School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook For Primary and Secondary Schools, and Junior Colleges in Singapore Science Unit, Sciences Branch Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 Ministry of Education
I Published by Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 Ministry of Education 1 North Buona Vista Drive MOE Building Singapore 138675 Revised October 2020 While every effort has been made to acknowledge copyright holders of materials reproduced, we have been unsuccessful in some instances. To these copyright holders, we offer our sincere apologies and hope that they will take our liberty in good faith. We welcome any information that will enable us to acknowledge the copyright holders concerned. © 2016 Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1. This publication is not for sale. FOR RESTRICTED CIRCULATION ONLY. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the prior permission of the Ministry of Education, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-11-1066-5
School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook II PREFACE Laboratory work and investigations are an integral part of effective science teaching and learning. Practical work is a gateway for teachers to make science come alive and demonstrate its relevance in daily life. By leveraging on practical work to deepen student learning, schools are also increasingly offering science research opportunities that engage students in more in-depth and complex investigations. In recent years, students and teachers have been engaging in experiments and activities beyond the traditional or routine. Some schools have established specialised laboratories such as photonics laboratories, nanoscience laboratories and Science and Technology centres. In light of the increased variety of science activities in schools, there is a need to constantly review existing laboratory safety regulations and recommend safety measures to mitigate the potential risks that could arise. Therefore, a committee comprising practitioners from schools and professionals from the institutes of higher learning, government ministries and government agencies was formed to review and refine this 3rd edition of the handbook. This edition guides HODs, teachers and laboratory staff on the management of school science laboratories and safe working practices within them, with emphasis on safety being everyones responsibility. New to this edition are sections that explicate the importance of managing a school laboratory using a common framework. The content in the section on laboratory safety has also been reorganised to make it more user-friendly. These changes to the handbook will make it easier for teachers and laboratory staff to develop appropriate management and safety guidelines that will ensure the safe and professional execution of laboratory work, including curriculum-guided activities and extension or specialised investigations. No publication, however, can completely describe the procedures for ensuring safety under all conditions. Teachers have to exercise professional judgement and take precautions when dealing with less familiar procedures, equipment, hazardous chemicals and microorganisms. The School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook will, however, support teachers as much as possible in their role of teaching and learning by ensuring that their laboratories are safe and conducive places for students to pursue the learning and investigation of science.
School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook III WORKING COMMITTEE1 CHAIRPERSON Mr Sin Kim Ho Director, Sciences Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 (CPDD1) Ministry of Education MEMBERS Dr Se Thoe Su Yun Deputy Director, Biosafety Public Health Group Ministry of Health Mr Chia Guo Hao Senior Assistant Director, Sciences Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 (CPDD1) Ministry of Education Ms Quek Hui Leng Senior Assistant Director, Institutional Administration Environmental Health Institute National Environment Agency Ms Cindy Goh Assistant Director Institutional Biosafety Committee SingHealth Mr Cheong Kim Fatt Senior Curriculum Specialist, Biology Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 (CPDD1) Ministry of Education Ms Soo Sze Mun Senior Specialist Occupational Safety and Health Specialist Department Ministry of Manpower A/P Yan Yaw Kai Head Natural Sciences and Science Education National Institute of Education Mr Saravanan s/o Gunaratnam Head Safety & Health Management Division National University of Singapore Mrs Koh Siok Im Senior Lecturer School of Chemical and Life Sciences Singapore Polytechnic Mr Tommy Hsu Vice Principal (Admin) Millennia Institute 1 Committee composition as at 2016. Dr Tan Guo Xian Head 3D Printing Research Programme Raffles Institution Mrs Har-Chia Hui Peng Director of Studies Hwa Chong Institution Ms Wong Su May Head of Department, Sciences Hua Yi Secondary School Ms Leong Chin Ling Head of Department, Science Victoria Junior College Mr Charles Maxim Wong Senior Manager, Data Analysis/Policy School Safety Unit Ministry of Education Mr Watson Teo Assistant Manager Institutional Biosafety Committee SingHealth Mr Terence Ong Senior Curriculum Planning Officer, NT Science Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 (CPDD1) Ministry of Education Ms Sharon Tan Assessment Officer, Biology Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board Ms Seow Ratnakumari Technical Support Officer Jurong Junior College Ms Joanne Tan Lay Kwee Technical Support Officer Anderson Junior College
School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook IV SECRETARIAT Officers from Curriculum Planning and Development Division 1 (CPDD1), Ministry of Education, who supported the review committee: Mr Gary Neo Curriculum Planning Officer, Biology Dr Chok Yew Keong Curriculum Planning Officer, Chemistry Mr Eric Tan Senior Curriculum Planning Officer, Physics Ms Julieanne Choy Curriculum Resource Development Officer, Biology Mr Serwin Leong Curriculum Planning Officer, Chemistry Ms Sylvia Wang Curriculum Resource Development Officer, Primary Science Mr Ang Keng Kiat Senior Curriculum Planning Officer, Physics RESOURCE PANEL The working committee would like to acknowledge the input from our resource panel: A/P Lim Tit Meng Chief Executive Science Centre Board Prof Sow Chorng-Haur Head Department of Physics National University of Singapore Mr Lee Seng Hai Superintendent West 3 Schools Division Ministry of Education
School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook V CONTENTS 1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 1 1.1. ORGANISATION OF HANDBOOK ............................................................................................................................................. 1 2. SCIENCE LABORATORY MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK PEOPLE, PLACE, PRACTICES ......................................................................................................................... 3 2.1. MANAGEMENT OF PEOPLE……................................................................................................................ 4 2.1.1. Professional development of laboratory staff and teachers ............................................................. 4 2.1.2. Inculcating in students and staff that safety is everyone’s responsibility ..................................... 4 2.1.3. Managing student research and science enrichment activities .................................................. 4 2.2. MANAGEMENT OF PLACE……................................................................................................................... 5 2.2.1. Maintenance plan for equipment, apparatus and laboratories ................................................... 5 2.2.2. Labelling of chemicals, equipment and apparatus ...................................................................... 