Lab

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

Ergonomics, Back Safety & Injury Prevention in the Lab

Ergonomics

According to the Center for Disease Control, ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks.

Safe Lifting Techniques

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Working at Heights & Roof-Top Research

Risk of and injuries from falls is a huge focus of injury prevention in all of our environments - working, learning and living.  The need to consider safety measures and protocols when working at heights begins once a person is four feet above the next landing surface.  Although falls have been taken both from lesser and greater distances and either resulted in an injury or not, OSHA is clear that four feet is the height where fall protection needs to be considered to prevent injuries.  

Material Storage & Ladder Safety

Material Handling & Storage

Because the variation of materials, methods for moving them and locations for storage are so diverse across campus, the best comprehensive guide to evaluating needs departmentally and training affected faculty, staff and students is the OSHA Material Storage and Handling publication.

 

Machinery & Equipment

Hand & Power Tools and Equipment

OSHA requirements and recommendations for the safe use of hand and power tools is overviewed in the following powerpoint slides:  Hand & Power Tools

Biological Safety Cabinets

Introduction

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are primary containment devices utilized in laboratories for the handling of biohazardous agents. They are routinely used for a wide variety of applications, such as human and animal tissue culture, bacterial and viral work, transfection or infection of cells with recombinant DNA (rDNA), clinical sample manipulation, and animal care (some examples pictured).

Permissible Exposure Limits

Our Laboratory Safety Plan is intended to limit laboratory workers' exposure to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)-regulated substances.

The plan sets a threshold for exposure: lab workers must not be exposed to substances in excess of the permissible exposure limits (PEL) specified in OSHA rule 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances or threshold limits values set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

Nonhazardous liquids & Hazardous solids

If nonhazardous liquids and hazardous solids are stored together, liquid chemicals must be kept in secondary containers.  This helps prevent potentially incompatible chemicals from accidentally mixing.

Refrigerated Flammable Liquids

Flammable liquids that require refrigeration must be stored in a refrigerator or freezer esepcially designed to prevent flammable vapors from igniting.

When storing flammable liquids, please observe the following guidelines:

Chemical Storage Cabinets

All chemical storage cabinets should be clearly labeled to identify the hazards inside (e.g. “Flammables,” “Corrosives,” or “Oxidizers.”).  Signs and labels for this purpose are available from Environmental Health and Safety at safety@uvm.edu

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