Chemistry Quiz - Lab Safety

Printable Lab Safety Quiz

Test your lab safety knowledge before setting foot in the lab.
Are you a menace to yourself and others in the lab? Test your lab safety knowledge before setting foot in the lab. Steve Taylor/Getty Images

You can take this printable chemistry quiz online or print it out to try later. This multiple choice test covers basic lab safety concepts. You may wish to review lab safety before you get started.

  1. You should pipette by mouth:
    (a) Always. It's a fast and efficient method of measuring liquids.
    (b) Only when you can't find a pipette bulb or think it might be dirty.
    (c) Only when you are sure your instructor, lab assistant, or co-worker isn't looking.
    (d) Never. And if you thought about answering yes to any other the other choices, should be expelled.
  2. When you are finished using a Bunsen burner you should:
    (a) Leave it on for the next person to use. It's the only considerate choice.
    (b) Cover the burner with an inverted beaker to suffocate the flame. It works well for candles, too.
    (c) Pull off the hose connecting the burner to the gas. The burner won't have gas, so it won't be on fire.
    (d) Turn off the gas. Duh!
  3. If you feel dizzy or sick while working near the fume hood you should:
    (a) Head out to grab a cola or a snack. Maybe it's low blood sugar. Don't tell anyone - why bother them.
    (b) Meh, no big deal. Do nothing. Fume hoods always protect you from harmful chemicals. The sooner you get finished the sooner you can leave.
    (c) Report your symptoms to whoever is responsible for that fume hood. It might be nothing, but on the other hand, maybe the hood wasn't functioning properly and you were exposed to something. Look up the MSDS for whatever was in the hood, too. Leave the lab, after contacting the proper person.
  4. If you catch on fire you should:
    (a) Panic. Yelling FIRE at the top of your lungs to let others know about the danger is good. Be sure to run as quickly as possible to blow out the flame.
    (b) Water fixes everything. Head for the nearest safety shower and drown the flame.
    (c) Pull the fire alarm and look for help. Hope the fire doesn't burn you too badly before you can take some form of action.
    (d) Smother the flame. Those blankets in the lab are there for a reason. Some fire doesn't really care about water, but all flames need oxygen. Get help, too. You weren't working alone in the lab though, right?
  5. Your glassware is clean enough to eat off of, which is why you poured yourself a refreshing glass of water into a beaker to quench your thirst. Too bad you didn't label it. You should:
    (a) Go on with your business. Are you saying there is some safety issue here? I scoff at you!
    (b) Just be really careful about keeping it separate from other beakers filled with clear liquid.
    Hydrochloric acid.. water.. there is a difference, but I can smell the acid before I drink it.
    (c) Label it before you forget which beaker it is. You're sure there are no residual chemicals in the glassware and positive nothing could accidentally splash into your drink.
    (d) Look back to an earlier answer about how you should be slapped for stupidity. Food and drinks don't belong in the lab. Period.
  6. You really want to impress a certain person in your lab. You should:
    (a) Be sure to wear contacts, not glasses, and just be really careful about chemical fumes. Got long hair? Don't tie it back, flaunt it. Nice legs? Wear something short, with sandals to show off those toes. Also, impress him or her by doing something daring in the lab. Choose something involving fire.
    (b) Ditch the lab coat and goggles. Dress to impress. There's no way the person can tell your fashion sense when you cover it with safety gear.
    (c) Hey.. lab coats are cool! Only ditch the goggles.
    (d) Impress him or her with how incredibly competent you are in the lab. That includes your ability to follow safe lab procedures.
  7. You are really curious about chemistry and chemical reactions. You wonder what would happen if you mixed chemicals in a different way or introduced something new into a procedure. You should:
    (a) Stomp that curiosity down. Chemists do what they are told. Nothing more, nothing less.
    (b) Run with it. Mix and match chemicals to your heart's desire. What's the worst that could happen? Explosion? You laugh. Toxic fumes? As if.
    (c) Get the Nobel prize for your brilliance. But first.. let's try things and see how they work. But as for the scientific method and making predictions? That's for sissies.
    (d) Be applauded for your curiosity, imagination, and quest for innovation, but be very, very careful about altering procedures. If it's a lab experiment for a grade, don't deviate from the procedure. Otherwise, make a prediction about what could happen based on your observations. Research possible reactions and consequences before playing mix-and-match in the lab.
  8. There is a container on the lab bench containing some unknown chemical. You should:
    (a) Dump it, wash the glassware. Some people are slobs.
    (b) Move it out of the way in case it is dangerous. Otherwise, not your problem.
    (c) Leave it. The rightful owner will claim it eventually.
    (d) Find your lab supervisor and ask what to do. If you are the lab supervisor, remove the container (noting its location), hunt down the offender, and try to get some idea what could be in the beaker so you know how to dispose of it.
  9. If you break a mercury thermometer, or otherwise spill mercury, you should:
    (a) Leave it for others to find. Accidents happen. It's pretty obvious it was mercury. No big deal.
    (b) Grab some paper towels, clean it up, and throw it away. Problem solved.
    (c) Clean it up, being sure to throw away the mercury-contaminated items where heavy metals go. Don't bother anyone about the spill though. What they don't know can't hurt them.
    (d) Leave it alone, but call your instructor or lab assistant over immediately to deal with the spill. You're alone? Call whoever is responsible for lab accidents. Only clean up the spill if you have been trained to deal with mercury. Don't pretend like it didn't happen.
  10. You see someone in your lab engaged in an unsafe lab practice. You should:
    (a) Point and laugh. They will clue in and change their behavior from the humiliation.
    (b) Point and laugh and tell the person what an idiot he or she is being, and why the lab practice is unsafe.
    (c) Ignore them. Not your problem.
    (d) Nicely, politely point out the possible danger and how to avoid it. You're non-confrontational? Find someone with more courage who can tactfully correct the problem. (Okay, maybe if it's pipetting by mouth or thwacking the cap on an ether bottle with a screwdriver the second answer is worth considering.)

1 d, 2 d, 3 c, 4 d, 5 d, 6 d, 7 d, 8 d, 9 d, 10 d

This quiz is available in an online format that is scored automatically.

Lab Safety Quiz Key Takeaways

  • Know the location and proper operation of safety equipment.
  • Follow proper procedures in the lab.
  • If you see something, say something. Don't ignore safety issues.
  • If an accident occurs, immediately report it.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Chemistry Quiz - Lab Safety." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). Chemistry Quiz - Lab Safety. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Chemistry Quiz - Lab Safety." ThoughtCo. (accessed January 27, 2021).

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