Content that belongs in Safety in Laboratories section (safety/lab)

Chemical Waste

Chemical Waste Disposal

Proper chemical waste management is critical in avoiding serious personal health hazards and property damage, minimizing environmental contamination and adhering to regulatory requirements. To protect the health and safety of laboratory workers, Environmental Safety (ES) technicians and other building occupants, please follow all ES requirements regarding chemical labeling, disposal, storage and handling.

Lab Supplies & Services

Environmental Safety Supplies and Services available to UVM Laboratories

This document is an overview of supplies and services provided by UVM Environmental Safety (ES).

If you are new to UVM, a new Chemical Safety Officer, or have any questions about safety or compliance in your laboratory or any item listed below please contact us at We will be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss the individual needs of your laboratory in relation to UVM safety guidelines.

Mercury Thermometer Exchange

Program Highlights

We are working to get elemental mercury out of UVM laboratories as well as the environment. You can help us by swapping your mercury thermometers for non-mercury thermometers. Contact us at and let us know what you need for replacement. The choices are:

Temperature range: -20 to 110 degrees Celsius or -10 to 260 degrees Celsius

Partial or total immersion:

Infectious Agents

Research or teaching activities involving infectious agents must have prior approval by the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Laboratory workers must follow the requirements specified in the Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories as the minimum containment required for this work. In specific instances, containment requirements may be subject to modification by the IBC or the Biosafety Program Coordinator.

Bloodborne Pathogens

Bloodborne Pathogens Information for UVM Laboratory Employees

In Case of Exposure to Potentially Infectious Material, refer to this procedure .

Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan

The Exposure Control Plan (ECP) was created to assist UVM in implementing and ensuring compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Safety Data Sheet Information

Looking for Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)?

We recommend that you first try the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety. UVM has a site license for access to this database, which includes over 100,000 MSDS's, updated quarterly.

You can also check your chemical suppliers ’ websites for MSDS information:


Working Alone and High Hazard Work

In general, it is best to avoid working alone at a bench in a laboratory building. It is the laboratory supervisor's responsibility to be sure all laboratory workers are trained in the specific guidelines to minimize the chance of injury, loss of research materials or property damage from working alone.

Chemical Storage and Labeling

Proper Storage of Chemicals

Safe storage of your hazardous laboratory chemicals is dependent on 2 variables: 1) location and 2) the compatibility of the types of chemicals needing to be stored. Your goal is to make sure that chemical containers are stored in places where they aren’t likely to fall or break, but if they do all results will be relatively manageable.

Fume Hoods

Introduction to Chemical Fume Hoods

Chemical Fume Hoods, when used properly and kept in optimal working order, provide an important engineering control that protects users from inhalation of hazardous vapors and gases. Environmental Safety provides training and labeling to help people use fume hoods correctly. You can find the on line course at our

Train and Inform Lab Personnel

When Is Safety Training required?

Training is required to ensure that all lab employees are informed about the hazards with which they work. This may including chemical, biological, radiological and physical hazards as well as waste management procedures.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all lab personnel receive the appropriate safety training at the following times:

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