Research and Laboratory Safety
A safe working environment is contingent upon two key factors: thorough training of all personnel and conscientiously applying prudent practices. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is available to provide general training to departments, but it is the responsibility of the Department Chairman to ensure that the head of each lab trains their personnel about lab-specific safety protocols.
Emergency Information Sheet:
All labs, shops and hazardous areas are required to post an Emergency Information Sheet by the light switch at the main entrance to the room. In the past, EH&S has supplied these signs on card stock. We now have a fillable WORD document (doc, 35KB) which you can download, enter your information, and print for yourself. The new Emergency Information Sign includes space for up to three contacts, and has a new format. If you are unable to use word document, open the PDF sample, gather the required information, and send it to the Environmental Specialist by email at email@example.com. As part of the email, request that an Emergency Information Sign be printed, list ALL the required information, and a sign will be printed and sent to you by campus mail.
Any Faculty or Staff member who wishes to install a Class 3b or 4 laser to their lab at Binghamton University, or move a Class 3b or 4 laser from one room to another should fill out the BU Laser Inventory Form (pdf, 33KB), and contact EH&S for a consultation. The Binghamton University Laser Safety Guide (pdf, 33KB) provides background information for the roles and responsibilities of faculty, staff using lasers on campus.
Liquid Cryogen Safety:
Faculty or Staff wishing to use Cryogenic Liquids in their labs are required to attend safety training as offered by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, as well as train all lab occupants about the hazards of Liquid Cryogens. Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment must be available for all lab occupants to use while working with the cryogenic liquids.
Transporting cryogenic liquids across campus poses a special hazard to employees. Transportation of cryogenic liquids between Science 2 and the Engineering Building should be arranged through Binghamton University expediters and the physics department.
Lab occupants are required to provide a copy of their UPDATED chemical inventory to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety via email once each year. The inventory is to be submitted by email to Stephen Endres firstname.lastname@example.org using this Chemical Inventory Form (Excel Version, 25KB).
The memo describing the chemical inventory requirement and procedures is available upon request.
It is the responsibility of the lab occupants (NOT EH&S) to verify that the emergency eyewash and fire extinguishers are in working order. Activate the emergency eyewash weekly to verify water flows with reasonable pressure. If the eyewash does not provide adequate water flow, contact the Environmental Specialist at 7-2211. Print and post documentation that the eyewash is not functioning, such as our Out of Service sign (pdf, 13KB).
New York State Fire Code requires that fire extinguishers be checked monthly to verify that they have not been discharged. As a lab occupant, it is your responsibility to verify that the pin is in place, seal is unbroken, and that the dial (if present) indicates appropriate pressure. If you have questions, please contact one of the fire protection specialists for guidance at 7-2211.
Hydrofluoric Acid (HF):
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety advises EXTREME caution when working with or around Hydrofluoric Acid. All personnel working in a lab where Hydrofluoric Acid is used or stored must be trained about the hazards of the substance. Calcium Gluconate and Calcium Hydroxide are available from Environmental Health and Safety for any lab or facility at Binghamton University where Hydrofluoric Acid is going to be used or stored. A warning sign (pdf, 65KB) can be posted to warn lab occupants about the hazards of the lab and what actions to follow.
Safety Audits are an important requirement for maintaining a safe working environment. Audits are conducted twice a year at Binghamton University.
Lab Audit Procedures (.pdf, 163KB)
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