Safety

Departmental Requirements

It is important that we maintain a safe work environment in the lab. The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering is committed to safety and has a number of requirements that must be met before carrying out any experiments in the lab. For information on departmental safety requirements, visit the department website.

Safe Operating Cards

In the Foudazi lab, we take additional steps to ensure that the lab remains a safe place to work. For every experiment, whether simply drying samples or carrying out a reaction under the fume hood, a Safe Operating Card (SOC) is mandatory. The SOCs used in the Foudazi lab were adapted from those used by DOW Chemical and the University of Minnesota and serve as a means of informing others in the laboratory concerning:

  • the chemicals used in a given experiment,
  • reaction conditions,
  • the responsible researcher,
  • any associated hazards, and
  • emergency procedures.

An example of a properly filled out SOC is shown below.

 

SOCs should be displayed in a visible location in close proximity to the experiment in progress such as on the glass of the fume hood (shown below).

SOC Display

Ideal display of a Safe Operating Card.

Again, SOCs must be used for all experiments carried out in the Foudazi lab. To learn more about SOCs, please visit the DOW Chemical website. If you are in need of SOCs please go to “Safe Operating Card Template.”

Safety Violations

Weekly, either Aaron or Elijah will inspect the lab for safety violations. Even small violations can be costly and put your fellow researchers at risk. Recently, the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering has been responsible for paying thousands of dollars in identification fees for unlabeled chemicals found in Jett Hall and minor offenses such as simply leaving a lid off of a chemical can come with a $500 fine if the lab is inspected. Further, unsafe practices such as mixing incompatible chemicals or deviating from the procedures outlined in a given experiments Experimental Safety Procedure unnecessarily put others in danger. When violations are found the person responsible is required to prepare a powerpoint presentation (3-5 slides) outlining:

  • the violation,
  • why it creates a hazard in the lab,
  • evidence that the violation has been remedied, and
  • what steps are being taken to ensure that the violation is not repeated.

Simply displaying the picture of the violation provided in the email is insufficient. If someone is found to repeatedly be responsible for safety violations, they will be required, at the discretion of Dr. Foudazi, to repeat safety courses offered by EH&S and, in serious cases, be referred to Dr. Rockstraw for further disciplinary actions.

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