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Status of Safety Precautions in Science Laboratories in Enugu State, Nigeria
This study was conducted to determine the status of safety precautions in science laboratories in Enugu State of Nigeria. Three research questions and two hypotheses guided the study. The research questions include: 1. What are the sources of hazards in school science laboratories? 2. What are the causes of accidents in school science laboratories? 3. What are the safety devices available in science laboratories? The hypotheses include that there is no significant difference between the mean responses of male and female science teachers regarding the causes of accidents in school science laboratories, and there is no significant difference between the mean responses of rural and urban science teachers with respect to the safety devices available in science laboratories. A seven item questionnaire was administered on two hundred (200) Science (120 female and 80 male) teachers in Enugu North and South secondary schools. Data were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation as well as inferential statistic of t-test. The results of the study showed that: the sources of hazards in school science laboratory included improper techniques of using equipment, inadequate laboratory facilities, and improper storage of equipment, improper managing and organization of laboratory facilities; the basic causes of accidents in school science laboratories included the use of glass wares, non-exposure of science teachers to laboratory safety, hasting activities during practical and inactive supervision of students during laboratory activities; safety devices lacking in most science laboratories included use of eye protective shield, spectacles and goggles by teachers and student during practical work, safety screen during experiments and fire extinguishers; there was no significant difference between male and female science teachers’ responses as regards the causes of accidents in school science laboratories, and there was no significant difference between the urban and rural science teachers’ responses with respect to the safety devices available in school science laboratories. Based on these findings, conclusions were drawn and recommendations made.