Question of the Day

  • TExES® PRAXIS II
  • Test: Chemistry 7-12, 240
  • Feature: Exam mode, Study Mode, Build Exam, FlashCards, Competencies, Exam History

What is the single most important factor for any laboratory safety program?

Explanation

Domain I—Scientific Inquiry and Processes

The item above measures Competency 001 (Planning and Safety).
The teacher understands how to select and manage learning activities to ensure the safety of all students and the correct use and care of natural resources, materials, equipment and technologies.

Skills Tested

The intent of the question is to assess whether the beginning teacher uses current sources of information about laboratory safety, including safety regulations and guidelines for the use of science facilities. (TExES Manual, Competency 001, Skill A).

Introductory Commentary

Ensuring laboratory safety is not just the responsibility of the instructor; it is the responsibility of everyone working in the laboratory. Individuals are expected to be familiar with the safety rules and to conduct their laboratory work in a safe manner at all times. The laboratory instructor should review important safety rules and regulations and point out the location and operation of the fire extinguisher, safety shower, eye wash and other laboratory safety equipment.

Specific Skill/Knowledge: laboratory safety

Grade Level: 7-12

Keywords: laboratory safety, laboratory safety program, safety rules and regulations, laboratory safety equipment

Answer A is incorrect. It is false to state that the single most important factor for any laboratory safety program is the safety manual. This is because the safety manual only outlines the safety rules, regulations, and guidelines but it is up to the individual to abide by them.

Answer B is correct. The single most important factor for any laboratory safety program is the individual. Individuals must realize that the welfare and safety of everyone in a laboratory depends on clearly defined attitudes of teamwork and personal responsibility and that laboratory safety is not simply a matter of materials and equipment, but also of processes and behaviors. Learning to participate in this culture of habitual risk assessment, experiment planning, and consideration of worst-case possibilities, for oneself and one’s fellow workers, is as much part of a scientific education as learning the theoretical background of experiments or the step-by-step protocols for doing them in a professional manner.

Answer C is incorrect. It is false to state that the single most important factor for any laboratory safety program is safety inspections. Safety inspections only go as far as to identify and rectify hazards at regular intervals. This does not ensure continuous safety in the laboratory.

Answer D is incorrect. It is false to state that the single most important factor for any laboratory safety program is the instructor. This is because the instructor only outlines the safety rules, regulations, and guidelines and makes individuals sign a safety contract. However, it is still up to the individual to abide by them. The correct answer is B.