Safety in CEMS Laboratories

The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) considers safety to be a priority and a shared responsibility that requires active participation from faculty, staff, and students.

Each research and teaching lab in CEMS has its own unique features and hazards. CEMS works closely with the UVM Department of Risk Management and Safety to identify and assess area hazards, evaluate activities, and determine proper controls in order to protect users and members of the engineering and mathematics community.

Please visit Safety in the Laboratories to learn more about UVM's lab safety programs.

Whether or not you work in a laboratory, you are strongly encouraged to attend the annual CEMS Emergency Response and Safety Training.

New Procedure: CEMS Ordering and Shipping Hazardous Materials

If you plan to order or ship hazardous materials, including chemicals, biological materials, or packages containing dry ice, please review this PDF icon new procedure and use the CEMS Chemical and Biomaterial Order Form. This form will allow us to track hazardous material orders and anticipate storage and handling needs at the time of delivery to the CEMS Dean's Office.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Hazardous material orders that have not been logged using the new system will be refused at time of delivery.

Lab Supervisors and Safety Officers

Laboratory supervisors/Principal Investigators (PIs) and lab safety officers play a critical role in maintaining a culture of safety in CEMS labs. Lab supervisors and PIs are responsible for managing their lab and complying with the UVM safety policies that affect lab activities, such as EPA and OSHA regulations and/or State and local building codes.

The lab safety officer may be designated by the lab supervisor to assist with safety duties, such as safety documentation and training. Lab supervisors and safety officers are encouraged to attend UVM's semi-annual Lab Safety Officer meeting and are required to attend the annual CEMS Safety and Emergency Response training.

UVM guidelines for lab supervisors and lab safety officers can be found here.

Required Safety Training

  • Basic Laboratory Safety Training for All Lab Workers
  • CEMS Safety and Emergency Response is required for CEMS Graduate Students, lab supervisors, and lab safety officers and is recommended for anyone working in Votey Hall
  • Required for working in Workshops and Machine Shops
  • Soldering Safety, Laser Safety, Welding, and other specific lab training can be found among UVM's online safety courses
  • Respirator use is strictly governed by OSHA regulations. You are required to have Risk Management & Safety conduct a hazard assessment BEFORE wearing ANY respirator, including an N95. Contact safety@uvm.edu if you think you need to wear a respirator to do your work.

Lab Safety Notebook

Every UVM laboratory is required to create a Lab Safety Notebook to document employee training records and procedural information, including Orientation and Training Checklists, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Safety Data Sheets (SDS), Chemical Use Planning Forms (CUPF), Working Alone forms, and Unattended Operations forms. UVM’s guidelines for creating a Lab Safety Notebook can be found here.

Required Lab Safety Forms

Working Alone Policy > UVM policy states that supervisors are responsible for documenting what can and cannot be done in their lab when employees are working alone. The  Working Alone Form should be used for documentation and filed in the lab safety notebook.

Unattended Operations Form​ > Unsupervised experiments or processes that must run overnight or without anyone in attendence require the use of an Unattended Operations Form. This form should be completed and posted on the exterior lab door where the work is being conducted. Examples of unattended operations include overnight or unattended use of ovens and furnaces, stirring hot plates, pumps, spectrophotometery, chromatography, Roto-vap, calorimeter, pressurized vacuum chamber, 3D printing, compression or tensile testing equipment, extruders, Xray CT, wind tunnel, flume, etc.

A complete list of UVM's Lab Safety Forms including forms for Visiting Workers & Minors in Labs can be found here.

Waste Disposal

UVM requires specific procedures for the disposal of lab waste (e.g., chemicals, biomaterials) and facilities waste (e.g., batteries, light bulbs, metal)

Visit the Waste Disposal and Management page for guidence on the proper disposal of lab and facilities waste.

Chemical waste labels and waste disposal tags are available in the Votey 225B Equipment Room.

CEMS Safety Support

• Lee Diamond: Lab Safety Coordinator, Dept of Risk Management and Safety
• Courtney Giles: CEMS Lab Manager, Votey 114
• Floyd Vilmont: Prototype Shop Manager, Votey 125

Emergency Contact Information

In case of emergency, dial 911 

  • Calls to 911 from UVM landline go directly to UVM Police.
  • Calls to 911 from a cell phone go to Vermont State Police. Always immediately identify yourself by saying "I am at the University of Vermont."


UVM Police Services 

  • 24-Hour Communications Center: (802) 656-3473


UVM Service Operations (SOS)

  • Non-emergency urgent building maintenance needs 24/7/365 (e.g., floods, power outages, unusual odors, chemical spills) call Service Operations (SOS) at 802-656-2560 and select "1" from the menu. 


UVM Office of Emergency Management

  • Confidential Tip Line: (802) 656-8477 or text UVM and Message to 847411
  • Sign up for CatAlerts. Campus-wide warnings will come to you via text, phone, and email in an emergency.

Lab Resources

  • Visit the Lab and Marsh Life Sciences Stockroom to purchase common lab reagents and supplies. Risk Management & Safety carries a permit to sell 100-proof and 95-Proof Ethanol in several sizes to campus users. Orders may be placed through the MLS Stockroom. 
  • Stop by the Chemistry Stockroom in Discovery W213 to purchase lab supplies, sharps containers and more at a discount. You will need a Peoplesoft Chart String to purchase. Email questions to Travis.Verret@uvm.edu
  • Academic discounts are available for ThermoFisher Scientific, Airgas, and other vendors. See the Procurement website for the Approved Contract Supplier list before ordering.
  • Equipment Room, Votey 225B – Sterilizer, MilliQ ultrapure water system, muffle furnace, glassware washer, ice machine, waste labels and tags, chemical labels. Please contact the CEMS Lab Manager for access.
  • UVM Instrumentation and Technical Services are available for equipment repairs, maintenance, and decommissioning.