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Laboratory Safety

Standard Operating Procedures

  1. Plan your work:
    • Obtain information about procedures, equipment and chemicals that you will use and the hazards associated with their use
    • Read Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for all chemicals that you plan to use
  2. Dress appropriately for the lab.
    • Do not wear shorts or capri pants.
    • Do not wear high-heeled shoes, open-toed/heeled shoes or sandals. 
    • Confine long hair and loose clothing.
  3. Wear appropriate PPE:
    • Use chemical splash goggles when working with chemicals
    • Use gloves when handling chemicals; select the glove material based on compatibility with the chemicals you will use
    • Chemically resistant lab coats or aprons are recommended.
  4. Use chemicals in a chemical fume hood or with adequate ventilation.
  5. Practice good chemical hygiene:
    • Do not eat, drink, chew gum or tobacco, smoke or apply cosmetics in the laboratory
    • Do not smell, inhale or taste laboratory chemicals
    • Do not use mouth suction to fill a pipette or siphon
    • Wash hands and any exposed skin with soap and water before leaving the laboratory
    • Handle needles, syringes and other sharps (including broken glass) carefully. Dispose of all sharps in an appropriate sharps container.
  6. Do not dispose of chemicals down the drain. Most chemicals must be disposed of as hazardous waste (link to Haz waste pdf)
  7. Compressed gas cylinders must be secured at all times and must be capped when the regulator is removed or not in use
  8. Know emergency procedures
  9. Practice good housekeeping:
    • Keep all work areas clean and uncluttered
    • Label all containers
    • Do not block emergency showers, eye washes, exits or hallways
    • Attend to accidents and spills promptly (link to sills clean-up pdf)
    • Do not work with hazardous chemicals or processes when alone in the laboratory (link to UWGB NAS HB working alone guidelines). An instructor must supervise undergraduate students at all times


Standard Operating Procedures for Students
Incident report form Spill clean-up procedures
Laboratory ventilation
Lab safety self-inspection checklist
Working alone in science labs
UW-Green Bay Chemical Hygiene Plan
OSHA lab safety guidance

  • Laboratory safety training is required for any person (student, faculty, staff, student employee or outside party) who uses a UW – Green Bay laboratory. The training is available as a D2L course or can be offered in person. Please contact Scott Piontek, University Safety Manager at ext. 2273 or to make arrangements training.
  • Laboratory Safety is also offered as a 1 credit course (ENV SCI 207) for enrolled students.