Safety Guidelines

Safety Guidelines

Based on in-person event, to return in 2023!   REMINDER - Even with virtual events, research may involve experimentation.  Coaches are advised to make sure students perform experiments safely - with the proper safety gear and in a safe environment.

Many of the events in the NJCO include hands-on, inquiry-based laboratory investigations.  Some activities may involve the use of chemicals or equipment that may pose a health or safety danger to both students and teachers if not handled properly.  Coaches are responsible for supervising all laboratory and engineering activities completed prior to competition day.    

All laboratory work should follow appropriate safety instructions and be supervised by instructor or coach.

Prior to having students conduct scientific research and/or experiments involving chemicals it is of particular importance that teachers review with them all safety concerns and possible outcomes of these experiments. MSDS sheets for all chemicals must be reviewed with students prior to any handling of these substances. Laboratory safety rules as well as the the Minimum Safety Guidelines set forth by the American Chemical Society must be reviewed and discussed with students in detail prior to signing this form.

Coaches should fill out and print the Safety/Photo Release Contract (found here - previously emailed to coaches). Coaches and competitors must READ and SIGN the safety/photo release contract. This form must be submitted when your team is finalized.  The latest date this contract should be submitted is May 1st. 

Minimum Safety Guidelines for Chemical Demonstrations

American Chemical Society - Division of Chemical Education

Chemical Demonstrators Must:

  • Know the properties of the chemicals and chemical reactions involved in all demonstrations presented.
  • Comply with all local rules and regulations.
  • Wear appropriate eye protection for all chemical demonstrations.
  • Warn the members of the audience to cover their ears whenever a loud noise is anticipated.
  • Plan the demonstration so that harmful quantities of noxious gases (ex: NO2, SO2, H2S) do not enter the local air supply.
  • Provide safety shield protection whenever there is the slightest possibility that a container, its fragments, or its contents could be propelled with sufficient force to cause personal injury.
  • Arrange to have a fire extinguisher at hand whenever the slightest possibility of fire exists.
  • NOT taste or encourage spectators to taste any nonfood substances.
  • 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 into liquid nitrogen).
  • NOT use "open" containers of volatile, toxic substances (ex: benzene, CCl4, formaldehyde) without adequate ventilation as provided by fume hoods.
  • Provide written procedure, hazard, and disposal information for each demonstration whenever the audience is encouraged to repeat the demonstration.
  • Arrange for appropriate waste containers for and subsequent disposal of materials harmful to the environment.