Laboratory safety is a core element in the conduct of high-quality research. The following steps will guide you through UVM's Laboratory Safety Program.
Good Science is Safe Science!

1. Register The Laboratory

Lab Supervisors must register their labs online. This means completing a personnel roster and inventory of the hazards present. This ensures that emergency responders can identify the emergency contacts and hazards in your lab(s). Update this information at a minimum of every 6 months or as hazards or personnel change. Supervisors may designate a Lab Safety Officer to maintain this registration.

2. Identify Hazards and Assess & Control Hazards

Hazards in the lab must be identified by the supervisor (or someone delegated by the supervisor), and everyone must understand the hazards of what they will be using. Document how the hazards will be controlled using engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. Tools to help with documentation include Chemical Use Planning Forms, research protocols, Standard Operating Procedures, and other hazard assessments.

3. Train and Inform

Each lab worker must complete training regarding hazardous materials, laboratory procedures, equipment, the means to control the hazards, and emergency procedures. Lab Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all lab personnel receive appropriate training.

4. Maintain the Lab Safety Notebook

Lab Supervisors use the Lab Safety Notebook to store safety-related documents such as Safety Data Sheets, training records, self-inspection checklists, etc.

5. Inspect the Lab Monthly

Lab Supervisors are required to complete and document a self-inspection of the lab(s) each month. Supervisors may designate others to help complete the inspection.

6. Manage Lab Wastes

Lab workers must determine the appropriate disposal method for all wastes generated in lab, including hazardous and non-hazardous wastes. Types of hazardous waste may include chemical waste, biological waste, radioactive waste, sharps, and universal waste (e.g. CFLs, batteries, ballasts, electronic waste). Types of non-hazardous waste may include uncontaminated waste and broken glass, lab trash, and recyclables.

7. Prepare for Emergencies

Each person in the lab needs to be prepared to respond to an emergency. Plan ahead to help minimize injury to personnel, damage to equipment and facilities, and potential for a release of hazardous materials to the environment.

8. Institute General Lab Safety Practices

Examples of lab safety practices include keeping areas free of clutter and contamination to eliminate and reduce hazards in the lab, keeping the lab door closed, shutting the fume hood sash, etc.

9. Practice Sustainability and Pollution Prevention

Make decisions that support a cleaner, greener world by eliminating or reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and non-renewable energy sources when possible.