EHS Website:
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) is committed to maintaining the safest possible laboratories. We encourage faculty and researchers to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone — staff, students, visitors and the general public. In other words, we want to keep you and those around you safe.
Laboratory operations can be dangerous whether you are working with hazardous materials or equipment or just performing common laboratory procedures. Every day there are incidents in teaching and research laboratories on university campuses across the U.S. Although many accidents are minor, there are also serious cases, including fatalities.  Every year, UT Austin has multiple incidents in our laboratories. Our goal is to reduce that number and reduce accidental injuries.

Are you safety trained?
Check your training history (EID required):   In UTLearn select “View Your Transcript” under the drop down menu from Learning.

Spring students need to have completed: OH101, OH102, OH201, and OH202.
Summer & Fall students need to have completed all of the above and FF205.
Mentors are required all of the above and OH204 and OH241.

Click here to complete any of the safety modules you are missing.

In our lab you must:

  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Wear proper clothing covering your body.
  • Longer hair needs to be free of your face (for vision purposes and guard against exposure to chemicals).
  • Use proper techniques when handling glassware, instruments, computers, and chemicals.
  • Do not eat or drink in the lab.
  • Do not wear headphones while performing experiments.
  • The computer areas are CLEAN AREAS.  Never wear gloves at any computers, and please refrain from handling chemicals in these areas.

Review the information here and refer back to this often so that you are in the know when something happens.

Emergency plans:

  • Fire:
    • Fires start out small and can be put out by removing oxygen, simply cover the flask. Notify Mentor, Lauren or Elizabeth immediately.
    • Too large to cover, use fire extinguisher (FF205). Notify Lauren and Elizabeth immediately.
    • Danger to you and everyone, alert everyone to leave, pull fire alarm. Notify Lauren and Elizabeth immediately.
  • Chemical Spills:
    • Minor Spills
      • Alert coworkers; clean up according to type of spill. Notify Mentor, Lauren or Elizabeth.
    • Major Spills
      • Wipe up and place towels in the hood to minimize chemical exposure to vapors.
      • If skin or clothing exposed, remove affected clothing, wash thoroughly for 15 minutes.
      • If eyes are contaminated, rinse with eyewash for 15 minutes.
      • If necessary, use safety shower in hallway.
      • Evacuate the area, if necessary
      • Call UTPD, 911 and notify Lauren and Elizabeth immediately
    • Medical Emergency or Injury
      • Life Threatening – call 911
      • Non-life Threatening:
        • Students – call UHS 512-471-4955
        • Employee – call OHP 512-471-4647

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs):

  • Details coming

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS):
The chemicals we use are either extremely carcinogenic, can cause organ failure, blindness, loss of fertility, or can be mildly irritating to the skin, nose, or eyes.  Do you know which fall into these categories?

MSDS contain structured safety information provided by the manufacturer or supplier of a chemical product. They are designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. They include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, spill/leak procedures, and more.  The most straightforward way to locate an MSDS quickly is to Google “MSDS” and the most-common name of the substance.

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