All of the laboratories in AMCaT are in compliance with UCD’s Illness and Injury Prevention Program. This program requires that each college, department, and individual laboratory establish its own comprehensive safety program. These programs address issues such as responsible persons, methods of purchasing, using and storing hazardous chemicals, working with radiation, biological agents, carcinogens and hazardous machines, training and records of training and hazards communications. The safety program for each laboratory is described in detail in the red “Chemical Hygiene Plan” binders which can be found in each laboratory. An overview of these plans covering AMCaT is summarized below.
Just as the P.I. is responsible for everything that happens in his/her laboratories, the manager of AMCaT must answer for everything which happens in its laboratories. This person must not only provide a safe workplace but make sure that the work is done in a safe manner. In addition, everyone who works in a laboratory on this campus is considered to be a safety officer in the laboratories they work in in the sense that they also are obligated to do their part to make and keep this campus a safe working environment. This would encompass not only one’s own actions but also speaking up or taking the appropriate action when another person’s actions create dangerous or potentially dangerous situations.
All hazards present in each laboratory are listed in each laboratory’s red “Chemical Hygiene Plan” binder. In addition, signs describing emergency procedures and listing the names of emergency personnel are posted in the laboratories and on or close to equipment where hazards exist. Finally, the department and the campus offer many opportunities to learn more about the hazards one might encounter in the workplace. Refer to the “Chemical Hygiene Plan” for more information on these resources. Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratories Use: Proper safe working practices should be followed at all times. Care should be taken to protect yourself, one’s colleagues, the equipment in the laboratories and the building, even if and especially if this means making an extra effort to set up an experiment, to carry it out and to clean up afterwards.
All chemicals brought into these laboratories must be properly labeled and must also bear the owner’s name and the date it was purchased.
A selection of certain common chemicals will be kept on hand in these laboratories and everyone is free to use them but not to remove them from the laboratory. Any chemicals brought into central facilities or mixed in this laboratory must be removed as soon as the work is completed. Users cannot store their chemicals or chemical waste in these laboratories for any longer than their experiment runs.
Each laboratory is equipped with the types of personal protective equipment which are appropriate for the work normally done in that laboratory. In general, this consists of:
Everyone who works in these laboratories is required to attend the Department of Materials Science & Engineering’s annual safety seminar or its equivalent if one is from another department. In addition, you will have to take specified safety courses on specific laboratory hazards and specific safe practices. Records of this training and any other specialized training for use of equipment in these laboratories will be kept on file in the department’s database.
Enforcement is only necessary when someone persists in working in a manner which is hazardous to either themselves, those around them, the equipment in the laboratory, or even the building. Rarely is enforcement necessary but when it is it may take the form of a reprimand, temporary suspension, or even termination of employment. In addition, departmental safety officers may close any laboratory where serious hazards exist.
Unsafe activities in AMCaT cannot be tolerated. The liabilities and the costs of repairing the facilities are simply too great, not to mention the horror of seeing our colleagues injured. If polite reminders and/or additional training are not sufficient to end the unsafe practice then the offending person will be temporarily banned from the laboratory. Flagrant or persistent disregard for the safety of the laboratory and persons in it will result in permanent banishment from all of these laboratories, forever.
The Department of Environmental Health and Safety also maintains a web site on which they offer a huge amount of information on topics ranging from 1-2 page Safety Nets, schedules of safety training, chemical inventories for each laboratory on campus, waste disposal information, forms, online exams, and more.