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Lab Safety

If you are uncertain of a certain safety procedure or handling of a chemical –

STOP & CONSULT A SENIOR LAB MEMBER, LYDIA, OR EHS BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A STUPID QUESTION

RELATING TO CHEMICAL SAFETY

 

Our lab includes the use of biological materials, compressed gases, hoods, acids, bases, oxidizers, organic solvents, and lasers. The use of these chemicals and instruments requires prudent practices of safety. Regardless of your previous degrees, it is the upmost importance that you take lab safety seriously. Take the time to understand the chemicals and materials you are using and what protective equipment is required; doing so may save your or your co-workers eyesight/skin/life. You must understand the hazards present in the lab, how to reduce risks, and how to respond to emergencies.


All CWRU EHS procedures and training must be followed (https://case.edu/ehs/). The policy of CWRU EHS supersedes any information in this document. An annual group meeting presentation at the start of the summer will also be used to discuss lab-specific safety issues that are also mentioned below:

  • Location of safety equipment: Know where the exits, fire extinguisher, fire pull stations, acid/base spill kits, first aid kits, safety showers, eye wash stations are in the lab, the phones for calling emergency services (216-368-3333)

  • Chemicals are handled in this lab and you need to know where the Safety Data Sheets (SDS, or previously called Material SDS or MSDS) are in the lab both physically and electronically (See “Chemical Receiving” section in the lab manual).

  • Personal protective equipment: Long pants and closed toed shoes must be worn in lab at all times. Safety glasses, laser safety glasses, lab coats, and gloves are to be used depending on the context. Consult SDS sheets for the handling of specific chemicals, including which gloves are appropriate for which chemicals. Use safety glasses, lab coats, and gloves that fit you. These can be purchased through the lab account.

  • Acids and bases: are strongly corrosive. Handle in the hood, do not mix acid and base waste. Always pour acid/base into water.

  • Gas cylinders: should be secured to an appropriate rack. Know how to correctly use a regulator and never leave pressure on the regulator. Never open a gas cylinder at the main valve without a regulator on. Always use a cart when handling cylinders when off of a rack.

  • Chemical transport: Secondary containers must be used for glass bottles. A utility cart with a secondary containment tray should be used for transporting many chemicals. Never place chemical hanging off the edge of benches or shelves.

  • Waste: should be disposed according to its nature (aqueous, acid, base, organic, biohazard, sharps, glass, etc.). Write down the chemical and quantity that has been disposed on the waste containers.

  • There is no eating or drinking in the lab.

Please see Lab-specific manual on Box for more details