Safety Guide - Science and Engineering

SES Safety Guide

Safe working practices are critical to ensuring the well-being of individuals and of others working along side them. On this page are listed some general safety rules and procedures for laboratories as well as ones specific to equipment used in the engineering design courses. It is imperative that students and others working in laboratories take responsibility for following safe practices and ask for help when not certain how to proceed safely. You should also know what to do in case of an accident or other emergency. All accidents or emergencies must be reported immediately to the person running the laboratory and to Campus Police.

Do NOT try to resolve emergencies by yourself.

Acknowledgement: Adapted from Institute for Laboratory Safety Template

Who is Responsible for Safety?

You are responsible for a safe working environment for yourself and those around you.

The Institute is responsible for providing:

  • Safe working conditions
  • Safe equipment
  • Training
Safe Work Practices
  • Maintain a clean, uncluttered work area
  • Working alone after hours is bad practice
  • If you use chemicals or hazardous processes schedule this when others are around
  • Set up a buddy system with others nearby on the floor/building
  • Know the location of the nearest emergency exit and safety equipment (shower, eye wash)
  • Report all accidents or near misses to Campus Police, your supervisor/Dept. Head & Stevens Environmental Safety
Good Lab Practices
  • No smoking, food or beverages in the labs
  • Required Personal Protection Equipment MUST be worn while in the lab
  • Aisles & exits are free from obstruction
  • Lab benches should be kept clean
  • Do not use hoods for storage
  • Work surface is protected from contamination
  • Heavy objects are confined to lower shelves
  • Glassware is free from cracks, breaks or chips
  • Broken glass containers are available & in use
Personal Protective Equipment

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) MUST be worn when in the laboratory

  • Eye protection
  • Protective Clothing: Labs coats - sleeve covers for strong reagents
  • Gloves when handling chemicals
  • No open-toed shoes allowed in laboratories
Hazard Communication
  • Primary & secondary containers are labeled with identity of material, expiration date & hazard warning
  • Signs on storage areas are consistent with hazards within (i.e. biohazard, flammable)
  • MSDS binders are available and all laboratory users know location of them
Chemical Storage

Only chemicals in use should be in the lab. All others should be in storage at the central chemical storage (see Frank Cannavale - Chemistry)

  • Incompatible materials must be segregated
  • Corrosives & flammables must be stored below eye level
  • Safety carriers must be used to transport all chemicals
  • Lab carts should have side rails
Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Gas cylinders must be properly secured
  • Cylinder caps must be in place when cylinders are not in use or transported
  • Gas cylinders are labeled with their contents
  • Empty gas cylinders are marked "EMPTY"
  • Check hoses, tubing and regulators daily
Waste Disposal
  • Do not drain dispose of liquid waste
  • Separate waste streams by type (biological, chemical (organic/inorganic))
  • Use approved containers for each waste stream
  • Label all containers with approved labels
  • Do not allow waste to accumulate on floors, in corners or under shelves
Safety Equipment
  • Know the location of safety equipment
  • Safety showers, eye wash stations & fire extinguishers
  • Make sure safety equipment is not blocked
  • Spill team list and emergency numbers must be posted in labs next to phones
Emergency Evacuation
  • Know your exit route
  • Know the location of fire alarm pull-stations
  • Notify your supervisor and Stevens Environmental Safety of any unsafe conditions