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Lab Student Safety Education & Safety Exam

Updated for Winter 2019. 

Student planning to work in a chemistry laboratory need to learn basic safety principles before beginning. During laboratory work (as a student and as a professional) each person is expected to know:

  • general laboratory and life safety principles,
  • specific laboratory policies and procedures for each lab or work area
  • the hazards of the materials in use.

The materials mentioned below provide tools need to learn these topics. Specific instructions for instruments and equipment are taught in class as new topics and instruments are introduced. Rules that are specific to an individual class are published in the syllabus for that class.

LABORATORY SAFETY EDUCATION PROGRAM

Each laboratory student in Chemistry & Biochemistry (CHEM) is responsible for learning the basics of laboratory & life safety, including

  • life safety issues,
  • hazard recognition,
  • risk assessment,
  • hazardous materials management/storage and
  • emergency response.

Our safety education program presents reading materials, video presentations and personal contacts to assist students. Additional assistance is available, as requested by students. We guide the student to:

  • Recognize hazards,
  • Assess the risk of those hazards,
  • Minimize, manage, or control those hazards, and
  • Prepare to respond to emergencies.

The R-A-M-P acronym helps us remember the process for managing our exposures to hazards.

Our RULES and POLICIES

Our Laboratory Rules cover items specific to our facilities, including our rules for clothing and shoes, safety eye protection and lab coats, laboratory glove use and moving chemicals between labs. Please note these items in particular:

  • Long PANTS (or their equivalent) are required to protect from splash contamination. Leggings are not pants and are NOT PERMITTED. Tight pants (skinny jeans) do not provide protection and will be interpreted as “leggings” for the purposes of this rule. Make sure you have at least one pair of pants with substantial air space between the fabric and your skin – especially below the knee. Other questions about what is “equivalent” should be referred to the Teaching Labs Safety Coordinator.
  • Closed SHOES that cover the whole foot and protect from spills and broken glass are required. Please note:  open shoes that leave the top of the foot exposed (such as loafers and ballet flats) are not allowed. Absorbent materials, such as canvas, are discouraged (and forbidden in some classes – see your class syllabus).
  • Chemical splash goggles are the default eye protection for the CHEM Teaching Labs.They are needed in all labs and are the ONLY eye protection allowed in introductory lab classes. See the STUDY GUIDE for details and to help distinguish between goggles and safety glasses.
  • Lab coats are required in all labs:  purchase a lon-sleeve, knee-length coat that can be worn fully buttoned while sitting. Clothing must not extend beyond the coat sleeves.
  • Headphones & ear buds are forbidden in all labs, as they may interfere with instructions, alarms or warnings.
  • Arrive prepared to work on Day 1 of lab:  dress for lab work (pants, shoes); bring your lab coat, chemical splash goggles, notebook and pen. Lab coats and goggles are available in the campus Bookstore and at the FIC Resale Shop on Library Walk.

READING MATERIALS

LAB AND LIFE SAFETY EXPECTATIONS:  This document outlines some items you are EXPECTED TO KNOW BEFORE BEGINNING LAB. If your previous experience has not covered these topics, learn them now. Some basic RULES & TECHNIQUES that build on these expectations are included.

LABORATORY RULES include items specific to the CHEM Teaching Laboratories. Other labs and other institutions have different rules and policies. Always be sure to look for local laboratory policies when you start in a new lab.

LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS is available to all students via the UC San Diego Libraries -- click on the book title for information on library collection and other links to the textbook. Each chapter presents introductory and intermediate readings on a specific topic. Some chapters include advanced materials as well.

STUDY GUIDE:  Student Preparation for CHEM Lab provides our Teaching Laboratory policies. It coordinates with LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS. Other labs and other institutions have different rules and policies, so always be sure to check a local source when you start in a new lab.

PRUDENT PRACTICES IN THE LABORATORY: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards is a professional-level guide to working safely in laboratories; available via the UC San Diego Libraries and on-line.

Students Entering CHEM 7L or CHEM 7LM

Introductory chemistry lab courses are about learning the skills and knowledge needed to work safely and efficiently. We expect that a student without lab work experience will have some knowledge of common hazards, but not a lot of details about lab safety.

  • LAB AND LIFE SAFETY EXPECTATIONS:  You are EXPECTED TO KNOW these items before beginning a lab course. If your previous experience has not covered these topics, learn them now. Some basic RULES & TECHNIQUES that build on these expectations are included.
  • Read and learn our Laboratory Rules.
  • Review the structure of LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS and locate the INTRODUCTORY level readings materials, which appear in each chapter. 
  • Our STUDY GUIDE may be also be helpful. Use the study questions at the end of each section to check yourself.
  • Consider attending a WORKSHOP before attempting the exam. Students who attend have reported this to be a valuable experience. Get answers to any questions and study with other students.

