Lab Safety


  • To enforce compliance with Laboratory rules and University Policy CAMJ adopting a progressive discipline policy
  • More details about CAMJ Progressive Discipline Policy could be found here
  • There are also other policies found in the University of Waterloo's website which are compulsory rules for the University community :
    • Policy 34 – Health, Safety and Environment
    • Policy 71 – Student Discipline
    • Policy 33 – Ethical Behaviour
    • Policy 22 – Regulations Governing the Installation of Equipment in University Buildings

Working with Chemicals

  • All involved researchers must read and understand the MSDS’s
  • Ensure you have the proper PPE to minimize exposure
  • Be prepared to properly deal with a possible spill
  • Know where the spill kits are
  • Make sure your Safety Report contains the SOP for your procedure and that you have it at hand in the lab
  • Store reagents properly!!
  • Every container must be labeled
  • Segregate your chemical waste
  • Waste containers should never be filled more than 80%
  • Rubber gloves for handling specific lab apparatus/materials only; remove when finished with procedure

Material Safety Data Sheets

  • Consult the sheet BEFORE you start working with a chemical
  • Hard copies must be available in lab for chemicals used regularly
  • Soft copies may be stored on local media for everything else
  • MSDS must be no older than 3 years.
  • MSDS must be of the exact same formulation as the material you are working with.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • PPE requirements will be per MSDS, Safety Office and Safety Manual requirements
  • Lab Coat and Closed-toe Shoes (no sandals, flip-flops) in general
  • Neoprene Gloves for handling toxic or corrosive materials
  • Safety Glasses or Full Face Mask for some chemical transfers, or risks of flying debris
  • Etc.


  • Exhausts toxic or hazardous materials
  • Calibrated for 100 fpm with sash open
  • Flammable and Acid storage under hood
  • Some have gas nozzles
  • CLOSE SASH when not in use

Hazardous Equipment

Researchers are to evaluate possible hazards and protect against them:

  • Toxic or Corrosive
  • Entanglement
  • Cuts, Pinches, Crushes
  • Flying debris
  • Lasers
  • X-rays
  • Slips, Trips, Falls

Hazardous Equipment Documentation

  • Safety Stickers are applied on equipment for a single “hazard point”
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for all equipment
  • Focus is on Safe Operation, not skills
  • Compressed Gas Cylinder Handling
  • Fumehood Operation
  • etc.