Lab operations vary greatly from space to space and the fluctuation of individuals in a single lab can serve as an opportunity for fresh eyes on a project but safety can sometimes be overlooked in the turnover. Lab personnel can include staff, graduate or undergraduate students, visitors and volunteers.
Before you begin working in a lab, familiarize yourself with the hazards (even if you will not work with them directly) and the procedures performed in the space. Your responsibilities according to the University Laboratory Safety Manual are outlined in Section A5.6 of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Additional responsibilities (i.e., specific work area tasks) can be outlined by your supervisor, lab manager or senior personnel.
Download this list here.
- Follow all procedures outlined in the University Laboratory Safety Manual and Work Area Safety Plan (WASP)
- Adhere to recommendations made by the Laboratory Safety Captain, PI, DSO and Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO)
- Receive biennial Laboratory Safety Training supplied by EHS online or by seminar (request training through EHS)
- Receive any additional training required by the WASP
- Report safety concerns and near-misses through the SCAN system and report incidents that result in personnel injury/exposure or property damage immediately to their supervisor
- Report chemical fume hoods and/or other protective equipment that is damaged or not properly working immediately to your supervisor
- Additional responsibilities are outlined in the Biosafety, Radiation and Laser manuals for research that falls under these policies
Tools to Help You in Your Lab Work
- Visit our Tools & Templates web page for:
- WASP and SOP templates compliant with the CHP
- Risk assessment guide and worksheets
- Posters covering safety topics (don't have the right paper - email us to request the posters you want!)
- Lab safety survey checklist
- Visit our Standard Operating Procedures web page for SOPs prepared by EHS (so you know they're good). Current topics include hygiene, equipment, waste, biological and chemical hazards. You can request Word document version to tailor them to to your work area.
- Visit our Lab Forms page to find Chemical Barcode Request and Return forms and Equipment Decontamination Forms.
- Like videos? Visit our Safety Videos page for videos on different safety topics.
- You can request Lab Safety Services at any time. This includes fume hood assessment, equipment clearance, a guest speaker to your lab group meeting and more!
- Have a question? Visit the FAQ page. Don't see it there? Email us directly.