Lab Safety and Hazard Communication

Laboratory Accident Reporting

Laboratory accidents can be reported online by filling out the Laboratory Accident Report form.
Based on the severity and need, Department of Safety & Risk Management staff will contact the injured individual for further assistance.

Laboratory Safety Committee

As the institutional official responsible for compliance and safety issues, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, James Weyhenmeyer, Ph.D., has activated the Laboratory Safety Committee (LSC) for the purposes of creating and enforcing laboratory safety policy.

Definition of a laboratory

A laboratory is defined as an area where hazardous materials may be used as part of teaching or research including but not limited to: science laboratories, fine art studios for painting, sculpture, ceramics, wood/metal working, jewelry, textiles, etc., and other areas of operations at the university. Such laboratories are characterized by controlled uniformity of conditions (constant temperature, water or utility services, humidity, cleanliness, fume hoods and/or cabinets and proper waste disposal/fire safety measures in place) and subject to federal, state, and university regulations. A laboratory usually contains chemicals and other agents/materials (e.g. fine arts studio) that, once used, will need disposal according to regulatory requirements.

Identifying and evaluating hazards in a laboratory

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has released guidelines for identifying and evaluating hazards in a laboratory.

Hazard Communication ( HAZCOM) and the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals

A system adopted by OSHA, to classify and communicate hazards of chemicals. It provides a basis for the harmonization of regulations related to the handling of chemical materials at a global level. Learn more by viewing the HAZCOM GHS powerpoint.

MSDS search

You can now access MSDS’s and receive technical support for chemicals electronically via our website. For information regarding proper storage, necessary personal protection, and other health and safety concerns, please visit one of the following:
Sigma-Aldrich chemical and MSDS search
Fisher chemical and MSDS search

Laboratory safety policies and procedures

General laboratory safety policies and procedures are given in the University Laboratory Safety Manual. Specific departments have additional policies added to the manual. These specific departmental manuals can be found at the following links:

Training for laboratory personnel

Prior to working in a laboratory, personnel are required to receive the following training:

Current employees must complete annual refresher training for

  • Chemical Right to Know
  • Hazardous Wastes
  • Radiation Safety