Centre College is fully committed to providing a properly designed and equipped environment in which science instruction and research can be safely conducted. The personal safety of our faculty, staff, and students is of utmost importance. Our role in assuring that Centre is a safe environment in which to work and learn, both in the laboratory and in the classroom, begins with a careful reading of this document. I urge you to comply with all rules and policies stated here. Your adherence to these policies will assure the highest possible level of safety.
Laboratory safety is both a moral obligation and a legal responsibility of Centre College. In September, 1979, then Dean Reckard instructed the Division III Chair to establish a standing committee to: (1) investigate any operation of the Division which bears on the physical safety of students, faculty members or staff members; (2) formulate policies relating to safety; and (3) implement those policies by any appropriate means including inspections. Members of the committee are appointed by the Division Chair each fall.
Since its inception, the Committee has adopted the following safety regulations:
It is the responsibility of all instructors, laboratory assistants and students to follow safety rules and regulations. Since the instructor is ultimately responsible for the design and supervision of laboratory exercises, it is each faculty member's responsibility to assess the specific hazards and to weigh the potential risks against the educational benefit of any given exercise. Where risks are unavoidable, the faculty member should inform students of involved risks, provide students with a written set of safety instructions, and explain and enforce them. Copies of sample safety instructions are available from the Safety Committee.
Accidents and Incidents need to be reported in a way consistent with the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
Shane Talbott and his student assistants staff the stockrooms when laboratories are in session and keep those rooms locked all other times. They dispense reagents only to faculty or designated student laboratory assistants.
Copies of the Material Safety Data Sheets for essentially all of the chemicals in use in our science laboratories are available to all employees and students. The compiled MSDS are kept in the stockrooms of Young and Olin Halls. A complete backup set is also held by the Department of Public Safety.
These documents contain a great deal of important information about the physical and chemical properties of the substances listed. In addition, fire and explosion hazard, health effects and spill procedures are covered. Please make use of these important documents. Also, please call these documents to the attention of your students.
The following policies and procedures are now in effect:
Mercury, if improperly used, poses a serious hazard to all persons in a science building. The Safety Committee has adopted the following regulations on the use of mercury:
Radioactive samples fall into two categories: licensed and license-exempt. Government regulations and inventory records for licensed radioactive materials are kept on file by the Radiation Safety Officer (currently Shane Talbott) and by the Safety Committee. Use of licensed materials should be done in consultation with the Radiation Safety Officer.
Safety Practices for Unlicensed Radioactive Samples (adapted from material published by the The Nucleus Inc.)
For all types of samples:
For solid samples:
For liquid samples:
Drugs fall into two categories: licensed and unlicensed. Government regulations for licensed drugs (controlled substances) are kept on file by our Controlled Substance Supervisor (currently Dr. Brent White). The following policies and procedures are now in effect:
The chemicals in a laboratory should be limited to those that are particularly and currently needed by the lab class(es) to which the laboratory is assigned. The quantities of chemicals (particularly those that are volatile, flammable, or highly toxic) should be only those modest amounts immediately needed--bulk storage of such chemicals should be only in the specially designated bulk storage areas which the Young and Olin stockrooms provided for this purpose.
Instructors are responsible for being familiar with what chemicals are in their laboratories, and with their properties and appropriate uses. They are responsible for seeing to it that such reagents are properly stored and secured in central areas within the lab (see below) and for returning to the stockroom at the end of each term reagents that are no longer needed, as well as for properly disposing of empty or near-empty reagent containers. Students and other instructors should not remove reagents from a laboratory without first clearing such action with the instructor in charge of the lab.
To the extent that, within the above guidelines, instructors find it necessary to store reagents in the lab, such storage should comply with the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
It is the responsibility of the faculty member to determine if potentially harmful materials can be disposed of through normal trash collection or through a laboratory sink, or if more stringent disposal methods are necessary. In the latter case the faculty member shall deliver these materials, properly labeled, to the stockroom supervisor. It is ultimately the responsibility of the Division III Chair to see that these materials returned to the stockroom supervisor are properly stored and ultimately disposed of. See the Chemical Hygiene Plan for more details.
An approved eye protective device shall be worn in all laboratories where there is a danger of splashing chemicals, flying particles, or damaging radiation entering the eye. The Division III Safety Committee shall certify what constitutes an approved protective device (eye glasses, face shields, bench-style shields, etc.).
It is the policy of the Safety Committee to conduct safety inspections of Young Hall and Olin Hall at least every long term. Safety violations and potential hazards are reported to the Division Chair and the faculty member(s) or respective program chair. It is the duty of the Division Chair to assign responsibility for correcting violations, and to determine that reported violations have actually been corrected.
Laboratories. The air velocity of all fume hoods should be checked with a vane anemometer at least once a year. Where an inadequate airflow is found to exist, the airflow should be returned to proper specifications. Hood manufacturers or ventilation engineers should be consulted if existing problems cannot be corrected. Necessary hood airflow rates are on file with the Safety Committee.
Ventilation. At the American Chemical Society short course on laboratory safety held in Chicago in the spring, 1979, it was stated that the following ventilation requirements should be maintained.
These air change rates should be checked at least biannually. It is the responsibility of the Chemical Hygiene Officer to see that all air flow checks are made and that corrections, if necessary, are make in a timely manner.
Students and faculty cannot follow safe laboratory practices if they are uninformed about safe practice. For this reason Division III will annually conduct a safety training session for student lab assistants and stockroom workers, and for new faculty who will teach laboratory. The Chemical Hygiene Officer is responsible for organizing and holding this safety training. The session will occur just prior to the fall term.
Date of Report: ________________________________
Name of Individual filing the report: _______________________________
Name of Individual (s) involved in the incident: _____________________________________________________________________________
Time and Place of incident: ______________________________________________________
Description of the incident:
Description of the injury / property damage:
Description of safety instructions given prior to the incident:
Description of follow-up action, including medical attention and clean-up, if applicable:
Signature of Faculty Member / Supervisor: _______________________________________
Signature of Student / Employee: _______________________________________________