Chemical Safety Routines

A collection of templates and checklists to help in establishing chemical safety routines in a school.

Why Routines?

A school is legally required to document how it works with chemical safety. As part of this documentation, a written set of routines is needed.

Establishing routines may require a change of mindset and culture in the organization. However, when the routines are an integrated part of the work culture, they facilitate work by describing how things should be done to ensure chemical safety for both staff and students. Furthermore, they make it easy to train new employees in the school’s chemical safety practices.

If your school has not previously had a systematic approach to chemical safety, the list of routines may seem overwhelming and perhaps unfamiliar. Do not try to do everything at once. Make a list of priorities, and a realistic work plan. Start with establishing the routines that you feel are the most important for improving chemical safety for staff and students, or with the routines that you can fairly easily establish with the currently available resources.

Example 1: You may decide that the most critical topic to start with is a good routine for risk assessing all practical work in the lab. When this routine is established and the risk assessments are completed, you can move to the next routine.

Example 2: You may decide to start with establishing a routine for waste management and practice by getting rid of old and unused chemicals. This will save time and work later, because there will be fewer chemicals to handle.   

Set of Routines With Templates and Checklists

For all practical work that includes hazardous chemicals or hazardous equipment, the teacher or a laboratory technician is required to do a risk assessment.

Further reading: Risk Assessment

Chemicals in the science classroom must be labelled in accordance to EU regulations. If you make your own solutions, they should also be labelled to allow identification and proper handling.

Further reading: Labelling

The school is legally required to maintain an updated chemical inventory – a collection of safety data sheets for all chemicals and solutions used.

All schools are legally required to dispose of chemicals in accordance to regulations and in a way that ensures proper waste management.

Interactive decision tree for choosing waste storage containers:
Is your waste hazardous chemical waste?
  • Yes
    Does your waste contain organic substance?
    • Yes
      Is your waste halogenated?
      • Yes
        Container: All halogenated organic substances and waste from halogenation reactions of organic substances
      • No
        Container: Non-halogenated organic substances
    • No
      Does your waste contain toxic inorganic salts?
      • Yes
        Container: Solutions of toxic inorganic salts
      • No
        Is your waste acidic?
        • Yes
          Container: Acidic solutions
        • No
          Is your waste alkaline?
          • Yes
            Container: Alkaline solutions
          • No
            Please start over
  • No
    Is your waste a laboratory waste?
    • Yes
      Is your waste heavily contaminated?
      • Yes
        Is your waste pointed and/or sharp?
        • Yes
          Container: pointed and/or sharp contaminated solid waste
        • No
          Container: Other contaminated solid waste
      • No
        Is your waste a glass not defined as recyclable?
        • Yes
          Container: Uncontaminated laboratory glass
        • No
          Recycle in non laboratory bins
    • No
      Recycle in non laboratory bins

Further reading: Waste Management

Published: 
30.06.2022

Last modified: 

27.09.2022
To cite this page, we suggest the following format (APA 7):
Online Resources for Chemical Safety in Science Education. (2022, September 27).
Chemical Safety Routines.