February 12, 2024

Key information for Lab Safety Awareness Week; challenge available for lab personnel

The Environmental Health and Safety department within Purdue Administrative Operations is partnering with the Campus Safety, Health and Environmental Management Association in recognizing Lab Safety Awareness Week on Feb. 12-16.

Campus researchers and other laboratory personnel are urged to cultivate a robust safety culture in their everyday work. The actions below highlight two areas that contribute to a safe laboratory environment, and a friendly photo challenge is available through the end of the week.

Understand and maintain engineering controls equipment
Engineering controls minimize or mitigate researchers’ exposure to potential hazards. Such equipment includes fume hoods, biological safety cabinets and air cleaning systems, among others. Having a regular training and maintenance program for engineering control equipment is imperative to prevent hazardous exposures in the laboratory. If you notice any safety equipment is not functioning properly, stop working and immediately contact Environmental Health and Safety at 765-494-6371 or researchsafety@purdue.edu.

Label and safely store chemicals
Maintaining the safe and responsible use of chemicals is a critical way to ensure the safety of all laboratory personnel. Store chemicals in groups based on compatibility, and label all chemicals with the full name, date and associated hazards. Review the chemical safety data sheet to ensure proper personal protective equipment and spill kits are available before ordering a chemical or creating waste.

Pickup services are available for all chemical or hazardous waste generated on campus. More information is available online about waste disposal and the pickup request process. Questions about hazardous waste management may be directed to 765-494-0121 or hazwaste@purdue.edu.

Show us your safe lab knowledge, win a T-shirt!

To support Lab Safety Awareness Week, those working in labs are encouraged to participate in Environmental Health and Safety’s photo challenge. The first 25 individuals to submit and meet all requirements will win a free T-shirt in the size of their choice.

To be considered, participants must submit a photo for each of the following lab safety features:

  • A completed fume hood inspection sticker, biosafety cabinet inspection sticker or weekly eyewash flush chart
  • A lab information door posting displaying the date of the latest update
  • A safety shower clear of obstructions

Photos should be submitted together through the online form before the end of the week. Only one submission per user will be accepted.

Administrative Operations supports the university through safe, reliable and transformative services. Promoting a culture of laboratory safety through sharing best practices and resources and providing safe waste pickup services to campus locations are just two of the ways the organization powers Purdue.

Downloadable 8.5-by-11-inch flyers that summarize and expand on these safety actions are available on the Environmental Health and Safety website. Questions about laboratory safety and related topics may be directed to the department at 765-494-6371 or researchsafety@purdue.edu.

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