The Laboratory Safety Quiz


By: Talin Vartanian

6 Min Quiz

Image: Reptile8488/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Lab work is full of mixing, experimenting, heating, evaporating and weighing a wide variety of chemicals and substances. Since many of these chemicals are potentially dangerous to humans, it's important to follow proper lab protocols for the safety of yourself, your instructor and your lab members.

This quiz will look at various types of safety equipment, lab rules and regulations, and even types of equipment to use. For example, do you know what a Bunsen burner is? This type of heating vessel produces a flame that is used to heat up a variety of glassware. The glassware sits on top of a ring stand with a wire gauze acting as a barrier in between.

You should also be familiar with what to do during spills and accidents, as well as which types of chemicals help to neutralize certain substances. It's also important to know how to wash and store glassware and the maximum temperature that is used to heat up beakers, flasks and test tubes.

Now that you know a little about what's going to be on this quiz, it's time to test your wits by taking it! Impress your friends by scoring at least 85%!

Which type of accident should you report to your instructor?

You should report all accidents to your instructor, no matter how small. This is for the safety of your classmates, the instructor and the class environment.


Which of the following is allowed in a lab?

Of the options above, you should always wear safety goggles in the lab. The rest of the answers are prohibited for safety reasons.


What is the proper way to look at what's inside a test tube?

The correct answer is to look at the test tube from one of its sides. Students should never peer into the tube, as this can be quite dangerous.


A crucible is supported and held by a _______.

The answer is a Pipestem triangle. It's actually in the shape of a triangle and is used to hold a hot crucible in place. The triangle also has wires that are woven through it.


Which of the following is prohibited in a lab?

The correct answer is eating food. Food and chemicals should never be within the same vicinity. This also goes for drinking soda and juice.


What should you do before leaving the lab?

Always wash your hands thoroughly before leaving the lab. This is to wash away any potential chemical residue and for hygienic purposes.


Which of these shoes are not allowed in the lab?

The right answer is open sandals. This is to prevent any chemicals from potentially spilling on exposed skin.


Which of the following is NOT used to describe hazardous waste?

"Enzymatic" is not used to describe hazardous waste. The other trait, which is missing on this list, is "corrosivity."


When heating up test tubes, where should they be facing?

The right answer is away from you and other lab members. For safety reasons, test tubes should never face you (just in case there is a spill).


Why shouldn't water be added to solutions that contain concentrated acids?

The correct answer is that it could splatter. When water is added to a solution of concentrated acid, the chemicals may start to splatter and strike lab members.


How should you treat a minor burn on the skin?

When treating a burn on the skin, always dip the affected area in cold water. You should then let your instructor know what happened.


What is the proper way to mix acid and water together?

To properly mix water and an acid solution together, you should slowly add the acid to water while stirring it. This is to prevent any dangerous splattering from taking place.


Solids can turn into powders via a ________.

A mortar and pestle is used for pressing down solids into a powder form. The mortar refers to the bowl and the pestle refers to the object that you use to press and mix the solids.


What should you do if your eye is affected by a chemical?

If your eye is affected by a chemical, you should use an eyewash​ fountain to thoroughly wash it. Your instructor should then be notified of the situation.


Which of the following should you NOT do before starting work in a lab?

You should never use any kinds of chemicals on a pan balance. You should, however, clean your work station/glassware and wear safety equipment before any kind of lab work.


What is the proper way to smell a chemical in a tube?

The correct answer is as follows: Use your hands to create a "fan" motion that will sweep the fumes from the tube and toward your nose. This way, your face is safely away from the tube.


Which of these can you bring into a lab?

You are allowed to bring a lab notebook into the lab to jot down any notes. Food, gum and drinks are not be allowed due to potential cross-contamination​.


When should you familiarize yourself with the lab procedures?

Before you enter the vicinity of the lab, you should already be familiar with any applicable procedures. This is so that work can be completed in a timely and efficient manner.


Which of the following is used to hold hot test tubes?

As its name implies, a test tube holder is used to "hold" test tubes. This is particularly useful when the tubes are too hot to touch.


What is a test tube rack used for?

When test tubes are not in use, they are safely held in place via a test tube rack. This can also be used for reactions in a test tube.


Liquids can be safely heated in a ________.

Beakers are used to safely hold liquids for heating purposes. They come in a variety of sizes and usually come with measurements on the side for accuracy.


You can transfer liquid from one beaker to another by using a ________.

A pipet is used to transfer liquids from one beaker (or glassware) to another. It's shaped like a long tube and some even have measurements along the side.


Which of the following is used to hold a variety of hot objects?

Tongs are used to hold a variety of objects that may be too hot to touch with the human hand. Some of these include flasks and crucibles.


Flasks and beakers can be safely sealed with a __________.

A stopper often comes in rubber textures and is used to safely seal a variety of glassware. This is to prevent any potential spills due to accidents.


Which of the following is used to clean test tubes and other types of glassware?

A wire brush, or a spout brush, is used to clean a variety of narrow glassware, including test tubes. It's also long and thin, which is great for cleaning any hard-to-reach crevices.


Which of the following does NOT describe a watch glass?

A watch glass is a multi-purpose vessel in the lab that can hold liquids and chemicals for heating, weighing and evaporation. One thing it can't do is measure temperature.


Liquids can be safely stirred by using a ______.

As its name implies, stirring rods are used for stirring purposes. They are also made from glass and are typically about as long as a pencil.


Which of these small tools is used to transfer small substances and powders from one vessel to another?

Micro spatulas look like miniature scoops that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They usually have a rounded edge at the end for scooping powders and substances.


If you see "MT" on a piece of glassware, what does that mean?

"MT" sounds like "empty," which is exactly what it means in the context of lab safety. When you see a label that says "MT," it's just a short way of saying the object is empty.


Cylinders should never be heated to a temperature higher than ________.

The correct answer is 125°F. This is the threshold for heating up cylinders, which should also never drop below 50°F.


Which of the following may be used to replace a Mercury barometer?

The mercury that lies within a Mercury barometer is considered to be toxic in a lab. Fortunately, mercury barometers may be replaced with a digital pressure sensor.


Which of the following is known to be a carcinogen?

The correct answer is asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. A carcinogen is potentially lethal to humans because it is known to cause cancer.


If you spill acid on the ground, which of the following should you use to neutralize it?

Another fancy way of saying baking soda is "sodium hydrogen carbonate," which is used to neutralize acids. This should be used during an acid spill on the ground, but not on human skin.


Which of the following is NOT one of the colors of the NFPA hazard diamond?

The correct answer is green. The NFPA stands for National Fire Protection Association, which includes a handy hazard diamond key that indicates various colors and their association to potential hazards. Those colors are blue, yellow, white and red. Green is not one of them.


A 'titration flask' is also known as ________.

The Erlenmeyer flask was invented by Emil Erlenmeyer. It is also known as 'titration flask.' The bottom of this flask is wide, which gradually narrows toward its neck.


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