Lab Safety


  1. Know what you are working with and how to use it safely. Material Safety Data Sheets are available for all chemicals we use. These sheets are also commonly available on the internet. Find out about potential hazards and the appropriate safety precautions.
  2. Make sure you have taken the appropriate UCDavis EH&S safety classes.
  3. No eating, drinking, or smoking in the lab. This prohibition extends to gum chewing, hard candies, and water bottles.
  4. No mouth pipeting – ever.
  5. No hand – to – mouth contact including pen/pencil chewing.
  6. No sandals or bare feet. No pets. No skates. No using skateboards.
  7. Know the location of all safety exits for the lab and building.
  8. Know where to locate the fire extinguishers and alarm pull boxes.
  9. Know the location of the eye washes/safety showers and first aid kits. Remove any cups, glasses, sacks, etc., that are left equipment.
  10. Know the location of the nearest phone to use in emergencies.
  11. No horseplay in any lab.
  12. Avoid unnecessary clothing, books, and papers in the lab.
  13. Wash your hands before and after each lab session.
  14. In VEN128, disinfect the bench before and after each lab session.
  15. Wear the proper personal protective equipment. In VEN 128 – lab coats are required. In the past, they have been required in VEN123 and may be in the future. In VEN124 and 126, you should always wear clothes you can afford to ruin.   Safety glasses must be worn during all VEN123 procedures. Goggles must be worn during any distillation, i.e., Ebulliometer, Cash Still, and Aeration/Oxidation. Rules may be changed to require goggles at all times in VEN123. Wear nitrile gloves when handling chemicals.
  16. Keep your work area clean and organized. Only put essential books and papers on the lab bench. Backpacks and coats should be kept away from lab procedures.
  17. Never pipet out of a primary reagent bottle. Label all secondary containers, including test tubes, volumetrics, etc.
  18. Be familiar with compounds requiring the use of the fume hood.
  19. Be familiar with compounds requiring special disposal. Discuss these during your weekly set up meetings.
  20. Don’t reach across a flame. Do not leave flames unattended. Be sure the flame is out before you leave.
  21. Don’t point test tubes or small mouthed containers at yourself or others.
  22. Clean up solid spills. Clean up glass breakage and place in broken glass boxes. Never use your bare hands. Fill out breakage report. Do not use broken glass boxes for general waste or wine bottles. Notify lab manager or instructor of a mercury spill. Know the location of the mercury spill kit.
  23. If gas cylinders are used, make sure they are properly secured.
  24. Keep sinks clean. Chase juice or wine with copious volumes of water.
  25. Never work alone in the lab.
  26. Use common sense and respect your colleagues at all times.