Texas Tech University

Safety in the Whitacre College of Engineering

Overview

Engineering Safety

Maintaining a safe learning and research environment for our students, faculty, staff, and visitors in our laboratories, classrooms, and buildings is our top priority.

In our efforts to build a Community of Scholars in the Whitacre College of Engineering, we will endeavor to ensure that our community remains a safe place for all members.

This page provides helpful links and resources to prepare for, respond to, and prevent unsafe and hazardous conditions.

Resources

Safety Videos

Electrical Safety for Researchers Webinar
Webinar Courtesy of Jim Gilson from UC Berkeley and Campus Safety, Health, and Environmental Management Association.


Video courtesy of Bernard (Bernie) Schwartz from ThermoFisher Scientific.

 


Video Courtesy of the University of California, San Diego Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

 


Video Courtesy of the University of California, San Diego Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Printable References

Chemical Hygiene Plan (Laboratory Safety Manual)

Departmental Safety Plans

View a department's safety plan by clicking on the department's name in the drop-down list below.

Building Emergency Action Plans

View emergency action plans for engineering buildings. Note: A valid eRaider username and password is required to access these plans.

Emergency Action Plans by Building

Helpful Links

University Operating Policies Related to Safety

View Operating Policy PDFs by clicking on the OP's name in the drop down list below.

FAQ's

Frequently asked questions about TTU Lab Safety Manual (i.e. TTU safety policies) and WCOE Safety Policies.

Who can I contact if there is a question related to a safety matter?

Depending on the question/situation, you may contact your departmental safety officer (list of officers can be found on the WCOE safety website: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/coe/safety/), the Whitacre College of Engineering safety officer Ms. Chijuan Hu (chijuan.hu@ttu.edu, or 806-834-4613), or TTU Environmental Health and Safety Department (806-742-3876).

What safety training do I need to take and how do I take it?

Safety training requirement includes TTU online safety training and lab/shop specific training.

For TTU online training:

  • Safety Awareness: even though TTU only requires TTU employees to take the safety awareness training, WCOE enforces a more stringent policy that requires everyone who works (including visiting students, visiting scholars, volunteers etc.) in the Engineering College must take the safety awareness training.
  • For other Safety Training, the table of Training Matrix explains which safety training applies to you and when refresher courses are required: https://www.ehs.ttu.edu/ehs/ehshome/training. Also, discuss with your supervisor regarding what training is required.
  • To enroll in the online training system and take the test, follow the instructions on the EHS training website: https://www.ehs.ttu.edu/ehs/ehshome/training

For lab/shop-specific training:

  • Hands-on training from supervisor/senior lab mates
  • Understanding the standard operating procedures (SOPs), work area safety plan (WASP), and safety data sheets (SDSs)
  • Any safety course/seminar/exam required by the lab/shop

Do I need to take safety awareness training?

Even though TTU only requires TTU employees to take the safety awareness training, WCOE enforces a more stringent policy that requires everyone who works (including visiting students, visiting scholars, volunteers etc.) in the Engineering College to take the safety awareness training.

Can I eat or drink in my lab/shop if no chemicals are present?

The answer is No. Food, drink, medicine and cosmetics are not to be stored or consumed in laboratory. Chemicals are not the only type of hazard present in the lab/shop. Per TTU Lab Safety Manual, the definition of "Laboratory" is a facility equipped for experimental or observational study in a science, or for testing, and analysis and that contains chemical, biological, mechanical, radiological and / or LASER materials / equipment for these purposes.

How do I report an incident?

After an incident happens, report it immediate to your supervisor, the departmental safety officer, the departmental chair and EHS if possible. The college safety officer, Ms. Chijuan Hu (chijuan.hu@ttu.edu, or 806-834-4613), must also be informed at the earliest possible time.

If bottles of peroxide forming chemicals are not opened, do we need to dispose of the bottle one year after receiving or open it to test the peroxide content every six months?

No. If the bottles have never been opened, the chemical will NOT form peroxide and it is not required to test the peroxide concentration.

Is it required to fill out the “accumulation start date/container date” on the orange waste label?

Yes. The date must be recorded on the waste label whenever the first amount of chemical is added into the container as waste.

Can a fume hood be used for storing chemical and/or chemical waste?

The short answer is No. Storage in the hood must be minimized to avoid impairing its effectiveness. This will also simplify spill clean-up and reduce any complications from a fire, minor explosion, or other incident. Chemicals must be moved from the fume hood to their permanent storage place once the experiment is finished. Chemical waste must be stored in a proper location for waste pickup.

