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

Safe Use of Volatile Chemicals and Radioactivity in Biological Safety Cabinets

Work with biohazardous materials involving the use of volatile chemicals and/or radioactivity should exclusively be conducted in a biological safety cabinet that is vented outside the building.

Ducted Class II Type A2, Class II Type B1 and B2 (always hard-ducted), and Class III BSCs may be used with different amounts of chemicals/radioactive materials. Please review the following table for more specific details:


Ergonomics, Back Safety & Injury Prevention in the Lab

Download: Stretches for Injury Prevention


According to the Center for Disease Control, ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work.

Working at Heights & Roof-Top Research




Safety measures must be written and in place before working at heights. Per OSHA, "working at heights" begins when a person is four feet (4') above the next landing surface. 

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

Recommendations for the safe use of hand and power tools is reviewed in the Hand & Power Tools online training. Login to take this training here.

Machine Guarding

While there are many different types of machine guards, there are a few things that they all have in common. Effective guards:

Biological Safety Cabinets


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 Risk Management and Safety. Contact the Safety staff at

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