and appoints a faculty member and a graduate student member, if applicable, to serve on the departmental safety committee.
Departmental Safety Committee
• Reviews accident reports and makes appropriate recommendations to the department chairperson regarding proposed changes in the laboratory procedures.
• Performs laboratory inspections on an annual basis, or as needed. Prepares a detailed inspection report to be submitted to each faculty member/laboratory supervisor
• Ensures that laboratory personnel comply with the departmental CHP and do not operate equipment or handle hazardous chemicals without proper training and authorization.
• Always wears personal protective equipment (PPE) that is compatible to the degree of hazard of the chemical.
• Follows all pertinent safety rules when working in the laboratory to set an example.
• Reviews laboratory procedures for potential safety problems before assigning to other laboratory personnel.
• Ensures that visitors follow the laboratory rules and assumes responsibility for laboratory visitors
• Ensures that PPE is available and properly used by each laboratory employee and visitor.
• Maintains and implements safe laboratory practices.
• Monitors the facilities and the chemical fume hoods to ensure that they are maintained and function properly. Contacts the appropriate person, as designated by the department chairperson, to report problems with the facilities or the chemical fume hoods.
• Reads, understands, and follows all safety rules and regulations that apply to the work area.
• Plans and conducts each operation, laboratory class, or research project in accordance with the departmental and institutional CHP
• Promotes good housekeeping practices in the laboratory or work area.
• Communicates appropriate portions of the CHP to students in the work area.
• Notifies the supervisor of any hazardous conditions or unsafe work practices in the work area.
• Uses PPE as appropriate for each procedure that involves hazardous chemicals.
• Immediately reports any job-related illness or injury to the supervisor.
Facilities, Maintenance, and Custodial Service Personnel Assigned to Laboratories and Laboratory Areas
• Completes training on CHP awareness.
• Understands how to read and use MSDSs.
• Knows hazards of the chemicals being used.
• Obtains information about hazards in the work area from lab personnel before work is started.
when cutting glass tubing. To avoid breakage, do not attempt to dry glassware by inserting a glass rod wrapped with paper towels. Always lubricate glassware with soap or glycerin before inserting rods, tubing, or thermometers into stoppers.
2. To reduce the chances of injuries from projectiles, when heating a test tube or other apparatus, never point the apparatus toward yourself or others.
3. Be sure that glassware has cooled before touching it. Hot glass looks just like cold glass.
4. Dilute concentrated acids and bases by slowly pouring the acid or base into the water while stirring.
2.C.2 Working Alone in the Laboratory
It is not prudent to work alone in a laboratory. The American Chemical Society states that one should, “[n]ever work alone in the laboratory” (ACS, 2003). In Alaimo (2001) it states that “[w]ork should be absolutely forbidden unless there are at least two people present”. The OSHA Laboratory Standard states “Avoid working alone in a building; do not work alone in a laboratory if the procedures being conducted are hazardous.” Accidents are unexpected by definition, and if a person is working alone when one occurs, his or her ability to respond appropriately could be severely impaired, which could result in personal injury or death and catastrophic facility damage. Thus it is imperative that, whenever working in the laboratory, others are actively aware of your activities. If faced with a situation where you feel it is necessary to work alone in a laboratory:
1. Reconsider the need. Are the increased risks to your health and safety really outweighed by the return?
2. Reconsider the timing and setup of the work. Is there any way to accomplish the required tasks during a time when others will be present?