The Association for Science Education
  1. Home
  2. Resources
  3. ASE Health and Safety Resources

ASE Health and Safety Resources

Practical science – it’s still safe and it hasn’t been banned! 

Practical work is at the heart of science learning, yet there is a popular misconception that many practical activities in science can’t be carried out in schools because of the limitations imposed by health and safety legislation. The publications and links below offer guidance on how to plan safe and exciting practical work in science, engaging pupils without compromising health and safety standards.

Contact ASE Health and Safety Group 

Key resources for health and safety


Safeguards in the School Lab Essential reading for all new teachers and new heads of science.
Safe & Exciting Science Pack of INSET activities for use in science departments 
Topics in Safety Detailed discussion of issues, gradually being updated. See Revised Topics in Safety
Implications of REACH regulations for the teaching of practical chemistry – Joint advice for 11-19 teachers from ASE, RSC, CLEAPSS and SSERC


Be Safe! 4th edition Essential reading for all primary teachers 
Be Safe! Welsh edition Argraffiad Cymraeg Gofal Piau Hi! (available in digital format only)
Be Safe! INSET Pack Training materials for use in primary schools

Cross Phase Health and Safety Guidance

Health and safety in good practical science – ASE Policy Statement
Health and Safety Guidance for Governors and Head Teachers

Best Practice for Heads of Science

Managing health and safety in science departments Ideas about policies, training and monitoring 
How Safe is your Science Department? A managers checklist 
Science leaders survival guide How to ensure that practical science flourishes in the department by appropriate use of risk assessments 

Further guidance for ASE members
Physics Chemistry Biology General
Explosions in lead/acid batteries 
Radford labpack: The end of an era
Electrical safety
Hazardous electrical sockets
Transmission line demonstration
Use of unsleeved 13A mains plugs
Cells and batteries 
Modified television receivers
Teaching electrical safety
Exploding capacitors
Model steam engines
Hazards in Physics laboratories
Evacuated bell jars 
12V immersion heaters: an explosion
Evacuated bell jars: implosion risk
Safeguard your sources
Flashpoints and autoignition temperatures 
The Chemicals List table
More sodium and water 
Reacting Sodium with water 
Magnesium powder accident 
Safety fillers for pipettes
Oxidation of ethanol  
Carbon block fire 
Solid oxidising agents 
How toxic is it? 
Accident with bromine   
Explosion in a drying oven
Dangers of smelling gases 
Alcohol fires 
Explosion with lithium  
Picric acid
The preparation of chlorine
Magnesium powder 
Suspected danger in the preparation of chlorine 
Ion exchange resins: explosion risk
Anti-bumping granules 
Cleaning combustion tubes 
Accidents caused by blocked apparatus 
The’ Thermit’ Reaction 
Precautions in the use of mercury
Sulphuric acid burns 
Explosions with natural gas 
Pressure vessels
Practical work with DNA
Biological myths and bans
Bovine eyeball dissection - letter
Ion-migration and electrophoresis
The dissection of bull’s eyes and BSE
Safety and the school pond
Dyes and stains used in biology 
Castor oil seeds
Chemicals hazards in biology teaching
Bunsen burner safety
Asthma and secondary science
Allergy and hyper-reactivity
The principles of electrical safety
Are laboratories with peripheral benching safe and fit for purpose?
Employment of pupils in school science laboratories
Class size in secondary schools
Teachers lacking experience of practical science
Health and safety training for teaching assistants
Managing health and safety in science departments
Safe science teaching for SEN
Teaching science for SEN
Security of chemicals
Safety and class size
Reducing eye injuries
Treatment of chemicals in the eye
Peanut allergy
Chemicals in the eye
Science Department safety policies 
Explosions caused by leaking gas fittings
Flammable jumpers
Gas cylinder regulators
Safety in out-of-school science
Hazards of modern hair styles
Incubators and ovens
Accidents in school labs: investigation reporting