Occupational health and safety


Chemistry Experiment

Chemistry Experiment: 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?

Writing risk assessments for chemical classes

Writing risk assessments for chemical classes: When writing risk assessments for chemical classes (instead of one for the use of every individual chemical), what is the best way? I've seen others do them based on DG classes but this seems pointless, since the GHS will be the requirement from next year. Should I do a separate RA for each pictogram or is there a better way to split them up?

Toxic Alcohols in Spirit Burners to test Fuel Efficiency

Toxic Alcohols in Spirit Burners to test Fuel Efficiency: We have a year 10 chemistry investigation in which students are provided with six alcohols in spirit burners. Their task is to investigate the usefulness of different alcohols as fuels. Each class is provided with four sets of the spirit burners containing each of the six fuels. The fuels concerned are:

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?

Storage of Sodium & Phosphorus

Storage of Sodium & Phosphorus: I have been told that the best way to store sodium is: in glass, under kerosene and in a sand bath.

My Qs are: isn't paraffin oil better than kerosene AND is a sand bath necessary or desirable?

Also: is it desirable or necessary to store Phosphorus in a sand bath? (Yes, I know it goes under water first!)

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?


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