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.

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


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. Lab supervisors and PIs are responsible for the safety of the users in their area (See Health & Safety Policy).

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

  • Required 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
  • Specific hazard trainings including Soldering Safety, Laser Safety, Welding
  • 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.

Working Alone

UVM policy states that supervisors are responsible for clearly describing and documenting what materials or activities are restricted when working alone. Please use the Working Alone Form to document any restricted activities or materials.  Keep a copy of this completed form in the lab safety notebook.

Unattended Operations

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.

Visiting Workers & Minors in Labs

Please visit the UVM Safety Policies page for guidance on visiting workers and minors in labs.

Waste Disposal

Following UVM Waste Disposal protocols is critical for the safety of the CEMS community and the Risk Management staff that handle lab waste once it is collected. Please visit Laboratory Waste Management to learn more about managing chemical, biological, radioactive, recyclable and general lab waste.

Contact your Lab Safety Coordinator for assistance at safety@uvm.edu.

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

Lab Decomissioning and Equipment Disposal

CEMS Safety Support

• Lee Diamond: Lab Safety Coordinator, Dept of Risk Management and Safety
• Courtney Giles: CEMS Lab Manager, Votey 334
• 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 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.