Safety is an important consideration when working in the
lab. Even if your experiment does not have an apparent
safety hazard, another group may be working on an experiment
with gases at high pressure, hot fluids, or toxic chemicals.
The following safety rules apply to all experiments in
the Unit Operations Lab. Some experiments may require
additional safety precautions. Make sure to check the
safety manual for individual experiments!
Personal Protective Equipment Required
for All Experiments
Some experiments require additional safety equipment. Consult the safety manual for each experiment before the lab!
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Close-toed shoes
- Long pants
- Insulated gloves when working with steam
Safety Guidelines Common for All
- Understand every part of the equipment before starting the experiment.
- Think carefully before you operate the equipment.
- Check Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all chemicals involved
in the experiment.
- Follow operating instructions and use checklists posted on
the course website.
- All electronic devices (including computers, cell phones, and
calculators) must be turned off during laboratory operations.
- Contact lenses should not be worn in the lab.
- Mechanical pipetting devices must be used;
pipetting by mouth is not allowed.
- In experiments involving steam (TFE, CD, and BD), keep the water on while the
steam is on.
- Be aware that floors are slippery when wet and should be kept as
dry as possible by pushing excess water into the gutters with a
- Do not play around.
- No food or drink in the lab. If needed, get your TA’s permission
to have a snack in the hallway.
- Pick up all trash and other materials and dispose of properly. Recycling
containers are vailable for plastic, cans and paper.
- Wash hands before leaving for the day.
- Remember the basic rules for chemicals:
- Don’t get them on your skin;
- Don’t breathe the fumes;
- Don’t eat them;
- Don’t expose them to any combustion source.
- Go through the checklist before starting a new experiment
- Follow additional safety guidelines for individual experiments.
Chemical Spill Clean up
- All spills must be cleaned up by all members of the group most directly
responsible for the spill.
- Your TA and lab supervisor must be notified.
- All group members must remain in the lab until the spill is cleaned up.
- Small spills may be absorbed using Kimwipes. Make sure you wash your
hands immediately after cleanup.
- Larger spills must have absorbent put on them.
The absorbent must be removed and placed in doubled trash bags with a
hazardous waste label properly filled out. Bags and labels are available
in Room 118.
When the bag is filled put it on top of the waste barrels, under the
black cover , for pickup by EHS.
If there is a large spill such as a drum or tank rupture
evacuate the area and notify the TA, Supervisor, and the Main Office.
Do not touch the chemicals with your hands and make sure you wash your
hands and arms after spill control is finished.
- Absorbent is in the
large trash cans labeled “Spill control”.
- Put enough material on the
spill so it does not spread out.
- Stir the material into the spill until it is absorbed.