Laboratory regulations

This page covers information regarding laboratory safety and regulations. It also contains information about Chemistry Stores, Waterloo's on-campus laboratory store.

On this page:

Safety in the lab

Perhaps the most important safety advice is this: Always come prepared for your laboratory sessions. Learn in advance what you will be working with each day and where any potential dangers lie. Familiarize yourself with safety precautions and emergency procedures. Safety is everyone's responsibility and your co-operation ensures your own safety and the safety of others. The other topics on this page outline some general safety guidelines for labs in the Faculty of Science. You will also be informed of safety procedures specific to each laboratory during the first meeting of each lab.

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Fire procedures

Each laboratory will have a posted sign indicating “Fire/Evacuation Emergency Procedures.” Learn your fire exit route and fire procedures for each lab you will be working in. If you detect a fire, or if you hear a fire alarm, close doors and windows, shut off any experiments if possible, activate the nearest wall mounted fire alarm, and leave the building via your exit route. If your exit route is blocked with smoke or fire use an alternate route. Do not use the elevators! Report to the Fire Department if you suspect that anyone is still in the building. 

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Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

More information regarding how students can self-enrol in WHMIS training can be found through the Safety Office. It is mandatory that students complete their WHMIS training before classes begin in their first year.

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Accidents and injuries

All lab-related accidents and injuries, no matter how small, should be reported to your Teaching Assistant or Lab Demonstrator immediately. Learn the location of emergency equipment, such as eye washes, safety showers, and first aid kits in each of your labs.

Protective clothing

Several courses will require that you wear protective clothing for your laboratories. Gloves, protective eye wear, lab coats, protective footwear, and hearing protection may be mandatory for certain laboratory experiments. You’ll receive more specific instructions during each of your initial labs. Most safety equipment is available from Chemistry Stores.

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