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Discuss Health and Safety When Teaching

Providing instruction in the safety hazards, appropriate precautions, and potential emergency procedures is a faculty duty under the law.

by James A. Kaufman
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Providing instruction in the safety hazards, appropriate precautions, and potential emergency procedures is a faculty duty under the law. Failure to do so can result in being found negligent by reason of nonfeasance, i.e., failure to provide a warning.

The use of a "Hazard Review Form" is a good way to formalize this procedure. Prepare a list of all the hazards present, the necessary precautions, and the appropriate emergency responses. This will result in a written record of the instructions that have been given for each class on each day.

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How do students/employees know that a particular topic of instruction is important? You give emphasis, you set a good example, and you test on the material.

Be sure to have quiz and test questions on your safety instruction. The Ebbing Lab Manual is a good example because each set of pre-lab questions contains asks "What are the precautions required in this experiment?"

This safety tip is courtesy of The Laboratory Safety Institute at www.labsafety.org and Lab Manager Magazine.