Author Archives: Kenneth Roy

Kenneth Roy

Kenneth Roy is Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Glastonbury Public Schools and NSTA Safety Consultant
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Safer STEM Labs






Like science labs, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) labs require safety and security measures, with an emphasis on safety training, personal protective equipment (PPE), standard operating procedures, engineering controls, and supervision. While hand and power tools (e.g., hammers, screw drivers, table saws, drill presses) can be found in STEM labs, many students and teachers […]

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Avoiding Electrical Hazards in the Lab






In science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) labs, teachers and students can be exposed to a number of electrical hazards such as damaged electrical receptacles, missing ground prongs, and faulty electrical equipment. These hazards can result in electric shock, electrocution, fire, and explosions. Circuit breakers only protect the science lab and school building—not the teachers […]

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A Three-Step Method for Safer Labs






  The lab can be an unsafe place. Under NSTA’s Duty of Care, however, the teacher is required to make labs safer (see Resources). One way of doing so is to follow the analysis, assessment, and action (AAA) method. The method requires teachers to perform a hazard analysis before each lab demonstration (Minister 2015), as […]

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The Harmful Particles in 3-D Printers






As three-dimensional printers are starting to become more common in science, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), and Fab labs, recent research indicates that 3-D printers pose serious health and safety concerns. The research shows that commercial 3-D printers were producing hazardous levels of ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when plastic materials […]

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9 Housekeeping Tips for Science Educators






A clean lab is a safer lab. These nine housekeeping tips can help science teachers reduce the risk of lab accidents. 1. Location, location, location. Keep all lab equipment and materials in assigned places, such as cabinets and drawers, with labels, so you know where things are. 2. Keep it closed. Closed cabinets and drawers […]

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An Acknowledgment Form Is Safer Than a Contract






The school year is well under way. But before students enter science labs, they must turn in a safety acknowledgment form. After completing introductory safety training, as noted in NSTA’s Duty of Care (NSTA 2014), review and have students and their parent or guardian sign a safety acknowledgement form (see Resource), stating safety practices and […]

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How Safe Is Your Eyewash?






According to a recent article in Safety + Health magazine, Honeywell Safety Products had to recall about 9,700 bottles of Eyesaline emergency eyewash solution due to “a low risk of contamination” of bacteria that can cause eye infections (NSC 2016). Science teachers need to see if they have this type of eyewash solution and also […]

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Preventing Overcrowding in K–12 Science Labs






Of all the safety concerns expressed by science teachers, class size is high on the list. Thus, occupancy loads in science laboratories should be restricted to create and maintain a safer learning environment. Ever since the 1996 National Science Education Standards were put in place, science teachers have been encouraged or required to do more […]

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Starting the New School Year: Seven Safer Science Strategies






Before starting the new school year, in terms of safety, a little planning can go a long way. Science teachers, supervisors, and administrators should check out the Safer Seven checklist below for strategies that improve laboratory safety. Know the rules and practices. No matter where you teach, legal safety standards must be followed. Before working […]

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Welcome to the NSTA Safety Blog






As NSTA’s chief science safety compliance adviser, I look forward to sharing the latest safety compliance information, while helping teachers solve safety-related problems and issues in the classroom, lab, and maker space. I’m also looking forward to interacting with colleagues to help improve science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in the trenches. Specifically, NSTA […]

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