This is shocking.
Coming from industry, I had training in lab practices ALL the time. Well, actually, about once a year. I have received chemical training, hazmat training, fire safety training, first aid training, radioactivity training....need I continue? My training has had training. HA!
But when I reflect on my years in education, I can only think of two times that I have received any training on chemical storage and lab safety. Hmmmmm. This might be a problem.
This makes me wonder, how many science teachers do not really know the appropriate lab safety protocols? How many science teachers do not provide appropriate lab safety training to their students? How many science classrooms are out of compliance with local standards?
If I had a magic wand and the powers to fix things this is what I would do:
1. Implement annual training for science teachers at the site or district level.
2. Schools should do self safety checks at random in science classrooms.
3. Schools should have uniform methods for training lab safety to students.
4. Teacher training/credential programs should provide adequate and useful courses for chemical and lab safety for future science teachers.
5. Schools should hire or task a person to ensure a chemical hygiene plan is in place and that all teachers and labs are in compliance.
With NGSS on the horizon, there is no better time than NOW to get our ducks in a row. Man, I'm pumped about NGSS and even more pumped about the awesome science that is about to occur because of this transition. But, let's just make sure that the science is safe. As the CrazyRussianHacker states, "Safety is our number 1 priority."