Organic Chemistry Lab Safety

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No student is allowed to work in the lab without
the supervision of an instructor
No unauthorized experiment is permitted
alteration/modification of the lab procedure is not allowed unless it has been checked and okay-ed by your instructor.
Eating, drinking, and chewing gum
are not allowed in the lab. Chewing gum may absorb chemicals from the laboratory
During the lab period, store your books and bags
under the bench. Do NOT leave your backpack by or on top of the bench
Do Not put items close to
the edge of the bench/fuming hood.
Do NOT use broken, cracked
or chipped glassware. It will shatter and cause injury.
Do not put hot glassware directly
on a cold surface.
Hands must be completely dry when handling
electric plugs, grasp the electrical plug (not the cord) when removing it from the socket
When using a hot plate, make sure that the cord is not touching
the hot surface of the hot plate, the cord will melt and expose electrical wires
Avoid using any faulty equipment or damaged electric cords
could cause electrocution if touched, or trigger a fire if exposed to water, report it immediately to your TA.
Notify your TA immediately if you notice unexpected
chemical reaction of your experiment or any unsafe condition. Report all accidents (chemical spill, broken glass, etc.) or/and injuries (burn, cut, chemical splash etc.)
Do not use cell
phone in lab.
Keep your work area and all shared areas of the laboratory clean and orderly
including the balance areas, sink areas, all fuming hoods.
Dispose wastes, chemical wastes
broken glassware in designated containers
keep all reagent containers and waste
containers capped when not in use.
Wash your hands before leaving the lab
be careful not to touch your eyes or other body areas without thoroughly washing your hands first.
Safety eyewear
must be worn at all times. Contact lenses should not be worn during the organ
You must wear closed-toe shoes that you can
walk quickly and comfortably with and wear long pants.
Never move a reagent bottle
to your bench. Leave the bottle at its designated area (the storage hood).
Be careful not to contaminate the chemicals. Don’t put your spatula
directly to take the solid from the supply bottle. Instead, pour solid directly into your container
Never to dip your medicine dropper directly
into the supply reagent container. Instead, transfer small amount into your container
Dispose any “left-over” chemicals into
the labeled “waste container”.
Keep the flammable solvents, such as
diethyl ether, acetone, hexanes, benzene, toluene, ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol, etc away from your heating device.
highly flammable solvents, such as
diethyl ether, hexanes, are used, make sure no open flame is present in the lab.
Make sure to re-cap ALL
containers, including the reagent bottles and the waste containers after each use!
Always hold the chemicals away from you
NEVER look directly over reaction flask, separatory funnel
After your product is recorded, analyzed and no longer needed
dispose it away the same way as you dispose the left-over chemicals
For organic products generated from the experiments
use a MINIMUM amount of acetone to dissolve the product first, and then put it in the labeled “Organic liquid waste container”
Silica gel and/or alumina wastes from column chromatography are
collected in designated solid waste container. But do not put ordinary wastes of inorganic salts into the “Solid Waste Containers” unless otherwise specified.
small amount of inorganic salts, such as
magnesium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium or sodium carbonate (and bicarbonate), sodium sulfate, etc, would not pose a concern to human health and can be carefully put into the trash bin or washed down the sink
left-over or unreacted aluminum chloride (AlCl3) must be
disposed in the fuming hood, by carefully and slowly adding a small amount of water first, as it will release HCl upon exposing to water or moisture.
aqueous solutions from working-up your reaction can be carefully poured into
the sink in your fuming hood.
dispose the content first!
Before you throw away your product vials, broken glassware, and other waste glassware into the designated Glassware Waste Container
You must clean all your glassware right after
its use so it will be dry and ready for your next lab. Do not use cracked or chipped glassware, ask your TA for a replacement.
Always lubricate the glass tube before inserting
it in a rubber stopper and hold it close to the end near the stopper
Protect your hands with a towel when inserting
glass tubing. Insert carefully with a gentle twisting motion.
Any broken glass must be cleaned up immediately
but don’t attempt to clean it up without notifying your TA first.
If ground glass stopper is stuck
report it to your TA
If you force the stopper off the bottle or separatory funnel
you may experience chemical splash, burn and injuries.
Do not shake a thermometer after
melting-point measurement. Lay thermometer on a towel to cool, away from the edge of the lab bench.
Allow plenty of time for a hot metal to cool before touching it.
test it by cautiously bringing the back of your hand close to the metal to feel if heat is radiating from it.
Never heat a closed container,
as pressure will build up which may cause the container to explode.
After a reaction, do NOT immediately
take down your hot flask (and/or other heated glassware) and put it in contact with a cool surface or water. Doing so often cause the glassware to crack or shatter
When you heat a liquid in test tube, always
point it away from you and your neighbors
When venting your separatory funnel after vigorously shaking during a work-up procedure
always point it away from you and your neighbors.
What to do in case of an accident?
Notify your instructor/TA of all accidents immediately
Burns: Small burns from touching hot objects should be treated by placing the affected area
under cold running water or covering it with ice for 20 minutes. After which you can apply the pain-relieving cream.
Chemical Spills:If chemicals splashed to your eyes or face
immediately get to the eye wash station and flush your eyes with running water from an eyewash station for at least 15 minutes.
For large chemical spills on the body
get under the safety shower and flush the affected area for at least 15 minutes. While under the shower, remove all contaminated clothing.
For smaller chemical spills on you
rinse with large amounts of water for at least 15 minutes. Get your instructor/TA’s attention.
If you break a mercury thermometer and spill mercury,
do not try to clean it by yourself, report it to your TA immediately
For a large chemical spill on the counter top or floor
immediately notify the instructor/your TAchemical), your instructor will advise you about what to do. Chemical spills must be cleaned up immediately.
For small spills that can be cleaned up with a small amount of paper towel
avoid letting the chemicals soak through the paper (if it is liquid) and touch your hands.
Dispose of the collected
contaminated chemical as instructed
Cuts: Small cuts should be
rinsed with cold water to make sure the areas are free from chemicals
Apply pressure if bleeding is extensive
elevate the affected limb if bleeding is profuse. Seek medical help,
Fires: When your hair or clothes catch on fire
do NOT run, as running enhances the supply of air and intense the flames. Instead, walk to the nearest safety shower, position yourself directly under the showerhead and pull the chain
if it is your clothes on fire,
DROP to the floor and ROLL as you wrap the fire blanket around your body to smother the flames. Do NOT wrap yourself in a fire blanket while you are standing, as doing so it may direct the flames to your face.
People around you should:
a) get the fire blanket and wrap you with it to smother the flames and keep it away from face and neck. Never use a fire extinguish directly on a person!
b) Call Tulane police department for help
If the fire is small and contained,
turn off your reaction and use a cover plate, or a watch glass to cover/smother it
f the material that catches on fire is not water reactive,
you can smother off the fire with wet clothe.
If the fire happens in the fuming hood
turn off your reaction, quick move away any and all flammable material, and pull the lash down. Call for help if the situation escalates.
Earthquake: Turn off your reaction
the gas valve, stay away from falling objects. Drop and cover in a safe area. Do NOT run or panic
Categories: Organic Chemistry