Guidance Document
General Laboratory and Workshop Safety
The following guidelines apply to all laboratories and workshops where use or storage of hazardous
materials occurs or where a physical hazard exists.

Appropriate Lab Attire
The minimum appropriate lab and workshop attire includes the items listed below. Additional personal
protective equipment (PPE) may be necessary depending on the hazards of the activity. Contact
Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) for assistance in evaluating PPE needs.
Safety glasses with side shields or safety goggles.
Sturdy shoes that cover the whole foot and protect feet from spills, broken glass, or falling
objects. No open-toed shoes, sandals, crocstm, flip-flops, etc.
Clothing that covers exposed skin when working with hazardous materials. Clothing should
cover all portions of the torso, including the midriff and shoulders avoid tank-tops and half-
shirts. Short pants (shorts) and short skirts are not permitted. Long skirts, below the knee, are
acceptable; but discouraged in chemistry labs.
Wear a lab coat (and possibly an apron) when working with hazardous materials that may
contaminate clothing or cause physical injury by skin contact.
Wear appropriate gloves when handling chemicals, hot or cold objects, welding, working with
heavy equipment or when objects present a physical injury risk. Remove gloves and wash hands
before leaving the laboratory.
Leave lab coats in the laboratory – do not take or wear contaminated lab coats into non-
laboratory areas (bathrooms, conference rooms, offices.) and do not take contaminated lab
coats home.
Tie back and secure long hair. Remove loose or dangling objects such as bracelets and
necklaces. Avoid wearing hand jewelry. Do not wear loose clothing while working around
moving machinery.

Working Alone
Working alone means work performed when nobody is within sight or earshot that could assist in the
event of an emergency. This applies to circumstances where, in the event of injury or emergency,
immediate assistance is not readily available and the student/worker may not be able to self-rescue or
activate emergency services. This situation can exist during and outside regular working hours (Monday
– Friday 8 AM to 5 PM).

Principle investigators and supervisors should discuss with their students/workers upcoming work and
evaluate whether or not it is acceptable to perform the work alone or if a buddy-system should be used.
EHS is available to assist with hazard evaluation and control.


Examples of work that should not be performed alone include changing out toxic gas cylinders, working
with pyrophoric materials outside of a glovebox, working with shock sensitive materials, working on
energized electrical systems with exposures greater than 50 volts, entering a confined space, working
around mechanical equipment with exposed rotating parts (e.g. lathe, roller mill or power saw), working
with concentrated (≥ 48%) hydrofluoric acid or working with highly exothermic reaction systems (e.g.
polymerizations, oxidations, or hydrogenations).

Food and Beverages
Do not consume or store food or beverages in labs or workshops.

Access Control
Follow the Mines Building Access Policy for authorized entry to laboratories only. Authorized entry
means with the permission of the Principal Investigator, Lab or Workshop Director, and other Mines
required policies relating to restricted access. Laboratory and workshop doors must be locked when not
occupied. Doors must not be propped open - propping doors may allow unauthorized access to
hazardous areas and may compromise fire protection and air handling (HVAC) function.

General Chemical Safety Guidelines
 Minimize chemical exposure-
o Avoid skin contact as much as possible.
o Wear eye protection where chemicals are used.
o Verify there is adequate ventilation.
o Wear appropriate gloves for the hazards.
o Wear lab coats and other protective clothing.
o Do not eat or drink in the lab. Do not apply cosmetics, lip balm.
o Wash hands after removing gloves and before leaving the lab.
o Don’t pipet or start a siphon by mouth.
o Keep personal belongings away from chemicals.
 Be knowledgeable. Do not underestimate risk-
o Obtains and read safety data sheets prior to initial handling of a chemical.
o Assume that any unfamiliar chemical is hazardous.
o Consider mixtures to be as hazardous as any component.
o Know the emergency procedures for the lab, department and building.
o Know location of emergency shower, eyewash station and first aid kit.
 Use proper engineering controls and safe procedures-
o Substitute less hazardous chemicals when practical.
o Verify there is adequate ventilation. Use laboratory hood and/or glove box when openly
handling hazardous chemicals.
o Label all chemical containers.
o Keep work areas clean and uncluttered.

Document Control Log
Revision #
Revision Description
Date
1
Initial issue
8/7/2012
2
Added appropriate lab attire, food and beverage, access control
6/12/2015
and working after hours information