The Safety Office has a very important webpage with information on laboratory safety.
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.
The University of Waterloo Chemical Inventory System (erPortal)
The University of Waterloo has adopted erPortal's Hazardous Materials Management System to create laboratory inventories for individual labs and laboratory groups. The purpose of this initiative is to comply with the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Act and to reduce the overall risk associated with using, handling, and storing chemical products or agents. See the Safety Office website for additional information.
Mandatory employee training: for all in Chemistry
All supervisors of postdocs/graduate students/undergraduate students, including undergraduate laboratory instructors are required to have this online training completed:
The following is for anyone working or volunteering in the Chemistry 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 chemistry need to complete the following training:
- WHMIS 2015 for employees (staff, faculty, postdocs, grad students).
- Workplace Violence Training.
- Employee Safety Orientation.
Undergraduate Chemistry students WHMIS 2015 training:
Please note that lab keys will not be issued until safety training has been completed. You will need to complete the Safety Training form that can be obtained online and provide your training records in order to receive lab keys.
Chemistry Department first aiders
Our Current Chemistry Department First Aiders (as of Nov 2014):
First Aid Kits
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, Chem Stores has a stock of many items. They are provided free of charge and a sign-in sheet will be used to follow use.
Typical first aid kit generally contains:
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
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 the Safety Office. This reporting doesn’t mean there will be an investigation initiated into your work. We are trying to track problems and this will help.
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 fill out this report and submit to the safety office.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
All MSDS must be less than 3 years old, and visible and accessible in each laboratory.
Hard Copies: Laboratories are required to have hard copies of routinely (weekly or more frequently) used chemicals. These hard copies must be current with revision date is less than 3 years old.
Soft Copies: Other chemicals can have MSDS that are accessed via computer. Graduate students need to show they know how to retrieve this information. Again, all MSDS need to be less than 3 years old.
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.
Additional training: biohazards, X-rays, radiation, gas cylinders
Laboratory hazards page
All laboratories need to have a laboratory hazards page outside their door. If there are changes to equipment or hazards in the laboratory, the supervisor must print out an update to the hazards page.
Chemical waste procedures
Please see the Safety Office document on their website that provides chemical waste segregation guidance.
The Safety Office maintains the list of fire wardens and building evacuation coordinators at the following links on their website.
The Chemistry Department Evacuation Handbook can be found on the Chemistry Sharepoint site.
Nanomaterials Safety Program
Nanomaterials are special because they have the potential to behave differently than the same material in the macro size range. Therefore, what is known about the macro material’s toxicity profile and how it may cause adverse effects may not be applicable to the nanomaterial. This is why traditional methods of assessment do not apply to nanomaterials.
The Nanomaterials Safety Program will outline a risk based approach to controlling and reducing the risk of working with Nanomaterials at any University of Waterloo facility. See the Safety Office Nanomaterials Safety Program webpage for more information.
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. The Working Alone Guideline can be seen on the Safety Office website.