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glassware after practicals

Discussion in 'Personal' started by mimomaya, Nov 13, 2018.

  1. mimomaya

    mimomaya New commenter

    can the lab technician ask teachers to make students responsible for washing glassware after practicals? Or does this cause a health and safety concerns?
  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Even if it is acceptable under H&S rules, is it a good use of teaching and learning time?
    Aquamarina1234 likes this.
  3. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Used to be the thing.
    sparkleghirl and Mangleworzle like this.
  4. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Not sure about H&S, depends what is being used, refer to hazcards and Cleapps (or whatever it was called) if you think it might be.

    I used to have a kitchen sieve by the sink, they would throw all liquids through this to catch any solids if applicable then put t/t in a bowl in the sink. Beakers and flasks left on the side as they tended to break if chucked in the bowl. Techs would then soak and wash them. Actually washing was usually done by a cleaner who came in for a couple of hours before she started cleaning rooms.
  5. Scintillant

    Scintillant Star commenter

    Yes, obvious health and safety concerns
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    When I was a kid if you got into trouble you'd be issued with the lunchtime detention task of washing up the glassware after science lessons. Of course practicals were more common those days, so there was always a lot of stuff on the sideboards in the lab.

    When I got a detention once (I dusted the teacher's chair with chalk dust, the English Literature teacher who always wore a black dress) I was given about seventy five test tubes to wash with a long wire brush. Inside they were stuck solid with something blue greenish, presumably related to something to do with copper, calcified to the base of the tube, and the requisite scrub factor versus the strictured proportions of the tubes made it almost unfeasible to clean them.
    After 20 mins and still only on the fifth one I discovered the test tubes slid nicely down the large lab sink plugholes into the dank irretrievable semblance of non existence (job done! thought my kid brain), and so, forty years later, I'd say even if allowed, it is probably not a good idea to make students responsible for glassware after practicals. Not if you want to actually keep the glassware.
  7. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    I do the same as Mangleworzle. Most KS3 and 4 practicals have low risk. 0.5M hydrochloric acid and a few marble chips won't do much harm. Anything needing care goes back to the prep room for cleaning.
  8. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    My science lessons were entirely practical as they should be (1960's Nuffield style) and clearing up was part of the lesson.
    However, because of the temptation to fool about at the end of a lesson I would dismiss a class leaving the laboratory untouched. The next class in cleaned up to begin whilst they were still fresh. The class dismissed had done their bit when they came in.
    Washing up is good science, lots to do and lots to learn.
  9. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    The most important issue concerning cleaning is whether or not the item is disposable, and in these days of recycling the children should be involved as well.
  10. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    I would get the students to quickly swill any glassware off under a running tap before putting it into bowl before a better clean by the technician. It was for two reasons: firstly it taught the importance of cleanliness in science to avoid cross contamination and secondly it made life easier for the technician.

    By the way school lab technicians are not bottle washers, they are skilled technicians with many more complex tasks to do. But many schools I worked in recognised this and either employed a specific glassware washer or bought a glass washing machine,
  11. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    I always did my own chromic acid washing.
  12. Aquamarina1234

    Aquamarina1234 Star commenter

    We had a dishwasher in the prep room. It was the Technician's Assistant's job to load and unload it.
    Given the errr... attitude of the (sadly) majority of inmates, sorry, students, it was the most practical solution.
    Obviously many schools do not enjoy the services of a degree in Chemistry Technician with a love of teaching, much less an assistant, and neither does that school since it became a cog in the academy money-milking scheme, but the previous management was all about supporting both kids and staff. That's why it was flogged off.
  13. racroesus

    racroesus Star commenter

    Dish washers aren't good with chromic acid.
    border_walker likes this.
  14. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    So while we're on H&S where do we stand with asbestos mats? We had them in Science lessons in the 1970s - what's the current thinking about them now?

    Presumably mesothelioma was identified before the 1970s, or do asbestos mats not contribute to that?
  15. maggie m

    maggie m Lead commenter

    Maybe in your school ours are ex midday staff , cheerful and friendly, but with minimal skills and knowledge. Bitter experience tells me even very detailed instructions will not necessarily get me the practical I ordered. I know I have washed up some A level practicals myself as I am not convinced the technicians would be safe doing it.
  16. Mangleworzle

    Mangleworzle Star commenter

    Heatproof mats haven't been asbestos for a long time. They are usually glassfibre based.
    les25paul likes this.
  17. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    Our highly skilled, qualified laboratory technicians were all 'let go', leaving us with 'extended role lunchtime supervisors', who loaded the dishwasher. Some items of glassware became too precious to expose them to the tender ministrations of students any more than necessary. Quick-Fit glassware for A level practical sessions we set up, took down, and washed ourselves, as it was like gold dust.
  18. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    But there's been a scare about this recently hasn't there? With some schools finding that they might actually have asbestos they didn't know about.
  19. border_walker

    border_walker Lead commenter

    I recall them being removed at leat 30 years ago, surprised that they still exist in schools.
  20. les25paul

    les25paul Star commenter

    A real tragedy when schools do that, one school I worked in (which "prided" itself as a science center of excellence) cut the numbers of technician hours to save costs. The result was extra work for the remaining technicians who were forced to offer a reduced service (ie less practical support).

    But oddly the school found enough money to employ: a Teaching and Learning member of SLT, a Business Manager and a PA for the Principal,

    Oh and the librarian had to double up as a receptionist.

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