The topic of this study is the extent of implementation of safety practices among senior Secondary Schools in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State. There has been a persistent decline in implementing safety practices to a large extent in the biology laboratories among senior secondary schools. This ugly trend has been of great concern to the government, educators and the society. The purpose of the study is to identify the extent of implementation and adherence to safety practices in biology laboratories. The design of the study was a descriptive survey research. The area of the study is Enugu South Local Government Area. The populations of the study consist of 14 Secondary Schools from which 5 schools were selected from the population. The researcher randomly selected 100 respondents. A sample size of 75 students and 25 teachers was used. The instrument used for data collection was questionnaire. The data collected was analyzed using simple mean which significantly guided the study. The researcher found out that safety practices is poor and is not encouraging during practical. The researcher recommended that the Government should increase their funds in assisting the school management for a suitable laboratory building and the school administration should send science teachers for training through seminar and workshop.



                                        CHAPTER ONE


Background of the study

Biology is a science that is concerned with life processes. The study of biology is mainly accomplished through practical activities usually performed in well equipped biology laboratories. The biology laboratory is a room or a building in a school or college where the practical side of biology is taught. It is usually a place set aside for conducting practical activities in biology .The central role of biology laboratory as identified by Voss (2012) is to provide illustration of some basic principles and to teach the students the applications of the principles so acquired. A well equipped biology laboratory enables students to develop good judgments, self reliance, critical thinking, technical personal contact with apparatus and materials present in the laboratories under the direction\supervision of the teacher.

A biology laboratory needs to be well organized so that a climate for investigating scientific concepts will exist such a climate ensures that the laboratory is safe for those using it. Since laboratory environment is meant for man to handle, accidents and injuries are bound to occur. Therefore the teacher in biology laboratory is responsibly committed to teaching his students on how to handle chemicals and materials, so as to bring about good results in a safe manner of preserving life. In this regard, Byrd (2004) posited that most of the accidents and injuries that occur in secondary schools biology mainly result from inadequate knowledge of safety rules, insufficient skill by the laboratory workers and carelessness .

The students when using the laboratory have the obligation to help themselves and others; the teachers on their own part have to inculcate safety knowledge and practices into their student so they can develop a philosophy of safety that emphasizes positive rather than negative habits. 

According to the advance learner dictionary, safety is freedom from danger or risk. The importance of safety measures in biology laboratories is very necessary for both students and teachers to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of laboratory hazards. In this regard, Osborne (2012) maintained that most laboratory hazards can be reduced to minimum occurrence by good value, careful manipulation of laboratory apparatus, adequate supervision and the knowledge of the safety practices and their applications. It is obvious that anyone who is not safety conscious stands the greatest risk of turning a minor hazard into an accident which may be fatal. Also, there is need for safety facilities like fume, eye goggles, fire extinguishers, sink, lab coat, waste containers and first aid boxes to be provided in the biology laboratory as their absence may create health hazard. Though it is not enough to provide these safety equipment, supervision of the students during laboratory activities is also necessary.

Appropriate safety practices in biology laboratories in secondary schools can reduce the rate of accidents and guarantee safety of the students in the laboratories. A standard biology laboratory should have certain specified rules and regulations as well as safety materials and equipment presented to the students before allowing them to work in the laboratory and their implementation should be ensured.

These safety rules are guidelines designed to help keep both the students and the instructors’ safe when experimenting. Some equipment and chemicals in a biology laboratory can cause serious harm. It is always wise to follow all laboratory safety rules which are a sample of the most basic rules that should be followed when in biology laboratory,


Since the inclusion of laboratory experience in the teaching and learning of biology, the question of both staff and students during practical work have become crucial. Biology laboratories have been established in some Nigeria secondary schools without safety considerations in their designs and constructions (Abdullahi, 2000).  Poor safety practices in biology laboratories have led to accidents such as glass breaking, skin contact with specimens and chemicals, injury, fire out breaks and even death.

In the light of the above, it is therefore necessary to investigate the extent of implementation on safety practices in biology laboratories in using randomly selected secondary schools in Enugu South of Enugu state, Nigeria.


The purpose of this study is to identify the extent of implementation and adherence to safety practices among staff and senior secondary school student in biology laboratories in Enugu South Local Government Area.


Specifically the study intends to find out:

·        The general designs and fittings of biology laboratories relevant to safety.

·        The availability of safety equipment and materials in biology laboratories

·        The services of laboratory assistants that are employed to ensure safety.

·        The extent of implementation of safety rules biology laboratory.


This research work will be beneficial to the following groups: National science teachers association (NSTA), students, teachers and school administrators.

Student who have phobia for practical’s in science laboratories due to the occurrences of  hazards and accident in the science laboratory will find this work   reliable in order to develop good attitudes, safe and conscientious laboratory habits  in any  practical field of study.

The teachers and other laboratory staff should also see the need of keeping the rules, developing slogans about them, writing some of them on the cardboard sheets hung on the laboratory. With these, practical work will be conducive through safety measures in the science laboratories.

The school administrators will find this work relevant by providing an adequate facility such as good modern and reliable building with necessary equipment where laboratory investigation can be conducted with ease.

The national science teachers association will find the best means to administer the groups of objectives that may be achieved through the use of laboratory in science classes such as attitude, understanding the nature of science, cognitive abilities, acquisition of knowledge concept and skills.



The following research questions have been formulated to guide the study.

1.     How does the type of design and fitting in the biology laboratory appropriate to ensure safety?

2.     To what extent is safety equipment available in the biology laboratory?

3.     How often do services of laboratory assistants employed,  ensures safety during laboratory instructions.

4.     To which measures does the secondary school biology student apply safety practices during practical sessions?


The study looks at the extent to which safety practices are implemented by staff and adherence to safety rules among students in biology laboratories in senior secondary schools in Enugu south local government area of Enugu state.

safy practice




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