360° Lab Safety exercises

Hazard perception skills and decent Chemistry Health and Safety practices are fundamental for any practising chemist anywhere on the planet. Such practices prevent people from harm and can literally save lives. So why is it often challenging to excite novice learners with Chemistry Health and Safety training?

Following a checklist of rules and regulations is important in Chemistry Health and Safety training, but very passive. Developing hazard perception skills is experiential through experiencing Health and Safety near-misses or breaches. This is often hard to see when all employers strive to be Health and Safety compliant.

With this in mind, ChemTube3D now offers a series of exercises containing deliberate errors. These are a mixture of Chemistry Health and Safety specific issues or just poor practice. This gamified approach allows learners to develop hazard perception skills from the safety of their computer/phone. The scenarios encourage discussion, ideal for collaborative workshops, and deliberately avoid definitive answers to recognise variation in best practice across institutions.

What are the exercises?

Firstly we have numerous apparatus and equipment scenarios, covering standard reflux glassware, Dean-Stark apparatus, vacuum distillation and flash column chromatography. Each scenario has five setups to help you hazard perception development, with only one being the preferred option to identify. We present hints and answers to encourage self-evaluation.

Secondly we have our 3-level ‘Bad-lab’ exercises covering scenes from general laboratories, synthetic scenarios (three of these!) and analytical labs including a specific exercise based on titrations. The landing page, level 1, contains blue numbered dots to highlight the areas with health and safety issues. These numbered dots correspond written hints which become more open-ended as you progress to levels and 2 and 3.

We hope that you find these resources useful and help develop your hazard perceptions skills whilst in a safe environment. We would encourage you to get in touch for possible new scenarios!


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