UB - University at Buffalo, The State University of New York Chemical and Biological Engineering

Regulatory Safety Compliance

Laboratory Safety Practices

UB Laboratory Safety

Safety Glasses: Safety glasses must be worn at all times with the following exceptions. (1) When seated at one's desk. (2) When seated at a computational workstation (this does not include computers that are interfaced to laboratory equipment). (3) When seated in a designated eating area. Splash-proof goggles must be worn when working with hazardous liquids.  Visitors to labs must be instructed to wear safety glass for the duration of their visit.

Aisles: In each lab there must be a clear pathway from each experimental station, desk or workstation to a laboratory exit (preferrably two exit paths). Aisles must not be blocked, and care should be taken to keep tripping hazards, etc. away from aisles.

Laboratory Evacuation Plan: Laboratories should have an evacuation plan for emergencies. At the minimum, a rallying point should be designated where all occupants of that lab will meet. This will help emergency responders identify who may still be trapped within the building, the nature of the emergency, etc.

Eye-Wash Stations: Sink-mounted eyewashes should no longer be used.  Eyewash and safety shower stations are located in hallways.  To operate  eyewash, press down on the paddle.  To operate shower, pull the overhead handle.  Water will flow until paddle and handle are manually closed.

Eating and Drinking: It is bad safety practice to eat in a chemical laboratory; vapors may be adsorbed or absorbed by the food or drinks one consumes and thereby ingested. The Department's graduate student lounge, 205 Furnas, should be used to prepare and eat meals and for "coffee breaks." When labs also serve as offices, all designated food/beverage areas must be identified by signs and food/beverages are permitted only in these areas! No chemicals nor chemical apparatus are permitted in these areas! Food and beverages are prohibited in all other laboratory areas.

Dress: When performing laboratory experiments one should be dressed appropriately. Sshorts or short skirts/dresses should not be worn;  Lab coats appropriate for the chemicals worked with should be worn. You must wear shoes or sneakers, not sandals. You should not wear loose fitting clothing, especially clothing with loose or bloused sleeves; if you find your sleeves to be likely to catch in equipment, put arm bands over them to hold them in. When handling acids, you should wear an appropriate apron to protect your clothing and yourself. Use leather gloves when performing operations with glassware in which there is a possibility that the glass might break. Wear thermal gloves if handling hot items. Wear chemically resistant gloves when handling solvents and other chemicals (see the MSDS for that chemical or solvent). Long hair must be put in a net, hat, ponytail, etc.

Safety Equipment: Know the location of fire extinguishers, safety showers, eye-wash stations, etc. that serve your labs, and how to use them.  EH&S can provide instruction.

Respirators: If you must use a respirator, you must first have a fit test, a pulmonary function test, and receive respirator training. Filtering face pieces (dust masks) may be worn to protect against irritants, but the proper kind must be used.  Contact EH&S for information.

Safety Drawers: Each lab must have a safety drawer. These drawers should be highly visible, e. g. identified by diagonal yellow and black stripes across the entire drawer face. A lab's safety drawer should contain safety equipment that is routinely needed in that lab (if necessary, a second drawer or cabinet should be used, similarly identified). At the minimum this drawer should contain, a first aid kit, thermal gloves, rubber gloves, leather gloves, goggles and other safety items specific to that lab.

Working After Normal Hours: If you must work in the lab at night or on the weekend do one of the following:

Arrange for someone else to be present in the lab with you.

Arrange for someone else to be present in the building with you. Agree to periodically (every hour) check on each other either by phone or by dropping into each other's labs.

Arrange for someone outside the building to call you periodically to check on you. They should be nearby so that if they can not reach you after several attempts, they can come to the labs to check on you.

Arrange to call someone periodically to let them know you are safe. If they don't hear from you, they should attempt to call you or come to the lab to check on you.

Smoking: Smoking is prohibited everywhere within Furnas Hall.

Horseplay: Hopefully it goes without saying that horseplay, running, etc. are not permitted in labs.

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