Science SafetyResources to help school districts and county superintendent of schools ensure adults and students are safe when they are on a school site.
It is the duty of the governing board of every school district and of every county superintendent of schools to ensure adults and students are safe when they are on a school site. Science instruction and science laboratories can cause the need for specific safety protocols to be in place at each school site.
California Education Code Section 32030 states:
It shall be the duty of the governing board of every school district, and of every county superintendent of schools, and of every person, firm, or organization maintaining any private school, in this state, to equip schools with eye protective devices as defined in Section 32032, for the use of all students, teachers, and visitors when participating in the courses which are included in Section 32031. It shall be the duty of the superintendents, principals, teachers or instructors charged with the supervision of any class in which any such course is conducted, to require such eye protective devices to be worn by students, teachers, or instructors and visitors under the circumstances prescribed in Section 32031.
The governing board of any school district may request consultation services from the California Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Service to ensure hazardous materials are being used and stored safely in school laboratories.
In 2012, the California Department of Education assembled a team of experts to write a Science Safety Handbook (Handbook). Some updates were made to this Handbook in 2014. The current Science Framework to help guide science instruction was published after the Handbook. Changes to legislation and resources mentioned in the Handbook since 2014 are not captured in the Handbook. A copy of the Handbook publication can be provided upon request for historical reference by emailing the Professional Learning Support and Monitoring Office at PLSMO@cde.ca.gov.
Below is a list of resources that can help the governing board of a school district, county superintendent of schools, and school staff ensure adults and students are safe when they are performing science related activities in a school.
Council of State Science Supervisors Science Safety Resources
Resource documents to support effective safety policies in elementary schools; science, technology, engineering, and mathematics labs; and secondary science spaces. These resources can help answer many of the questions that local school boards, supervisors, educators, and parents have about safety.
Science safety courses for students and teachers offered by Flinn Science.
Laboratory Safety Institute
Science laboratory facility guidelines and laboratory safety courses are offered by the Laboratory Safety Institute.
Los Angeles County Office of Education Science Safety Resources
Science safety resources developed as part of The Strategic Science Teaching project.
Translations of the Science Safety Handbook's Safety Regulations for Students and Families
Select pages from the Handbook that a school can send home to families. These documents appear as Appendix B in the Handbook.