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

Emergency Prevention

Laboratory Emergency Prevention

Adhering to UVM's Environmental Safety Values will help prevent emergencies:

1. Safety: Ours and yours is the top priority during hazardous work.

2. Partnership: Government regulations were developed in response to actual situations that endangered the health of people and are designed to protect the health of the community and the environment. These are the second priority for UVM activities.

Emergency Response

Laboratory Emergency Response

In Case of Emergency: Call UVM Police at 911

For advice or assistance when you're not sure if the situation is an emergency,
call UVM Police at 656-3473.

If the situation is not an emergency, but you want to talk to Environmental Safety staff as soon as possible, call 656-2560, select option1 and ask that we be paged.

Emergencies are situations where there is a threat of a fire, life-threatening situations, or unexplained symptoms associated with an odor.


Biohazardous Waste Management

In order to comply with state regulations, UVM requires that all solid biowaste be incinerated by our biowaste contractor. For an overview of this program, take the Biowaste Management Procedures on line course

Please forward any questions you have on this subject to Jeff LaBossiere, the Biosafety Program Coordinator, at

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.

Safety Data Sheet Information

Looking for Safety Data Sheets (SDS)?

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 SDS's, updated quarterly.

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.

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 procedu

Compressed Gases

Compressed gases have the potential for creating hazardous working environments when not handled properly. This is potential for injuries or accidents to occur.

Injuries from mishandling gases may include the following:

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