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Safety in Laboratories

UVM's Lab Safety Program incorporates requirements from a number of regulatory agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), Vermont Division of Fire Safety, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  At the University of Vermont, the following provide a framework for environmental and work place safety compliance:

Additional policies and procedures for laboratories can be found on the Safety Policy page.

Laboratories at the University of Vermont

To comply with federal and state compliance regulations and UVM's policies, each lab must complete the following steps.   Additional procedures may be required based on the hazards in your laboratory.

Laboratory Safety Overview      

1) Register Your Laboratory: Complete the online lab registration so that emergency responders can identify the emergency contacts and the hazards in your lab(s). Be sure to make note of any special considerations in the comment section. 

2) Identify and Control Hazards: Identify hazardous materials, laboratory procedures and equipment in use.  Hazards must be controlled through engineering controls, administrative controls, and with proper personal protective equipment.

3) Train and Inform Lab Personnel: Assure that all lab workers are properly trained regarding the hazards of any hazardous materials, laboratory procedures, equipment they are using, the means to control the hazards and emergency procedures involving any of these items.

4) Create a Laboratory Safety Notebook to store all required safety documentation.  Be sure to include:

5) Manage Your Wastes:  Lab workers must determine the appropriate disposal method for all wastes in their lab, including hazardous and non-hazardous waste.   Types of lab waste include lab trash, recyclables, chemical waste, biological waste, radioactive waste, uncontaminated waste and broken glass, universal waste (e.g. CFLs, batteries, ballasts), and techno trash.

6)  Clean-up and Maintain: Regular housekeeping can eliminate many hazards in the lab. Keep work areas free of clutter and contamination. 

7) Prepare for Emergencies: Plan ahead so that everyone in the lab is better prepared to respond to an emergency swiftly and appropriately. Planning ahead helps to minimize injury to personnel, damage to equipment and facilities and any releases to the environment.

8) Sustainability and Pollution Prevention: Make decisions that support a cleaner, greener world by reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and non-renewable energy sources when possible.

Questions or for more information, contact Safety staff at safety@uvm.edu