Safety Policies and Requirements

General Safety Requirements

  1. Eye protection - Goggles or safety glasses are required when working in the laboratory. Specific requirements may be found in the safety documentation of each laboratory.
  2. Lab coat - Lab coats are required when working in the laboratory.
  3. Gloves - Proper gloves are required when working in the laboratory. Check the compatibility of the gloves with the chemicals to be used. Take off the gloves before stepping out of the lab.
  4. Safety equipment - Know the locations of a fire extinguisher, eye-washer, safety shower, first aid box and chemical spill.
  5. Food and drinks - Food and drinks are not allowed in the laboratory. Food and drink containers must be disposed of outside the laboratory.
  6. Shoes - Shoes should cover the entire foot. Sandals, clogs, and other open toed or open-heeled shoes do not cover enough foot and are not allowed.
  7. Hair - Hair should not be worn in a style that impairs vision, cause distractions during job functions, or that may come in contact with work surfaces or moving equipment.
  8. Transfer of chemicals - For transporting chemicals outside the laboratory, place the chemicals in a secondary confinement and transport the chemicals on a cart. Alternatively, hand-carrying chemicals in a secondary confinement is acceptable. However, hand-carrying chemicals directly, without using a secondary confinement, outside the laboratory is forbidden. For transporting chemicals within the laboratory, always wear personal protective equipment including gloves, goggles and lab coat and carry the chemicals with caution. Never grab the container by the cap. Return the chemical to its designated storage site after use.
  9. Fume hood - Always make sure the fume hood is operational before use. Open the sash to proper height when operating a procedure. Avoid opening the sash too high, which may reduce the effectiveness of air flow. Avoid over accumulation of items in the fume hood that may obstruct the air flow. Lower the sash when the operation is complete.
  10. Emergency exit - Exits and aisles must not be obstructed by equipment, chairs, supplies, or trash. Doors to the laboratory must be kept closed, exit doors must not be blocked, locked, or obstructed in any way to inhibit egress.
  11. Glassware - Glassware must be cleaned after completion of the experiment. Large pieces of broken glass must be placed in the broken glass containers designated for large pieces of broken glass.
  12. Chemical spills - You must know the location of spill clean-up material in your laboratory. You must know the Spill Prevention and Response procedure for your laboratory.
  13. Housekeeping - Good housekeeping is an essential aspect of laboratory safety. The work area must be cleaned up at the end of each procedure and prior to the start of a new procedure. 
  14. Waste - Waste containers must be properly labeled and tightly closed at all times (except when actively adding waste). Using glass containers as waste bottles should be avoided, if possible. The glass waste bottles should not be placed on the floor. If placed on the floor, the plastic waste container should be placed inside a secondary containment.
  15. Compressed gas cylinders - Compressed gas cylinders should be tightly secured. If not in active use, the cylinders should be capped. Cart must be used for transporting compressed gas cylinders, and the cylinders must be capped and tightly chained.
  16. Chemical storage - Chemicals should be properly stored at designated cabinets or areas according to their compatibility


Training & Reporting Forms

Completed forms should be emailed to and

Incident Reporting Forms
Choose the form you need below, either research labs or teaching labs. These forms should be used to document all laboratory-based incidents within the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Utah State University (USU) that have resulted in personal injury and/or required the involvement of USU Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety, Risk Assessment, and fire and/or law enforcement officials.

Research Labs Incident Reporting Form
Teaching Labs Incident Reporting Form


Departmental Safety Committee

Name Phone Email Location
Tom Chang,  Chair (435) 797-3545 WIDT 337
Rachel Curry (435) 797-7423 ECOB 121
Tracy Gilson (435) 797-1616 WIDT 129
Ryan Jackson (435) 797-1635   WIDT 345
Gang Li (435) 797-0604 ML 359
Seth Lyman (435) 722-1740 Uintah Basin
Yi Rao (435) 797-0640   WIDT 024
John Russell (435) 797-5378 WIDT 339
Ting Xue (435) 797-8338 ML 353

Departmental Student Safety Committee

Name Division Email Location
Stephen Anderson, Chair Inorganic   WIDT 315
Andrew Egan Organic  MCL 370, MCL 374
Jeffrey Perala-Dewey Analytical MCL 278
Naveena Poudyal Organic WIDT 336
Mark Gold Biochemistry  W203, MCL 065

Safety Resources

USU Safety Resources

Other University Resources