Excerpts from the Chemical Hygiene Plan & Additional Guidance for Contract Workers

Chemical hazards can be found in abundance in any laboratory, though the threat of these hazards can be minimized using proper storage procedures, engineering controls, communication, protective equipment and personal hygiene. The latter three will be of utmost importance to you; as well as knowing emergency procedures in case of an incident.

When in doubt, ASK FOR HELP! Available contacts include the, SCS Safety Coordinator - Chad Stevens (333-6365); lab workers & faculty members in the area; and your supervisor.


Laboratories where hazardous materials or operations are present must follow University of Illinois, UC signage guidelines. Hazard description and contact information are provided.

  • On preparing to work in a lab space, introduce yourself to one of the inhabitants and brief them on the job scope (including where you need access), if possible.
  • Ask if there are specific hazards to be avoided and if it is safe to proceed. Request that obstructions and hazards be moved.
  • In case of a spill, notify the laboratory workers and exit the area. All spill clean-ups will be conducted by trained individuals

Protective Equipment Requirements for Working in a Laboratory

  • Safety glasses or goggles are required! When entering LASER areas, additional eye protection may be necessary. Check with the owners of the lab.
  • Appropriate clothing and attire are required. Wear clothing that sufficiently protects the body and does not hang loose. Absolutely no shorts, sandals, or open toed shoes are allowed in the lab. Long hair must be tied back.

Use Good Personal Hygiene.

  • Hands should be washed frequently throughout the day, before leaving the lab, after contact with any hazardous material, before eating, etc.
  • Smoking, eating, and drinking are prohibited in the laboratory!
  • Minimize exposure. Avoid skin contact, ingestion, and inhalation whenever possible. Note that many chemicals emit a pungent odor well below OSHA permissible exposure limits.

Guidelines for Emergency Procedures

  • Familiarize yourself with the safety facilities and procedures in the lab.
    • Fire alarm pulls
    • Safety showers & eye washes
    • Emergency exits
  • While all must strive to minimize laboratory hazards such as to prevent serious injury and property damage, emergency situations will arise. Although few staff members, students and visitors are capable in dealing with these situations to completion, all must understand the basics of:
    • Assessing an emergency situation, and
    • Communicating this to an appropriate level.
    • Securing the Area

Guidelines for Emergency Procedures

  • Alert other people immediately!
  • Get medical attention immediately, if necessary. In emergencies, call 9-911.
  • Secure the Area (Keep other people from inadvertently walking into an emergency)

Report all accidents.

Alarms Available

Fire Alarm - used to notify the fire department and signal occupants to leave the building

  • Noyes Lab — Buzzers and Strobes
  • Chem Annex — Buzzers and Strobes
  • North RAL — Buzzers and Strobes. Alarm is in unison with South RAL
  • South RAL — Buzzers and Strobes. Alarm is in unison with North RAL
  • CLSL — Buzzers and Strobes

Panic Buttons - In new RAL only, panic buttons are located inside each laboratory by the light switch. Activate by pressing hard on the red button and deactivate by pulling out on the button. When activated, a bell sounds and light lights in the hallway which signals that help is requested. It does NOT, however, call the fire department or METCAD nor result in evacuation of the building.

Tornado Warning

Seek shelter in the tunnels and RAL basement upon receiving a tornado warning. This warning will be verbally communicated as well as by the community warning siren.