Lab Safety Guidelines

There are several labs located throughout the Civil Engineering Building. The following information is intended to make you better informed; formal training is required for regular access to the laboratories.

  • The most important safety practice you can follow is to do nothing until you are sure that what you are doing is safe. When in doubt, ask the technical staff, graduate students, or faculty whether you are following recommended safety procedures.
  • Know the location of exits, telephones, fire extinguishers, material safety data sheets, safety showers and eye washes for use (either your own use or to assist someone else) in case of emergency.
  • Safety glasses or goggles must be worn at all times in the laboratories which require them.
  • Report all chemical spills immediately to lab contact person (as designated on lab door) and clean up following established procedures.
  • Do not store open and/or unlabeled chemicals or solutions at any time.
  • All waste chemicals and broken glass must be disposed of in approved containers. Put broken glass or other sharps only in a sharps container.
  • Wear protective clothing (lab coats) when handling strong chemicals.
  • Tie back or otherwise secure long hair, dangling jewelry, or clothing.
  • Always wear shoes in the laboratory. DO NOT WEAR SANDALS or perforated shoes.
  • Always wear long pants. DO NOT WEAR SHORTS in the laboratories.
  • DO NOT RUN in the laboratory areas (to avoid collision with people who may carry chemicals).
  • DO NOT work alone in the laboratory if you are working with hazardous materials.
  • DO NOT drink water from any sources other than drinking fountains or kitchens.
  • Do not leave a mess. Always check and wipe down your area.
  • Do not cover up accidents—they happen. When they do, post a no admittance sign detailing the hazard. Do not move the problem out of the area.
  • If you discover a fire or fire-related emergency such as abnormal heating of material, hazardous gas leaks, hazardous material or flammable liquid spill, smoke, or odor of burning, immediately follow these steps:
    • Activate the building fire alarm system (fire full station)
    • Notify the Fire Department by dialing 911