Science Laboratory: Symbols, Signs and their Meanings

Science Laboratory: Symbols, Signs and their Meanings

If you have ever visited a science laboratory, you must have come across several symbols and signs displayed on the walls or near science equipment. A science laboratory is a place which is exposed to harmful substances since a number of experiments are conducted there. Hence, as a science lab visitor, you should be aware of these symbols.

Here is your handy guide to decoding the meaning of symbols in a science lab.


This sign indicates the presence of corrosive substances that can burn your skin to the bone if you come in direct contact with them. They are also known to cause blindness if they fall on your eyes. Hence, you should wear gloves, face mask or protective clothing to stay safe from these substances in the lab.


This sign alerts you regarding the location of a defibrillator, also known as Automated External Defibrillator (AED). It is an emergency device to attend emergency cardiac arrest cases. It is advisable not to touch it unless you are trained or authorized to do so.


Biohazard signs can usually be found near science equipment, refrigerator or freezers that usually store or use biohazard material such as toxins, blood samples, dangerous/infectious bacteria, viruses or any other unsafe microorganisms. When you see this sign, you should wear a face mask and anti-bacterial gloves in the lab.

High Voltage

The science equipment bearing this sign indicates that it runs on high voltage. The electricity power is so high that it can cause bodily harm or death to any living being. Either you need to stay clear of such area or wear adequate protection and take necessary measures to prevent shocks.

Laser Beam Hazard

This sign warns you about the presence of laser beams in the science lab. If your body gets exposed to them directly, they can damage your skin and eyes. It is advisable to wear protective eyewear, laser beam proof clothes or non-flammable gear.


No Pacemakers or Metallic Implants

Sometimes, certain areas of science lab are marked with magnetic field hazard. The magnetic field gets activated with pacemakers, metallic implants or any other metal object such as coins, watches and jewellery. Hence, it is recommended that people with pacemakers and metallic implants should not enter the science lab and others should remove the metal objects before their visit.

Hot Surface

You will see this sign near science equipment and apparatus that have hot surface and have the capacity to cause burns to human skin. Please refrain from going near such apparatus or take adequate safety measures while handling them.

Eye Wash Station

If at all your eye is exposed to hazardous substances or chemicals, you should immediately try to find the eye wash station sign. Usually, it is located in the most accessible area of the lab. The station has eyewash liquid that can help rinse the eye.

A science lab can be a very dangerous place if you do not take proper safety measures. So, be careful whenever you visit science labs and follow the signs meticulously!

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