AN EVALUATION OF SAFETY PROTOCOL IN A SECONDARY SCHOOL SCIENCE LABORATORY

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CHAPTER ONEINTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

According to Green (2004), he  defined science as “human beings that ‘ endeavor to arrange their experiences about nature into a meaningful system of explanation.” It may also be thought of as the arrangement of man’s reasonable changeable sense perceptions of natural and man-made happenings in his surroundings; regularities in nature are expected, characterized, and explained through science. Without the important foundations of experimentation, outdoor labor, and, most importantly, project creation, science cannot be claimed to be broad-based. Practical labor not only allows students to test the theoretical concepts taught in the classroom, but it also instills scientific skills, ethics, and regulatory principles (Willard, 2000).

To perfect the art of writing, for example, a youngster must be given as many opportunities to write as possible. Similarly, scientific learning necessitates that a teacher provide a variety of “doing” opportunities for students to make sense of the world around them, make new discoveries, solve fascinating challenges, and build skills (Mirah, 1989).

A laboratory is a setting for the development of skills and other scientific learning; it might be a large space where more than one trade is taught, or it could be a building or outdoor space dedicated to scientific research or practical science instruction. Laboratory, according to Bajah (1975), is an activity area in which role learning gives way to a diverse combination of cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor domains in learning, with the senses of sight, feeling, smelling, and doing playing minor roles. Bajah (1975) categorised pure scientific laboratories according to the act of science to be learned. In general, laboratories are infrastructure with the objective of promoting human learning and efficiency for a specific goal. As a result, an expert must monitor the construction, seating, and outfitting of these buildings to ensure their safety (Garfield, 1999).

Safety simply refers to a condition of being safe, secure, unharmed, out of harm’s way, and not involved in a problem (John, 1994). Although it is impossible to remove all threats, safe living requires the ability to operate at a high level in the midst of them (Aiyegbayo, 1996). Every person who uses or enters a laboratory has a responsibility to prevent accidents. Clearly, it is the responsibility of every teacher to design his courses in such a way that reflects both his responsibility for their well-being and his dedication to imparting proper safety-conscious attitudes and behaviors to his students. Students lack the instinctive sense for experimental work that a teacher will have developed through many years of practice. As a result, what is common sense to a teacher may be completely foreign to a student’s experience, and thus far from clear to him. Many children perceive science as a place where they may get answers to their many questions and satisfy their insatiable curiosity (Adebayo, 1991). Curiosity killed the cat, and these students are prone to getting themselves and others, including the instructor, into a lot of difficulty, making science not fun but hazardous, not lovely but terrifying if caution is ignored (Aiyegbayo, 1996). One of the goals of proper practical science instruction, even in school, is to educate students how to handle potentially or truly risky safety items. Nonetheless, every teacher should make it a priority to learn any unique instructions offered for dealing with situations specific to the school where she or he is employed. He or she should become familiar with the school’s layout.

The placement of fire-fighting equipment and how it operates, as well as emergency exit routes, telephone locations, and first-aid arrangements. According to Mohammed (1993), many laboratory accidents are caused by negligence. When conducting practicals, it is more rational to create safe work habits than to face the repercussions of an accident.

Safety policy is not intended to be a comprehensive and absolute description of safety in research laboratories. Science instructors and students should be aware of the importance of first aid treatment, which may save them a lot of money and time (Adebayo, 1991).

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