University of Vermont

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Chemistry

Chem Dept Safety Info

UVM Chemistry Chemical Safety Information Page

Chemicial Safety Information:

Laboratory Safety, Procedures, Training and Chemical Use and Disposal Information:

What To Do If There Is an Accident or a Chemical Spill in a Laboratory:

  • See above links for information from UVM ESF
  • If you or someone else has been injured or have had direct exposure to chemicals and need to get medical assistance
    • No matter how minor the accident, the first step you should take is to notify someone. Don’t be embarrassed or worried about causing a scene.
    • The person you notify should then report the accident to the Chemistry office so that can get you or the injured person can get help as promptly as possible. The Chemistry office will call 911 to get UVM Rescue, the UVM police and/or ESF.
    • If the Chemistry office is closed or the injury is severe use the telephone in the laboratory to call 911 (use a cell phone if no laboratory phone is available) to get UVM Rescue to you.
    • Do not try to leave the building by yourself to seek medical assistance!
    • DO NOT GO to the UVM Student Health Center!!
    • Try to inform someone else of your condition, preferably your research adviser, another professor, or the Chemistry office
    • Medical assistance is obtained by going to the Fletcher Allen Hospital Emergency Department
      • Prudence says that you should be transported to the Emergency Dept. UVM Rescue will do that.
      • Ask yourself: what if I start out from Cook on foot for the Emergency Dept and I have a problem on the way (like the chemical burn to my eyes has now made it impossible for me to see or I pass out)?
    • If you really believe you are ambulatory and can walk to the Emergency Dept easier and better than getting there by ambulance, then
      • Notify two people: who must both agree that you can walk to the Emergency Dept:
        • One person will accompany you (see above: don't go alone)
        • One person will remain in the department and notify authorities (the Chemistry office, UVM police and ESF).

How to Report an Accident After It Has Happened:

If the accident happened (i) in a teaching laboratory to a student or (ii) in a research laboratory to an undergraduates performing research for credit, not as an employee
  1. If the Chemistry Office has not been notified of the accident, please do this first.
  2. The TA or research adviser should go to the UVM Risk Management website and download and print the PDF Incident Report found under the Quick Links section.  The Chemistry office can help.
  3. Turn the completed form into the Chemistry office for transmitting to Risk Management.
If the accident happened (i) in a teaching laboratory to a TA or (ii) in a research laboratory and involved a UVM employee (all postdocs, graduate students, or undergraduates paid to perform research)
  1. If the Chemistry Office has not been notified of the accident, please do this first.
  2. The person involved in the accident should go to the UVM Risk Management website and click on the On the Job Injury Reporting link on the left.
  3. Follow the procedures under the On the Job Injury Reporting Section.
    • This procedure includes completing the First Report of Injury form that is available on the website under the Quick Links section as a Word file that can be filled in.
  4. Turn the completed form into the Chemistry office for transmitting to Risk Management.

For your thoughts after reading the above:

  • If you are thinking of working alone in the lab when very few people are around (nights, early mornings and weekends), what would you do if an accident should happen to you? And again, why are you working alone if there are hazards associated with the work? You would have little opportunity to get help if you are injured. Getting a Ph.D. is not worth such risks.

Last modified March 15 2011 12:40 PM

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