Lab Safety

Working with Chemicals

  • All laboratory researchers must read and understand the (SDS)
  • Ensure that you have the proper personal protective equipment (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 standard operating procedures (SOP) for your procedure and that you have it at hand in the lab
  • Store reagents properly
  • Every container must be labelled
  • Segregate your chemical waste
  • Rubber gloves for handling specific lab apparatus/materials only; remove when finished procedure

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

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

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • PPE requirements will be per SDS, Safety Office and Safety Manual requirements
  • Lab coat and closed-toe shoes (no sandals, flip-flops)
  • Nitrile gloves for handling toxic or corrosive materials
  • Safety glasses or full face shield for some chemical transfers, or risks of flying debris


  • Exhausts toxic or hazardous fumes, gases or dusts
  • Calibrated for 100 fpm with sash open less than 18”
  • 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:

  • Burns, Extreme Burns, Freeze
  • Toxic or Corrosive
  • Entanglement
  • Cuts, Pinches, Crushes
  • Flying debris
  • Bio-exposure
  • Laser Lights
  • X-rays
  • Slips, Trips, Falls

Hazardous Equipment Documentation

  • Safety Stickers are applied on equipment for a single “hazard point”
  • SOP for more complex equipment with multiple hazards
  • Focus is on Safe Operation, not skills
  • Common Lab SOP's:
    • Compressed Gas Cylinder Handling
    • Fumehood Operation
    • Equipment-Specific SOP's
    • Machine Lathe
    • Bandsaw