University Safety Manual

For a listing of lab safety recommendations and requirements at the University of Pittsburgh consult the EH&S Safety Manual.

Safety Data Sheets

For a list of links to SDS for laboratory chemicals that describe the unique hazards and recommendations for specific chemicals, consult the EH&S SDS list

Safety Training in the Meyer Lab

Graduate students in the Meyer lab (and the PI) must complete the University of Pittsburgh's web-based modules on Chemical Hygiene Training and Responsible Conduct Of Research. They also attend the twice yearly Dept. of Chemistry safety seminars and each week a group member presents a safety topic in group meeting.  The risks associated with new procedures, scale ups, and new reagents are actively discussed and strategies to minimize risk are implemented.

Most Important Safety Rules in the Meyer Lab

1. Safety glasses must be worn at all times in the laboratory.  Guests are required to wear safety glasses while in the lab.
2. Gloves appropriate to the potential chemical exposure should be worn any time that lab equipment or chemical reagents are handled. Gloves should not be worn outside the lab nor should they be used to touch any surface that people without gloves are likely to touch.
3. Clothing that minimizes exposed skin should be work in the lab. No shorts, sandals, or skirts above ankle-length are allowed. Lab coats should be worn whenever toxic or corrosive chemicals are being used or when the potential for fire is high.  Avoid clothing made of synthetic fibers, e.g., nylon, polyester, or polypropylene, as they melt at relatively low temperatures and will increase the likelihood of injury in a fire.
4. Food and drink should not be consumed in the laboratory.  Smoking is prohibited.  
5. Understand the risks associated with all chemicals that you use and all experiments that you undertake.  Actively seek information about how to properly and safety conduct experiments.
6. Conduct all experiments in a manner that minimizes risk and environmental release of chemicals.  Use safety protocols and personal protection equipment (PPE) commensurate with the potential risks.
7.  When you train others in experimental procedures, systematically communicate potential risks and check to make certain that the trainee is competent to perform the experiment safely before allowing him/her to undertake the procedure without direct supervision.
8. Do not conduct experiments when you are alone in the lab.
9. Know the location and proper use of safety equipment.
10. Carry chemicals in secondary containment and ensure that bottles that are outside storage cabinets are protected from breakage or spilling.  Actively clamp any reagent bottle before opening or dispensing the chemical if spillage would present significant danger.
11.  Undergraduate researchers must always be supervised by a responsible graduate student or post-doctoral associate when working in the lab.
12. Observe your lab mates and point out unsafe practices when you see them.  If a lab member does not adopt safe practices or must be continually reminded, report the problem to your supervisor.  
13.  You are responsible for reading and putting into practice all appropriate safety protocols as detailed in the University Safety Manual.