safety goggles and Demos

Just wondering what other people's thoughts on the following:-

Alkali metal and water demo on front teacher's bench surrounded on 3 sides with a safety screens.

Students, obviously because of Covid, 2 metres behind the front row of desks.

question - safety googles for students or not?

(Under ordinary circumstances they would wear them because they would be a lot closer.)
I think it's normally only recommended that the students in the front row wear safety specs, so if they're all two metres away I wouldn't think they need them.
Thank you .That's what we thought, - got over ruled by head of chemistry. made us look stupid. Teacher didn't believe us so had to ask HoD. Teacher didn't tell us they were going to use them either so we could have used them later on not knowing they weren't clean or quarantined.
We are quite strict on wearing eye protection here, we make them wear safety specs if anything is going on in the room that they nee to observe. A lot of the time it is overkill but you cant say we aren't safe. :nerd:
Personally I would say that kids and teachers alike should get into the habit of wearing them when doing almost any experiment as it's such a simple measure that can save such a delicate and useful sense.

My eyes have been saved 3 times in my 6 years of being a chemist from a injury that would have likely blinded me and there have been countless times I've have splashes from washing up with acetone/methanol/dilute HCl that would have hurt like a bitch and I'm thankful to my teachers for being draconian about wearing safety glasses now.

Obviously with COVID some schools are going to struggle with needing to sanitise goggles etc. and unless the experiment calls for an acid/base, stain, risk of something breaking into shards, spring flicking into eye etc. then one could consider no glasses, but only if the risk is incredibly low. For the alkali metals demo, bits of metal can fly over a screen so kids should DEFINITELY wear eye protection as although the chances of a grain of flaming metal goes in a kids eye is very low, IF it happens to land in an eye, the damage to the eye would be catastrophic. It's just not worth the tiny risk when all it takes to mitigate is wearing glasses.

I do think that ideally kids should be given a pair of safety glasses with a case to stop scratches at the start of the school year, like any adult would be given a set of PPE when starting a job but there will be numerous issues in various schools (cost, storage, forgetfulness) and many creases to iron if such a system was put into place. My sixth form had this in place which worked for us, but we were sixth form and were more organised than the average 11 year old.
Never underestimate how far something can travel! Depends what it is of course but all it takes is a little splash of something nasty.

Always better to be safe than sorry after all. If it was up to me here I would have them wearing goggles for everything.

Julie Delaney

I think it's normally only recommended that the students in the front row wear safety specs, so if they're all two metres away I wouldn't think they need them.
I agree with you. :thumbsup: CLEAPSS state that goggles should only be worn for practicals that require them and not for every practical lesson.
I checked this myself with CLEAPSS a few years ago, I was advised it was perspex sheet over trough PLUS safety sheets PLUS splashproof goggles required for this demo. Seems a tad extreme IMO but that's what we give out here