5 2.2.3. Displaying of safety information .................................................................................................... 5 2.2.4 Ensuring schools are explosive precursors (EP)-free………………………………….…………… 5 2.3. MANAGEMENT OF PRACTICES……............................................................................................................. 5 2.3.1. Purchasing and discarding of obsolete equipment and apparatus.......................................... 5 2.3.2. Borrowing/use of equipment and apparatus ........................................................................... 5 2.3.3. Budget planning ...................................................................................................................... 6 2.3.4. Safety guidelines for the conduct of laboratory lessons ......................................................... 6 2.3.5. Stocktake checklist ................................................................................................................. 7 3. GENERAL ROLES OF SCIENCE TEACHERS AND LABORATORY TECHNICIANS ...... 9 4. SCIENCE LABORATORY SAFETY MANAGEMENT......................................................... 11 4.1. LEADERSHIP ............................................................................................................................................................................. 11 4.2. MOTIVATION ............................................................................................................................................................................. 11 4.3. CULTURE................................................................................................................................................................................... 12 4.4. PRACTICES ............................................................................................................................................................................... 12 5. GENERAL LABORATORY SAFETY GUIDELINES ............................................................ 13 5.1. GENERAL LABORATORY SAFETY GUIDELINES..................................................................................................................... 13 5.2. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS RELATED TO HEATING .................................................................................................................... 15 5.3. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS RELATED TO GLASSWARE ............................................................................................................. 16 5.4. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS RELATED TO SHARP OBJECTS ...................................................................................................... 16 5.5. SAFETY PRECAUTIONS RELATED TO USING ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT ............................................................................. 16 5.6. USE OF MERCURY THERMOMETERS..................................................................................................................................... 17 5.7. USE OF 3D PRINTING MACHINES .......................................................................................................................................... 18 6. ASSESSMENT OF RISKS IN SCHOOL SCIENCE LABORATORIES................................ 21 6.1. HAZARDS AND RISKS............................................................................................................................................................. 21 6.2. CONDUCTING RISK ASSESSMENTS ..................................................................................................................................... 21 6.2.1. Identifying and analysing safety and health hazards associated with work ............................ 21 6.2.2. Evaluating the risks involved ........................................................................................................ 22 6.2.3. Prioritising measures to control hazards and reduce risks......................................................... 24 7. FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL .................................................................................. 27 7.1. FIRE PREVENTION.................................................................................................................................................................... 27 7.2. FIRE CONTROL IN THE EVENT OF A FIRE .............................................................................................................................. 27 7.3. USE OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS................................................................................................................................................ 28

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School Science Laboratory Management and Safety Handbook VI 8. ACCIDENTS AND EMERGENCIES..................................................................................... 31 8.1. ACCIDENTS IN THE LABORATORY............................................................................................................... 31 8.2. EMERGENCY RESPONSE CONTACT LIST ..................................................................................................... 31 8.3. REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION OF INCIDENTS .......................................................................................... 31 8.3.1. Reporting of incidents ............................................................................................................................ 31 8.3.2. Incident investigation ........................................................................................................................................ 31 9. GLOBALLY HARMONISED SYSTEM OF CLASSIFICATION AND LABELLING OF CHEMICALS (GHS) .................................................................................................... 33 9.1. BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................................ 33 9.2. UNDERSTANDING SAFETY DATA SHEETS (SDS) .......................................................................................... 33 9.3. GHS LABELLING ........................................................................................................................................ 33 9.4. REDUCED WORKPLACE LABELLING .......................................................................................................... 36 10. BIOLOGY-RELATED EQUIPMENT, APPARATUS AND SAFETY GUIDELINES ............. 37 10.1. HIGH TEMPERATURE EQUIPMENT .............................................................................................................. 37 10.1.1. Autoclaves ......................................................................................................................................... 37 10.1.2. Hot bead sterilisers ........................................................................................................................... 38 10.1.3. Incubators ........................................................................................................................................ 38 10.1.4. Ovens: conventional and microwave ovens ..................................................................................... 38 10.1.5. Thermocyclers (polymerase chain reaction machines) .................................................................... 39 10.1.6. Water baths...................................................................................................................................... 39 10.2. OTHER EQUIPMENT ........................................................................................................................................... 39 10.2.1. Electrophoresis chambers ......................................................................................................................... 39 10.2.2. Biosafety cabinets