Standard Operating Procedures
Safety Rules For Teaching Laboratories
The following rules are designed for your safety in the laboratory. The Laboratory Instructor (LI = TA, Laboratory Supervisor, and/or Course Instructor) is required to enforce these rules and has the full backing of the Department of Chemistry Staff and Faculty. The LI is also required to enforce all laboratory experiment-specific safety procedures in carrying out the laboratory work. Violations of these rules will result in expulsion from the laboratory.
- No one is allowed in the laboratory without the supervision of a LI. No laboratory work will be done without supervision. Perform only authorized experiments, and only in the manner instructed. DO NOT alter experimental procedures, except as instructed.
- Specific permission from your LI is required before you may work in any laboratory section other than the one to which you have been assigned. Only laboratory rooms where the same laboratory course is operating may be used for this purpose.
- If you have a special health condition (asthma, pregnancy, etc.) or any personal health concerns, consult your medical professional before taking chemistry lab.
- If you come to the laboratory with non-compliant goggles, shoes, or clothing, you will not be allowed to work in the laboratory. In that context, note THERE ARE NO MAKE-UP LABORATORIES. Your course grade will be significantly lowered or you may fail the course if you do not meet the lab attire requirements.
- 100% cotton lab coats are REQUIRED.
- Approved safety goggles must be worn by all persons at all times. At NO TIME are safety glasses of any kind acceptable in the laboratory. Safety goggles may not be modified in any manner.
- Clothing that completely covers the legs - including the skin between the top of the shoe and the bottom of the pant leg - must be worn at all times in the laboratory (tights or leggings are NOT suitable leg covering). Inadequate protection often leads to injury. Avoid wearing expensive clothing to lab as it may get damaged.
- Closed-toe, closed-heel shoes that completely cover the entire foot must be worn at all times.
- Confine long hair while in the laboratory.
- Horseplay and carelessness are not permitted and are cause for expulsion from the laboratory. You are responsible for everyone's safety.
- Absolutely NO food or drinks are to be stored or consumed in the laboratory. Contact lenses and cosmetics (hand lotion, lip balm, etc.) are not to be applied and medications are not to be consumed while in the laboratory.
- Skateboards, rollerblades, and other such personal equipment must be stored outside of the laboratory. Personal electronics are only permitted when needed for the laboratory. Because cell phones or other personal electronic media can easily be damaged or contaminated in the laboratory, use of such devices is at the student’s own risk.
- Learn the location and how to operate the nearest eyewash fountain, safety shower, fire extinguisher, and fire alarm box. Basic first aid for any chemical splash is to wash the affected area for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention. Use the emergency shower if appropriate, removing contaminated clothing for thorough washing. If the safety shower or eyewash is activated, the exposed person should be accompanied to the Student Health Center for further evaluation.
- Laboratory doors must remain closed except when individuals are actively entering or exiting the lab.
- The student must have at least ONE UNGLOVED HAND when outside the laboratory. Gloves are presumed to be contaminated and must not come into contact with anything outside the laboratory except chemical containers. Only use the ungloved hand to open doors, hold on to stair rails, or push elevator buttons.
- All activities in which toxic gases or vapors are used or produced must be carried out in the fume hood.
- Mouth suction must never be used to fill pipets.
- Containers of chemicals may not be taken out of the laboratory except to the dispensary for refill/replacement or to exchange full waste jugs for empty ones. All containers must be closed with the appropriate cap before you take them into the hallway to the dispensary. Always use a bottle carrier when transporting chemicals and waste.
- Put all hazardous waste into the appropriate waste container(s) provided in your laboratory. Do not overfill waste containers.
- All incidents, near misses, injuries, explosions, or fires must be reported at once to the LI. In case of serious injury or fire (even if the fire is out), the LI or Lab Supervisor must call 911. The student must always be accompanied to the Student Health Center.
- Keep your working area clean – immediately clean up ALL spills or broken glassware. Dispose sharps in the appropriate container. Do not dispose pipette tips in regular trash. Clean off your lab workbench before leaving the laboratory.
You must sign the Safety Acknowledgement sheet before you may work in the lab. If you have questions about these rules and procedures, please ask your LI before starting any laboratory work in this course.