student working in lab

Safety Information

Mandatory employee training: for all in Biology

All employees

The following is for anyone working or volunteering in the Biology Department and includes undergraduate researcher, graduate students, postdocs, visiting scientists, staff and faculty.

All those with paid or volunteer work (not those taking courses) within the Department of Biology need to complete the following mandatory training offered through the UW Safety Office:

  • WHMIS 2015 for employees - staff, faculty, postdocs, grad students must be renewed every 5 years)
  • Workplace Violence Training
  • Employee Safety Orientation
  • Returning to Campus Safely during COVID-19
  • Accessibility Training Module

All new employees and students working in labs must complete all mandatory training prior to receiving keys to their lab. Send proof of completion to Lucy Satora at


All supervisors of postdocs/graduate students/undergraduate students, including undergraduate laboratory instructors are required to have Supervisor Online Orientation completed.

Additional training: biohazards, gas cylinders, lab safety

If you are working with additional hazards including biological substances, compressed gases, and cryogenics, you need to have additional training. Supervisors must keep a record of this training by their employees.

Safety office and laboratory safety

The Safety Office has a very important webpage with information on laboratory safety and maintains an alphabetical listing of all their extensive resources related to safety including required laboratory posters.

Laboratory inspections

Laboratory supervisors are required to undertake a safety evaluation of their space every month. Inspections are completed online at the University of Waterloo Safely website

Emergencies and First AID information

Emergency contact information

Post on the inside of all laboratory doors an emergency contact sheet so others in the building know who to contact should people need to enter the laboratory. 

Get the Emergency Contact Form from the Safety Office.

Fire marshals

The Safety Office maintains the list of fire wardens and building evacuation coordinators at the following links on their website.

First aiders in the biology office

Our Current Biology Department First Aiders (as of June 2024)

First aid kits

Items A Typical First Aid Kit Contains

Please check the contents of your first aid kits if you haven't already done so.

If you need any provisions for your first aid kits, contact Lucy Satora at

  • 6   - Hand cleansing towelettes
  • 1   - Card of safety pins
  • 24 - Adhesive dressings individually packaged
  • 6   - Non adherent absorb-'nt pads 7.5 x 10.2 cm (3 x 4")
  • 4   - Gauze bandages 10 cm (4")
  • 2   - Compress Bandage Surgical pads (pressure dressings)
  • 4   - Triangular bandages
  • 1   - Roll non adhesive tape 2.5 cm 2"
  • 1   - First aid scissors
  • 2   - Instant cold packs
  • 6   - Pairs non latex gloves 

Injury and incident reports

Reporting an injury

If you are injured, and will or have required aid (something more serious than what a simple bandaid can take care of), you need to submit the following form to Jennifer Lehman at, ESC-350B. This reporting doesn’t mean there will be an investigation initiated into your work. We are trying to track problems and this will help.
Fill out the injury/incident form and submit within 1 working day of the incident

Incident investigation report

If there is an accident, even if people are not hurt, but where either a spill, fire or explosion occurred that could have hurt someone or damaged property, please submit the Incident and Investigation Form to the Safety Office.

Working alone guideline

Working alone under certain circumstances can increase an individual’s risk to health and safety.  Measures to assess, communicate and mitigate such risks must be implemented to effectively manage risk related to this type of activity.