Minimum Safety Requirements for Demonstrations, Workshops,
etc. AAPT Summer Meeting 2000
(Adapted from the Safety Policy of the Science Teachers Association of
- Safety must be foremost in the minds of every presenter.
- Every person who performs demonstrations should be knowledgeable about
the safe use of all demonstration equipment and the safe handling and disposal
of any chemicals or other materials.
- Demonstrators should be aware of any hazards associated with equipment
and/or chemicals and plan carefully to provide a safe environment for their
audience and themselves.
- emphasize and demonstrate appropriate safety procedures throughout
- comply with the local fire code and safety rules and regulations.
- maintain clear egress during the demonstration or workshop and ensure
any necessary warning signs are clearly posted.
- wear eye protection for all chemical demonstrations or when appropriate
for other demonstrations.
- use appropriate gloves when working with cryogenic materials or very
- warn members of the audience to cover their ears whenever a loud explosion
is anticipated. use safety shield protection whenever there is the slightest
possibility that a container or its contents could explode or implode with
sufficient force to cause personal injury to observers.
- arrange to have a fire extinguisher at hand whenever a flame is being
used or produced;
- open flames are not permitted in War Memorial Hall at the University
- secure pressurized gas cylinders by strapping or chaining them in place
or by using properly secured supports.
- plan demonstrations so that harmful quantities of noxious gases such
as nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide do not enter
the local air supply by using a properly vented closed system.
- not use highly toxic substances such as benzene, mercury, carbon tetrachloride
and ammonium dichromate.
- not use acutely dangerous explosive substances such as benzoyl peroxide,
diethyl ether and picric acid.
- ensure that demonstrations involving the use of strobe lights, lasers,
UV radiation, IR radiation, X- rays, microwaves or sound sources are all
controlled such that the participants and audience are not subjected to
any harmful exposures.
- provide adequate shielding and containment for all radioactive sources
and ensure that radioactive isotopes are used in accordance with the regulations
of the Atomic Energy Control Board.
- ensure any lasers used in demonstrations are helium-neon lasers with
a maximum output power rating not exceeding 1.0 milliwatt.
- provide adequate isolation for high voltage circuits such that participants
may not come in contact with any high voltage parts of circuits.
- not taste or encourage participants to taste any non-food substance.
- not use demonstrations in which parts of the human body are placed
in danger such as placing dry ice in the mouth or dipping hands in liquid
nitrogen. not use live vertebrate animals in demonstrations for experimental
- not use plants with poisonous oils (e.g., poison ivy) or other plants
known to be generally toxic to humans.
- not conduct experiments or demonstrations with human blood/body fluids
or other bio-hazardous materials.
- provide written procedure, hazard, and disposal information for each
demonstration whenever the audience is encouraged to repeat the demonstration.
- arrange with the University of Guelph Physics Department Undergraduate
Laboratory Supervisor for proper disposal of any waste materials that are
hazardous to the environment.