CLEAPSS Supporting practical science and technology
CLEAPSS Technicians
CLEAPSS Supporting technicians

Technicians play a vital role in supporting the teaching of exciting, effective science safely. CLEAPSS provides guidance on all aspects of being a technician and resources such as stock lists, templates for laboratory checklists, requisition sheets, labels and much more to help technicians in their jobs. CLEAPSS actively works with other organisations to raise the status of technicians in schools.

We also post details of technician networks and job vacancies.

If you need help or advice or would like to share a technician tip please get in touch by email or phone.

Working with glass

Latest news from CLEAPSS..
Hot weather, the storage of chemicals and ventilation: PREPARING FOR THE HOLIDAYS30 Jun 2017
In addition to the advice below, make sure your chemicals keep cool even if the weather is hot while school is closed over the summer.

Arrange for the store to be kept cool. If you know the temperature rises if the weather gets hot, increase the ventilation if possible.
Consider alternative storage arrangements if there is a secure, cool, well-ventilated space available, at least over the holiday period when the chemicals do not need to be accessed frequently.
Arrange for someone to check the store regularly. If this will be a non-science colleague, make sure (s)he knows what to look out for and what to do if problems are spotted and warn the colleague not to put themselves at risk. Leave the CLEAPSS Helpline number and instructions (including a copy of the E Hazcards and GL120 About Hazcards section E).
Place bottles of volatile chemicals in a large volume of water eg, in a bucket or bowl. Protect the label by keeping the water level below the label or placing the bottle in a plastic bag.
Take care when entering the store after a period away, particularly if the weather has been hot.

Ventilation : A rate of 2 air changes per hour, maintained 24/7 normally suffices to vent hazardous fumes and maintain an even temperature. If your store is liable to become hot, the ventilation may be deficient. Call a ventilation engineer to check it and quote for improvements. Failure to maintain adequate ventilation can lead to overheating and a build-up of fumes which can cause ill-health and corrosion. 

Contact the CLEAPSS Helpline for further advice if necessary

Hot weather, the storage of chemicals and ventilation20 Jun 2017
Make sure your stored chemicals are safe in hot weather. 

Volatile chemicals (those that evaporate easily) are most at risk. You might detect a stronger smell in the area or notice plastic bottles bulging. 

For example, highly flammable liquids and also other non-organic volatiles such as concentrated hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and ammonia might be affected. 

• Try to keep the store as cool as possible and don’t put yourself at risk by going in if the level of fumes is higher than usual or you suspect that something has leaked. Use any blinds that are fitted and ensure the ventilation system is working. If the fan is on a time switch, lengthen the ‘on’ periods if possible or keep it switched on all the time.

• ONLY if it is possible to ventilate the store safely, do so. You can then attend to bottles of volatile chemicals to reduce the risks from a build-up of vapours. Wearing personal protective equipment: chemical-protective goggles and gloves, place bottles of volatile chemicals into larger containers with cold water and ice in a working fume cupboard to cool them thoroughly before opening them carefully and allowing fumes to vent. Then close the lids again.

• If you detect problems and there is a risk that fumes have built up, or you are unsure what to do, consider evacuating any areas at risk and contact the CLEAPSS Helpline for advice
Free workshop for Technician Groups12 Jun 2017
Last summer glassware manufacturer SciLabware ran free workshops for Technician Groups around the country, the aim of which was to help technicians make informed choices when it comes to purchasing glassware and plasticware.  

The workshops have been very popular and SciLabware are pleased to announce that they will again be offering these free workshops.  

For the latest information, including booking details, please see here.
Gatsby Practical Work in Science Survey24 May 2017
Gatsby would like to invite you to participate in a unique and important piece of research into practical work in science in England and Scotland. 

We are now into the final year of this exciting three-year national study. Preliminary findings from the first two years of the study are proving extremely interesting, giving a detailed insight into the impact of changes taking place in practical science.

We want to hear from heads of science, science teachers and science technicians from a wide variety of teaching environments to help us develop a greater understanding of what practical work in science means in today’s schools and colleges.

The surveys take approximately 20 minutes to complete. 

To thank you for participating, we are offering everyone who fills in the survey a chance to win one of five £100 Amazon gift vouchers in a prize draw at the end of July.

There are three separate surveys that can be accessed at the links below:-




Slime16 May 2017
Want to make slime? Then use our new tried and tested method, which is on our new primary science website : http://primary.cleapss.org.uk/Resource/P042-Slime-time.aspx
Technicians Resources
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Members only resource Click to download Document.
Provides an overview and full index of all Laboratory Handbook sections.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This edition includes notes on blood and cheek cell sampling, inappropriate dumping of waste chemicals, and the role and value of the CE mark on equipment.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Risk assessment guidance for carbon disulfide.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Risk assessment guidance for Salicylic acid, aspirin & similar esters

Members only resource Click to download Document.
A straightforward investigation using simple equipment which will allow students to confirm Boyle's law.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This leaflet is intended to give brief details only of the major manufacturers and suppliers of electronic balances suitable for use in science within secondary schools and colleges.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
Outlines the work that science technicians do, the tasks which they should not, ideally, be given, and provides a pointer to the number of technicians needed in a department and to management issues w.. more

Free resource Click to download Document.
Important health and safety information for using a range of human body fluids and tissues in practical work.

Members only resource Click to download Document.
This includes all the pictograms required by the Globally Harmonised System for chemical hazard labelling. A selection of large (A4) and small sized pictures for printing and use in schools

Free resource Click to download Document.
Complete index for the Student Safety Sheets

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