Science Safety

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Chapter 3

Early Years

Safe Classrooms
Support Procedures

This chapter of the resource manual provides Early Years science teachers with summaries of safety-related information. More detailed information is found in chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 of this publication.

Safe Classrooms

When preparing safe science classroom guidelines for Early Years, schools should

  • prepare, maintain, and prominently display emergency telephone numbers
  • identify people within the school who are qualified to administer first aid
  • review and complete relevant safety checklists annually (see Appendix D)
  • consult with the school nurse (where available) or school counselors to familiarize teachers with the relevant medical problems of individual students
  • review basic first aid procedures regularly and obtain some formal instruction in first aid for teachers from the Canadian Red Cross and St. John Ambulance (see Appendix J)
  • formulate, in consultation with the principal and other teachers, an action plan to deal with possible accidents in the classroom and on extracurricular activities such as field trips. This plan should include
    • removing the source of the accident to prevent further injury to the victim and to other students (e.g., shut off the electrical mains for the room; shut off gas to the room; cease all class activities)
    • administering first aid, or sending for a qualified first aid attendant *
    • * Caution: Do not administer medications in a first aid situation. "First Aid" is designed to prevent the deterioration of present injuries and to prevent further injury. Its purpose is to protect rather than treat and should only consist of procedures that a trained teacher is to follow, including

    • notifying the school administration, and, if necessary, acquiring medical aid
    • notifying parents or guardians

Support Procedures

Safety-related procedures and information (included in chapters 5-8) are intended to

  • identify areas where hazards exist and provide background information
  • provide an indication of the extent of the hazard
  • delineate some areas of protection needed
  • suggest accident procedures to be followed
  • suggest a lesson plan(s) in each area and, in some cases, provide student handouts

The topics developed include

  • Labelling for the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheets)
  • Chemical storage
  • Disposal of chemicals and biological materials
  • Corrosive chemicals
  • Reactive chemicals
  • Insidious hazards
  • Toxic hazards
  • Biological hazards
  • Radiation hazards
  • Mechanical and electrical hazards
  • Accidents
  • Eye hazards
  • Fires
  • Field trips

Teachers are expected to be familiar with the information in chapters 5-8.