Laboratory Safety

General Guideline

Eye Protection

  1. You are required to wear approved safety goggles at ALL TIMES while in any chemistry teaching lab. This not only applies to activities such as the transfer of chemicals, and experiments involving reactions, but to non-chemistry activities as well, such as writing in your notebook, or doing calculations.
  2. Contact lenses should not be worn in the laboratory since they can trap chemicals next to the eye.
  3. If any chemicals do get in your eyes, or if your eyes start to burn or itch, they will need to be rinsed immediately for no less than 10 minutes using the emergency eye washes provided in the laboratory. Report the incident to your instructor or Lab Tech as soon as possible.

Dress Code

  1. Full length pants, completely covering the lower limbs are required
  2. A flat, closed-toe shoe, with a full heel and socks are required.

Chemical Contact and Spills

  1. Try to avoid getting any chemicals on your hands, since even small amounts can contaminate your mouth, face and eyes causing serious reactions and health problems later on.  For this reason, it is imperative that you wash your hands frequently, especially after handling chemicals and at the end of the lab. Gloves are always available for your use.
  2. Get information about the chemicals you will be using in the experiment. There is a Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) binder in each of the chemistry labs that contains relevant information for all of the chemicals used in this course.  You can also this find information in the Merck Index in the reference area of the Science & Engineering Library, as well as on-line.

Running Experiments

  1. Be sure to read all of the precautionary information regarding the experiment and know the properties of each chemical you will handle, noting this in your pre-lab report.
  2. You should not start the experiment until your lab instructor gives you permission to do so. Running any experiment during the instructor’s lecture or without the instructor’s supervision is prohibited. Any action in the lab that is not authorized by your instructor, or the lab tech will result in your immediate removal from the laboratory.
  3. Immediately report any injury, unusual allergic reaction or irritation, or fire to the lab tech or your TA. Do not try to deal with it by yourself.
  4. Do not leave any chemicals, or containers with chemicals, unattended on your workbench. All containers with chemicals should be properly labeled. Do not discard any unknown chemical into a waste container or down the drain.  Ask your TA or the lab tech for instructions.
  5. No joking or horseplay is allowed in the laboratory.
  6. No food or drink is allowed in the laboratory.
  7. No visitors are allowed to enter the laboratory while students are performing experiments.

Safety requirement for lab courses

Safety training