Students Entering CHEM 43A, CHEM 43AM or CHEM 100A

Students Entering Advanced CHEM Lab Courses

  • Students entering our program in advanced status will be asked to demonstrate knowledge of laboratory safety and the Laboratory Rules. See the readings assigned for introductory laboratory courses (above). When you are ready, take the on-line exam in TritonED.
  • Students who have passed the laboratory safety exam in at least one introductory course will be asked to confirm that experience.
  • Advanced chemistry lab students will find LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS a valuable resource for advanced topics not addressed in introductory courses.
  • Review the Laboratory Rules and consider how they apply to new hazards you may not have encountered earlier.
  • STUDY GUIDE:  Student Preparation for CHEM Lab provides our Teaching Laboratory policies. It coordinates with LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS. Other labs and other institutions have different rules and policies; always be sure to check a local source when you start in a new lab.

STUDY TOGETHER - Lab Safety WORKSHOP

Our WORKSHOPS (see CURRENT SCHEDULE) bring students together with the Staff to see and handle lab equipment, to learn procedures in a laboratory setting and to discuss any questions students may have. Students who attend report this to be helpful. Come for a few minutes or for the whole meeting (the second meeting is a repeat of the first; no need for both!). The worksheet we'll use is here. Request further assistance from your Lab Instructor, your TA and the Lab Staff.

SAFETY EXAM FOR INTRODUCTORY LAB STUDENTS

SAFETY REQUIREMENT:  Students in CHEM 7L, 7LM, 43A, 43AM and 100A  are required to demonstrate an understanding of general laboratory safety and familiarity with the CHEM Laboratory Rules. Students who do not take the on-line exam during the test period or who DO NOT DEMONSTRATE an understanding of general laboratory safety and familiarity with the CHEM Laboratory Rules may be dropped from the course with a grade of "W," where possible.

A passing score on the LAB SAFETY EXAM (see your instructor's syllabus) fulfills the safety requirement.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • A safety exam in another department or at another institution DOES NOT fulfill this requirement.
  • On-line new employee training DOES NOT fulfill this requirement.
  • NO MAKE-UP EXAM is planned for those who skip, ignore or forget the on-line exam. Mark your calendar.
  • The second exam is a chance for students who have failed the on-line exam to keep a place in class.
  • Check your class syllabus to see whether the Safety Exam score is part of your course grade.
The lab safety exams wil be available on line in TritonED for several days.
Each student is responsible for checking the CURRENT SCHEDULE and
taking the exam within the time assigned.

STUDY NOW . . . TAKE THE EXAM WHEN YOU ARE READY.
Waiting to study and then to find the exam has caused avoidable problems for many students. Study materials are provided on this page and are available to everyone. Study the resources here without delay and mark your calendar to take the exam. Do not wait until the last minute, as this causes unnecessary grief for everyone involved.

The on-line exams will appear in TritonED, the campus on-line curriculum system.Students who do not yet have a UC San Diego student account with Educational Technology Services need to register and establish an account before they can proceed to the exam. This process takes a full business day.

From your list of TritonED courses, choose the LAB SAFETY TRAINING page associated with your course:

  • CHEM 7L – LAB SAFETY TRAINING
  • CHEM 43A – LAB SAFETY TRAINING
  • CHEM 100A – LAB SAFETY TRAINING
  • CHEM 100B, 105, 109, 143D – LAB SAFETY TRAINING

Your course instructor may have another TritonED page for other course materials.The exam will appear only in these associated courses, not in the instructor’s TritonED site.

For Winter 2019,
exams will be available
Saturday, January 5 -- Tuesday, January 8 (11:59 PM).

  • Take the safety exam as many times as necessary to pass.  
  • A 95% score is required to remain in the course.
  • Two hours are permitted for each attempt.
  • The system will remember your highest score.
For best results with the least hassle, we suggest:
  • Study carefully before opening the exam.
  • Get your questions answered via email or at the WORKSHOP.
  • Be sure you have at least an hour free.
  • Read carefully and answer thoughtfully.

LET US KNOW IF YOU NEED HELP

Students who need ACCOMMODATIONS (such as an alternative test format or extra time) for documented hardship or disability must contact the Safety Coordinator or as soon as possible.

