Certain laboratory activities present specific, foreseeable hazards. Approval from the laboratory supervisor to proceed must be obtained under any of the following conditions:

  • The procedure or task is new.
  • There is a change, substitution, or deletion in the procedure or task.
  • Laboratory workers suspect exposure or failure of safeguards.
  • A particularly hazardous substance is used.

A. Off-hours Work Procedures

"Off-hours" is defined as any time outside of regularly scheduled College business hours. College business hours are 8:30 - 5:00 during the fall and spring semesters and 8:00 - 4:00 during summer.

  1. Personnel are not permitted to work during off-hours in the laboratory, except as specifically authorized by their supervisor.
  2. Students are not permitted in laboratories during off-hours unless they have been issued an Authorization Pass which has been signed by their supervisor. The laboratory supervisor/faculty member signing the Authorization Pass is responsible for supervision of the student.
  3. Students needing to work during off- hours are required to arrange for another person (i.e., "safety backup") to be: 1) present on the same floor and within "shouting distance" at all times, and 2) made aware of the presence and location of the student.

B. Sole Occupancy

Faculty and other laboratory supervisors may perform routine laboratory work alone; however, they should ensure that their presence and approximate duration of stay in the building are known to someone and should attempt to minimize working alone.

C. Unattended Operations

When laboratory operations are performed which will be unattended by laboratory personnel, such as continuous operations, overnight reaction, etc., the following procedures will be employed:

  1. The laboratory supervisor will determine whether the unattended operation will be permitted.
  2. The laboratory supervisor will review work procedures to ensure the safe completion of the operation.
  3. Appropriate signs should be posted at all entrances to the laboratory.
  4. Overhead or hood lights in the laboratory should be left on if the operation permits.
  5. Precautions shall be made for the interruption of utility service during the unattended operation (loss of water pressure, electricity, etc.).
  6. Extra precautions should be taken to prevent floods resulting from a broken hose connection. Experience has shown that one possible outcome of an unattended operation is a flood. All hose connections must be clamped securely. Use Tygon tubing in good condition, not rubber (and in particular, not old) tubing.