Does the sash of the fume hood have to be fully closed when no one is actively working in the fume hood?

Yes. Closing sash saves energy, and the sash serves as a blast shield to contain chemicals inside the hood. Per A22.1.10 TTU Lab Safety Manual, the chemical fume hood sash must be fully closed when not actively manipulating materials inside the chemical fume hood.

What steps do I need to take before using a respirator?

TTU Lab Safety Manual Section A18 Respiratory Protection Program has relevant information. In short, respirator use requires a physical exam (Pulmonary Function Test), respirator online training, and fit test. Please note that N-series (N95, N99, N100), R-series (R95) and P-series (P95 & P100) respirators are considered as “disposable air-purifying respirators” which requires the tests and training. Please contact EHS at 806.742.3876 directly if you have any questions.

What kind of container is allowed to be used as broken glass container?

Per B.7.4.9 of TTU Lab Safety Manual, any sturdy, puncture-resistant, closable box may be used for glass disposal. Specific glass disposal boxes can be (not required) purchased from various laboratory product distributors and come in multiple sizes.

How do I safely dispose of broken glassware?

Depending on whether the glassware is contaminated or not:

  • Uncontaminated broken glassware can be discarded into broken glass container directly. Once the container is full, tape it closed and dispose of it into the dumpster.
  • Contaminated broken glassware must be decontaminated first: a). glass contaminated with chemicals can be triple rinsed and disposed of in the regular glass disposal box. The rinse water shall be collected and disposed of as chemical waste. b). biological contaminated broken glassware may be treated by either autoclaving or soaking in sodium hypochlorite solution or other applicable chemical disinfectant solution. (See TTU Lab Safety Manual B 7.4. 9.2 Contaminated Glassware Section for more details.)

What is the policy for minors (age under 18) to work in the lab?

Some restrictions of lab activities are applied to specific age groups. See TTU Lab Safety Manual A8 Minors in Laboratories for more details.

  • All minors working in the lab as volunteers must complete and submit The Minor Volunteer Worker Application, Volunteer Worker Authorization Sheet and Volunteer Release Form. These forms can be found in TTU OP 70.21 Volunteer Workers: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/opmanual/OP70.21.pdf
  • Minors must be 14 years old at minimum to be employed by the university. The job assigned to the minors as described in the job description must strictly follow the policies per Section A8 Minors in Laboratories of TTU Lab Safety Manual and the Child Labor Regulations, Orders and Statements of Interpretation. Any questions regarding minors employees can be directed to Human Resources (806.742.3851)

Can I use power strips or extension cords in the lab?

Power strips and extension cords are allowed to be plugged directly into wall outlets, not into another power strip/extension cord. Serial connection of electrical cords (i.e. daisy chaining) is not permitted due to the potential overloading of power on the cord. Extension cords are only allowed to be used on a temporary basis.

Contacts

Departmental Safety Officers

Department Officer
Chemical Engineering Chijuan Hu
Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering Shannon Hutchison
Brad Thornhill
Computer Science Mary Valdez
Dean's Office John Rivera
Electrical and Computer Engineering Richard Woodcock
Industrial Engineering Dr. Changxue Xu
Mechanical Engineering Roy Mullins
Petroleum Engineering Denny Bullard
Cecil Millikan


Emergency Contacts


Lubbock 911 Call Center

Medical Emergency: 911
Fire: 911
Police: 911
Bomb Threat: 911

Texas Tech University Police Department

Emergency: 911
Non-Emergency: 806.742.3931

Texas Tech Environmental Health and Safety

Daytime Emergencies:
M-F: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
806.742.3876

Evenings and Weekends:
5 p.m. - 8 a.m. Business Days

Anytime Weekends or Holidays
806.742.3328

Texas Tech Emergency Maintenance

Anytime: 806.742.4OPS (4677)

Safe Ride for Students

Free transportation home:
10:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m. Nightly
806.742.RIDE (7433)

University Emergency Communications

Emergency Communications Center

TechAlert! Emergency Alert Notification System

Safety Awards

Nominate a SafeRaider

SafeRaider

The Whitacre College of Engineering's SafeRaiders program allows faculty, staff, and students to recognize individuals who are practicing safe research and laboratory habits. Nominations are accepted at any time on the SafeRaider Web page.

SafeRaider Awards

2016 - 2018 Recipients

Safety Champion Awards

Information & Award Recipients