: There was a directive that came out from Education Queensland to all HODs in 2004/2005 regarding students not being permitted to take any slime made at school home. I no longer can find our school's copy of that directive. I guess its lost. Can you advise if this directive is still current?

Van de Graaff generator and electronic medical devices

Van de Graaff generator and electronic medical devices: The Science ASSIST Standard Operating Procedure for demonstrating the Van de Graaff generator has in its safety notes to ensure that anyone who has an electronic insulin pump should not be in the vicinity of the generator.

We have a teacher who has had a pump for about 5 years and frequently operates the VDG so far without incident. Do you have any more information about the risks involved, the type of pumps involved, the make of pump, anything that could make it safe for him?


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