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Learning Outcomes for High School Students

These are the outcomes that teachers should expect of graduating high school students.

Teachers can ensure that safety education is integrated into their students’ curricular activities by designing lessons and assessments to achieve these outcomes. The goals of these outcomes are to:

  • Help students develop an understanding of the principles of chemical safety
  • Enable students to apply these concepts
  • Foster a culture of safety in which students apply the RAMP concept to their laboratory experiences
  • Encourage the scientific community to keep safety a high priority

Recognize the Hazards

Basic Terminology and Concepts

  • Differentiate between hazard and risk.
  • Define acute toxicity and chronic toxicity and cite some examples of each.
  • State the general effects that corrosives have on the skin.
  • State the general hazards associated with the use and storage of flammable chemicals commonly used in the laboratory.
  • Explain the statement “The dose makes the poison."
  • Explain why reducing the scale reduces the risk.

Labels, SDS, and PPE

Basic Laboratory Safety

Regulatory Agencies and Regulations

Assess the Risks of Hazards

(About the Assess principle of RAMP)


Minimize the Risks of the Hazards

(About the Minimize principle of RAMP)

General Concepts

  • Explain why the “buddy system” is used in laboratory environments.
  • Explain why various flammable and combustible materials should be available in limited quantities in laboratories.
  • Discuss the safety precautions or best practices that must be followed when transferring flammable materials from one container to another.
  • Explain the reasons for following written protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for laboratory activities and experiments.
  • Explain the purpose of good housekeeping.
    • Demonstrate good housekeeping by maintaining a clean and orderly workspace.
  • Identify and demonstrate the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for a given laboratory activity.
  • Identify and demonstrate the appropriate use of common laboratory safety equipment (e.g., safety shower, eyewash station, fire blanket, fire extinguisher).
  • Describe and demonstrate methods to prevent spills due to falling containers, or when transferring and transporting chemicals.
  • Describe and demonstrate the appropriate use of common laboratory equipment for heating (e.g., Bunsen burners, hot plates, alcohol burners, candles, heat guns, laboratory ovens).
  • Describe the basic precautions for the following common laboratory operations: chromatographic separations, distillations, refluxing, recrystallization, extraction, stirring.
  • Explain the hazards of mercury and ways to minimize exposures, including plans to eliminate mercury-containing equipment from laboratories.


  • Prepare a safety checklist for all laboratory activities using the RAMP concept.
  • Prepare and lead a short safety presentation appropriate to the laboratory setting and activity.


  • Describe the various types of eye protection and their appropriate uses.
  • Describe and discuss skin protection measures (e.g., clothing, gloves, tools).
  • Explain why glove material and construction must be considered when selecting proper PPE.
  • Given a glove selection chart, select the proper glove material and construction for a laboratory operation or potential chemical exposure.
  • Select and wear appropriate PPE while in the laboratory.


  • Describe the proper use and operation of chemical hoods and ventilation systems.


  • Demonstrate the proper disposal of “sharps” .
  • Describe appropriate disposal methods for damaged glassware. Demonstrate proper procedures to prevent lacerations while handling glassware, either intact or broken.

Inventory, Storage, and Security

  • Describe the proper use of safety cabinets and appropriate procedures for the storage of corrosives and flammable chemicals .
  • Explain why incompatible chemicals must be stored separately .
  • Describe the steps needed to prevent incompatible chemicals from coming into contact with each other.

Chemical Wastes and Disposal

  • Describe the appropriate protocols for handling and disposing of leftover chemicals and chemical wastes.
  • Explain why disposal of chemical wastes by pouring them down the drain or placing them in the trash can is generally not appropriate.

Spills and Spill Prevention

  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of bottle carriers.
  • Use appropriate techniques to transfer gases, liquids, and solids from storage containers to laboratory equipment.
  • Describe and demonstrate how spills of solids and liquids can be minimized and contained during weighing operations.

Prepare for Emergencies from Uncontrolled Hazards

(About the Prepare principle of RAMP)

General Preparation

  • Identify the location of all exits and laboratory safety equipment (e.g., safety shower, eyewash station, fire extinguisher, first aid kit).

Emergency Response

  • Respond appropriately per institutional policies to emergency situations in the laboratory (e.g., spills, fires).
  • Participate in an emergency exit or evacuation drill for the laboratory.

First Aid

  • Demonstrate basic first aid procedures for minor laboratory accidents.
  • Demonstrate the proper use of a safety shower and an eyewash station.


  • Describe the components of the fire triangle and the fire tetrahedron.
  • Describe the classes of fires and how to use different types of fire extinguishers.


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