CURRENT SCHEDULE: Safety Workshops and Exams

LAB SAFETY PROGRAM CALENDAR -- WINTER 2019

 

                  Location Time
NOTICE of safety program requirements to
all students registered/waitlisted in introductory labs.*
Via TritonLink to UCSD email Dec 17 - 21, 2018
SAFETY WORKSHOP
. . . . optional, but recommended by previous students; meet & work with other students;
ask questions about the reading.
Stay for a few minutes or for a full session.
NSB 1103 Choose one session
FRIDAY, JAN 4, NOON – 2:00 PM
MONDAY, JAN 7, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
SAFETY EXAM opens TritonED SATURDAY, JAN 5
SAFETY EXAM closes TUESDAY, JAN 8, midnight
SAFETY WORKSHOP
. . . . optional, but recommended by previous students; meet & work with other students;
ask questions about the reading.
Stay for a few minutes or for a full session.
NSB 1103 THURSDAY, JAN 10, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
IN-PERSON EXAM YORK 2722
FRIDAY, JAN 11, 7:00 AM

 

SUN

MON

TUES WED THUR FRI SAT

WEEK

0

DEC 30

31

CAMPUS HOLIDAY

JAN 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2

W2019 quarter begins

3

4

 WORKSHOP (NOON)

5

EXAMS OPEN

WEEK

1

6

EXAMS OPEN

7

EXAMS OPEN

WORKSHOP (PM)

8

 

EXAMS CLOSE @  11:59PM 

9

10

 

 REVIEW WORKSHOP (PM)

11

 

IN-PERSON EXAM 7AM

12

NOTE:  No makeup time is planned for students who miss/skip/forget the On-Line Exam.

Print Calendar (.pdf)

TRANSFER, RETURNING AND EXTENSION STUDENTS

We welcome students who are new to the CHEM Teaching Labs as

  • recent transfers,
  • returning students, or
  • extension (concurrent enrollment) students.

All such students need to demonstrate an understanding of general laboratory safety and familiarity with the our Laboratory Rules. Our Rules may differ somewhat from what any previous training you have received, as different institutions frequently have different local rules.

TRANSFER or RETURNING. If you are enrolled in one of our introductory classes (CHEM 7L, 7LM, 43A, 100A), follow the program outlined on this page. If you are entering our program in advanced status you will be asked to demonstrate knowledge of laboratory safety and our Laboratory Rules. See the readings assigned for introductory laboratory courses (above). When you are ready, take the on-line exam in TritonED.

If you are enrolled in one of our other lab classes, please contact the CHEM Teaching Labs Safety Coordinator as soon as possible, to avoid any delay in your studies.

EXTENSION (CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT).  Please contact the CHEM Teaching Labs Safety Coordinator as soon as possible, to avoid any delay in your studies.

STUDY MATERIALS for LAB SAFETY: General Lab Safety & the CHEM Teaching Labs Rules

READINGS for LAB SAFETY

LAB AND LIFE SAFETY EXPECTATIONS:  This document outlines some items you are EXPECTED TO KNOW BEFORE BEGINNING LAB. If your previous experience has not covered these topics, learn them now. Some basic RULES & TECHNIQUES that build on these expectations are included.

LABORATORY RULES include items specific to the CHEM Teaching Laboratories. They are available here and in each lab. Study the LABORATORY RULES to learn about

  • shoes, clothing, & lab coats, 
  • safety eye protection (goggles and glasses)
  • where & when to wear lab gloves
  • moving hazardous materials between laboratories.

Other labs and other institutions have different rules and policies. Always be sure to look for local laboratory policies when you start in a new lab.

LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS (by Robert H. Hill, Jr. & David Finster)  is available to all students via the UC San Diego Libraries. This text is designed to carry a student through the years of a chemistry curriculum. Each chapter has introductory, intermediate and more advanced materials.

  • CHEM 7L and 7LM will be introduced to the elements in the introductory material throughout the quarter.
  • CHEM 43A, 43AM and 100A students are expected to recall (or review) the introductory materials and learn the intermediate materials.

STUDY GUIDE:  Student Preparation for CHEM Lab provides our Teaching Laboratory policies. It coordinates with LABORATORY SAFETY FOR CHEMISTRY STUDENTS. Other labs and other institutions have different rules and policies, so always be sure to check a local source when you start in a new lab.

PRUDENT PRACTICES IN THE LABORATORY: Handling and Management of Chemical Hazards is a professional-level guide to working safely in laboratories; available via the UC San Diego Libraries and on-line.

 

 

LEARN TO USE SAFETY EQUIPMENT

In your first lab meeting, your teaching assistant (TA) will introduce/review LAB SAFETY EQUIPMENT available in your lab. Each lab is different. Learn where each item is, how to use it and who is to use it:

  • Exit doors (each lab has two, but the second may not be obvious)
  • Emergency evacuation route
  • Emergency assembly area (different for each building on campus)
  • Chemical hoods
  • Emergency shower & eyewash
  • First aid kit
  • Fire/emergency blanket
  • Spill response kit
  • Telephone (if any)

 

LEARN THE HAZARDS OF YOUR MATERIALS

As you prepared for each lab exercise, notice the materials that are new to you and check their hazards and properties before you come into the lab. Your primary source of information is the SAFETY DATA SHEET (SDS) prepared by the manufacturer of the material. In lab, be sure to check bottle labels as well.

