Chemical Safety

Introduction to Chemical Safety

Chemicals are a primary hazard in campus laboratories. Everyone working in the lab should take responsibility for ensuring that lab work is conducted safely to protect all members of the campus community. UVM's Lab Safety Program is designed for everyone who works in or volunteers in a UVM 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 the hazards of the chemicals, laboratory procedures and equipment being used.

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

4) Documentation: Create a Laboratory Safety Notebook to store all required safety documentation.

5) Purchase Chemicals: To minimize the amount of stockpiled flammables in the lab, purchase chemicals using the UVM ChemSource program when possible.

6) Label and Store: Label all chemical containers with full chemical names, hazards and dates. Store chemicals by hazard (not alphabetical) and segregate into proper secondary containment or bins.

7) Dispose of Old and Waste Chemicals: Regularly dispose of old, unsafe or unneeded stock chemicals and chemical waste.

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

9) 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.

10) 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