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

Eye and Face Protection

Eye and face protection is required whenever there is a risk of injury to the eye or face.

It should be worn to protect from:

  • accidental chemical or biological splashes
  • unexpected flying objects or particles (chips, shards) from a nearby machine or hand tool
  • non-ionizing radiation
  • UV lights


Hand Protection

Choosing the appropriate hand protection is an important decision in a laboratory setting. Protective gloves should be worn when handling:

  • hazardous or infectious materials
  • laboratory animals (puncture-resistant gloves may also be required for handling more aggressive animals)
  • chemicals of unknown toxicity
  • corrosive materials
  • rough or sharp-edged objects
  • very hot or very cold materials


Laboratory Equipment Safety


All laboratories operate lab equipment that are inherently hazardous.  Equipment hazards include high heat, pressurized vessels, extreme cold temperatures, and electrical elements.  Some general precautions need to be taken when working with these devices.  Consider the following:

Dry Ice Safety

Hazards of Dry Ice

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. It is non-combustible and is available in flakes, pellets, or block form. Dry ice will sublime (vaporizes directly to the gas state) at a temperature of -78.5 C (-109.3 F) or higher.

Dry ice is commonly used to cool reactions or to ship biological specimens.

dry ice safety

Dry ice is considered hazardous three reasons:

Guide to Shipping with Dry Ice

The following information outlines the procedures to ship materials by aircraft or water that contain ONLY dry ice and non-hazardous materials. If you are shipping chemicals, solutions containing chemicals, or biohazardous materials this training DOES NOT APPLY.

For chemical, biological, or radioactive material shipments, please contact Risk Management & Safety for assistance.

Safe Handling of Glassware

Laboratory glassware is specifically designed for scientific work.  However, by design it is also fragile and can easily break and cause injuries in the process.  There have been many lab accidents at UVM involving the handling of glassware in the lab.

laboratory glassware

Evaluate and Control The Hazards


After identifying the hazards in your lab, the next step is to properly evaluate and control the hazards. Be sure to check if your lab building has specific emergency safety features.

Hazards of Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic energy with a wavelength just shorter than that of visible light. UV energy stimulates vitamin D production in our bodies and is a treatment for psoriasis, but can also cause skin cancer, sunburns and cataracts.

Hazardous Materials Shipping at UVM


Risk Management and Safety provides services to assure hazardous materials are shipped by air, land or sea, in accordance with all regulatory requirements. Hazardous materials may include:

  • dangerous goods  (flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic substances)
  • biological materials
  • samples in dry ice 


If you have a question about whether a substance or item you are trying to ship is a hazardous material or dangerous good, contact Safety staff at

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