New and current employees can access various safety training materials, including:
- Introduction to research safety
- Chemical safety
- Chemical waste management
- In-person lab specific training
- Fluid power safety
- Machine shop safety
Reporting Safety Incidents
What Should I Report?
- Report and respond to any odor issues promptly.
- Report any use of a fire extinguisher. After extinguishing:
- Notify your supervisor of the incident
- Notify University Health and Safety 626-6002
- Report the use of the fire extinguisher to Facilities Management at (612) 624-2900 so it can be recharged
- Complete a first report of injury (FROI) form for any injuries to PAID employees that are injured at work
- Slipping on ice, carpal tunnel, and headaches from odors are all reportable. See the policy here.
- Report any hazardous spill that occurs in the lab or building. There are three types of chemical spills that may occur in the laboratory:
- emergency spills
- non-emergency spills requiring assistance from UHS, and
- non-emergency spills that laboratory personnel can cleanup.
- An emergency chemical spill is a spill that threatens human health and/or the environment because of its chemical properties and/or volume of material spilled, and requires emergency personnel response. Examples of an emergency chemical spill include:
- Spill that causes a serious injury
- Spill that involves a fire and/or explosion
- Spill involving a high hazard chemical such as a pyrophoric, dangerous when wet, acutely toxic material, or an unknown chemical
- Spill is large (generally > 1 liter)
- Spill involving a hazardous material in a public space such as a hallway or classroom
- In the event of an emergency chemical spill, the following procedures must be followed:
- 1. Cease all activities, isolate the spill, and notify others in the immediate area of the spill.
- 2. Evacuate the area.
- 3. Activate the closest fire pull station (where present) if building evacuation is required (i.e., the spill could endanger others outside of the immediate area).
- 4. Dial 911. Provide details to the dispatcher such as the extent of any injuries that may be involved, name and volume of chemical spilled, and the exact location of the spill.
- 5. Attend to any persons who may have been exposed or injured by following first aid procedures.
- 6. Provide pertinent information to emergency response personnel upon arrival.
- A non-emergency chemical spill
- can be cleaned up by lab personnel
- is a small spill (generally < 1 liter) that is contained
- involves a chemical that lab personnel are qualified to handle, and
- does not threaten human health and/or the environment.
- In the event of a non-emergency chemical spill that can be cleaned up by laboratory personnel, the following procedures must be followed:
- 1. Review the safety data sheet for the chemical spilled to evaluate the hazards. Contact UHS (612-626-6002) if you have questions or need advice.2.
- 2. If the spill involves flammable material, remove all potential sources of ignition.
- 3. Don the appropriate PPE based on the hazards of the chemical spilled. Make sure that you select PPE that resistant to the chemical.
- 4. Control and clean up the spread of the spill by placing absorbent materials such as pads or a neutralizing agent (e.g., soda ash or sodium bicarbonate for acids and citric acid or ascorbic acid for bases) on and around the spill.
- 5. Collect all spill cleanup material, place into a plastic bucket or other suitable container, and submit to the Regulated Waste Division for proper disposal.
Forms and Templates
- Emergency Procedures List
- New Employee Safety Form
- Teaching Lab Safety Form
- Laboratory Audit Checklist
- Lab Specific Safety Plan Toolkit
- Example map of a lab and emergency shutoff diagram
- Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) example
Frequently Asked Questions
Disposing Chemical Waste
How do I know if my chemical waste is hazardous?
Your MSDS sheets will tell you if the chemical is hazardous or not. You can also check the chemical waste registry. If the chemical has a 05 NH DDC code it is non-hazardous. If you are still unsure, you should treat it as though it is hazardous.
I do not have the necessary MSDS data sheets. What do I do?
Any hazardous material can be disposed by following the directions here.
You are required to be able to readily access a SDS for your materials. These sheets usually come with the material when it is ordered. DEHS also has links to several SDS services.
Lab Materials and Equipment
What is the maximum quantity of a combustible or flammable liquid allowed in my lab?
Your lab should have been built so that there is not more flammable storage cabinet space than allowed by code. You can use all the space under your fume hoods and any built in flammable storage cabinets.All flammables and combustibles should be stored in flammable storage cabinets. See the Flammable Hazard Class SOP for more information.
The maximum size for ANY container is 5 gallons (20 L). If you need to store flammables in a container larger than 5 gallons (such as a drum), contact DEHS at (612) 626-6002 for guidance. Small amounts of flammables (<1 L) may be left out in the lab. On a space-available basis, combustibles and containers <1 L should be stored in flammable cabinets. Halogenated organics which are not flammable are not required to be stored in a flammable cabinet. You may choose to put them there to control vapors on a space-available basis.
Do I need to have eyewashes in my lab?
A safety shower and eyewash shall be provided in each lab area equipped with a fume hood. An eyewash shall be provided in other laboratories using hazardous chemical or radiological materials. An eyewash shall be provided in a readily accessible location where BSL2 or BSL3 biological agents are stored and used. Regulations on eyewashes are available in the construction standard 13 00 12.
How do I get rid of broken glass boxes?
The box will be picked up by custodians if taped shut.
How do I get rid of biohazardous waste?
Biohazardous waste can be brought to the CEGE dock.
How do I get rid of old equipment?
Old equipment can be disposed through reuse.