ACTIVITY in Lab Safety. Last updated March 25, 2020.
In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with common hazard symbols and their meaning.
High and Middle School
By the end of this activity, students should be able to
- Associate a hazard symbol with its meaning.
- Understand the importance of hazard symbols.
This activity supports students’ understanding of
- Lab Safety
Teacher Preparation: minimal
Lesson: 15 minutes
- Printed copies of the student handout
- Laboratory chemicals with labels (optional)
- MSDS examples (optional)
- No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.
- Teachers should refer to the ACS published document, Guidelines for Chemical Laboratory Safety on Secondary Schools as a great resource for teaching lab safety in the chemistry classroom. Additional specific information that could be used when teaching hazard symbols can be found starting on page 21.
- As optional extensions to this activity, teachers could use chemical containers that contain these hazard symbols as examples. Proper safety precautions should be followed by teachers and students for handling any chemicals.
- Teachers could also share an example of a MSDS with students as part of a discussion about these hazard symbols.
- It’s suggested that teachers discuss the meaning of each of these symbols with students and answer any questions students may have, after completing the activity.
- For more lab safety teaching resources visit the Safety section of the AACT website.
For the Student
The following symbols are used to identify hazardous substances in the chemistry laboratory. Use the word bank below to match each word with its hazard symbol.
Hazardous Word Bank
- a. Flammable
- b. Oxidizer
- c. Toxic Substance
- d. Explosive
- e. Environmental Hazard
- f. Irritant
- g. Health Hazard
- h. Compressed Gas
- i. Corrosive