SAFETY DATA SHEETS (SDS) provide information about the composition and hazards of specific products. Make a table in your notebook to list: 

  • the materials you expect to use,
  • their hazards and properties, plus
  • the quantities you expect to need.

Use your table of materials as a quick reference while you work. SDS are produced by chemical manufacturers and are available through various sources.

 

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

 

SAFETY VIDEOS

If you learn best by watching video instruction, there are lots of sources. Check the Lab Safety Video tab in the Library Guide: Chemical Safety Information.

General Lab Safety:

From Environment Health & Safety and the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department:

Also see: Lab Safety Made Simple (7 minutes), a humorous look at safety violations and their consequences. Includes a chance to see how much water is delivered by a lab safety shower. Find the differences between their rules and ours - and the common mis-spelling of "goggles."

Chemical Hoods:

GHS:  Globally Harmonized System of Classification & Labelling of Chemicals

Napo in... danger: chemicals!  (https://www.napofilm.net/en/napos-films/napo-danger-chemicals).

Napo and his co-workers are involved in work with chemicals, including those that are irritants, flammable, corrosive, toxic or a danger to the environment. Short humorous sketches show how to prevent accidents by using safe working practices. The film draws attention to the importance of labeling chemical products, using the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Part of large series of films produced for the Film Consortium, Via Storia & the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (http://osha.europa.eu/).

Fire Blanket – The all-around safety tool:

Lab Techniques

from Environment Health & Safety and the Chemistry & Biochemistry Department:

University of Alberta has a library of basic techniques in various video formats:  LABORATORY TECHNIQUES VIDEOS.

 

CONTACT US

Ask for assistance or lab accommodations:

EXAM RESULTS

Check your personal grade book (MY GRADES) in TritonED for scores on-line exam. A passing score is 95% (rounded to the nearest whole number; e.g., 84.5 = 85%).

It is the responsibility of each student to obtain the exam score, retake the exam and, if necessary, present him/herself for the second exam. The second exam is reserved for those studends who took the on-line exam but did not pass in the allotted time. 

Safety exam scores may be used as part of a class grade (see your instructor's course syllabus). Exam scores will be available to each student after the exam.


Results for the second exam (PASS/FAIL only) will be posted to TritonED as soon as they are available, usually late on the day of the exam.


For more information, contact Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O., Safety Coordinator, CHEM Teaching Labs.

AWARD-WINNING SAFETY PROGRAM

2014 Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award

The  Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CH&S) of the American Chemical Society recognized UC San Diego staff members with the Howard Fawcett Chemical Health and Safety Award:

  • Sheila Kennedy (Safety Coordinator, CHEM Teaching Labs) and
  • Joanna Boval (Director, Office for Students with Disabilities).

The annual Fawcett Award recognizes outstanding individual contributions to the field of Chemical Health and Safety. In 2014 CH&S recognized innovative solutions for assisting students with disabilities in the CHEM Teaching Labs.

2011 NIOSH Collegiate Safety Award

The Teaching Laboratories safety program of UC San Diego Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry was honored as the 2011 recipient of the NIOSH College and University Health and Safety Award. This award is given by the Division of Chemical Health and Safety (CH&S) of the American Chemical Society to recognize the most comprehensive laboratory safety programs in higher education at the undergraduate level.  UC San Diego joins other distinguished colleges and universities that have received this award which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH).

SAFE at UC San Diego – Safety Award For Excellence

Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) recognizes employees who are making UC San Diego a SAFE place with the Safety Award For Excellence. Several members of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department (both faculty and staff) have received this award in recent years:

  • Dr. Haim Weizman, Professor, Safety Committee Chairman & producer of lab safety videos.

  • Sheila Kennedy, C.H.O., Safety Coordinator for the CHEM Teaching Labs.

  • Dr. Murray Goodman, Professor, Health & Safety Coordinating Council Chairman.

  • Joseph Taulane, Goodman Lab, cited for support of the community and his lab, acting decisively to correct safety problems.

  • Dr. Jay Siegel, Professor, recognized for his proactive approach to hazard communication.

CONTACTS

A NOTE FROM THE SAFETY COORDINATOR:
     If you have questions about Lab Student Safety Education or our Lab Safety Exam, please carefully review these pages, as well as the Teaching Laboratory FAQs. We teach, coach & test more than a thousand students in the first week of each quarter, so it’s helpful if we don't hear from everyone at once. If you think we have missed something, though, please do send an email & help us improve the process and the information.
~ Sheila Kennedy


In Chemistry & Biochemistry:

In Environment, Health & Safety,