Do your students carry out practical work? If so, you need to think proactively about accessibility and inclusivity issues.
The Council of Ontario Universities' comprehensive document, Understanding Accessibility in Practical Space Learning, suggests the following four considerations:
- think critically about the essential requirements of a course or programme;
- be proactive, not reactive;
- advance flexibility and creativity in curriculum delivery;
- foster open and frequent communication with the student and Disability Advisory Service.
While this specifically mentions disability, the principles are relevant for all students. The University of Strathclyde also has extensive webpages on creating accessible practical classes for disabled students.
There are a number of resources on accessible science labs. The National Educational Association of Disabled Students (NEADS) has a checklist for making science labs accessible for students with disabilities.
There is also a lot of useful guidance on accessible science labs on the Canadian Accessible Campus website.
With regards protective clothing, it may be necessary to vary either the activity or the rule (according to approved legal exceptions) in view of issues of inclusivity. For example, the requirement to wear protective headgear may be an issue for people with religious beliefs that require them to wear particular dress. Page eight of the University of Reading's code of practice on personal protective equipment lists protective clothing associated with various hazards in your place of work or study (although it should be noted that the regulations apply to staff, and may not all apply to students).