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Lab Safety Rules

General Rules and Policies of the Composites and Plastics Lab (CPL)

Lab rules will be followed very strictly. You will not be able to use the lab; if you handle chemicals and/or nanoparticles carelessly.

Before you start working in the lab you must:

  • Read the hazardous communication, respiratory protection and;hazardous waste disposal presentations and pass the quiz.
  • Pass the pulmonary function test at the Respiratory Care Department.
  • Pass the fit-Tested on respirator with Environmental Health, Safety and Risk Management (EHS&RM).
  • Everyone must sign in and sign out of the common log book when using any of the instruments in the lab. Please book your dates a week before you would like to use specific instrument/s.

Addiotional rules:

  • Read the material safety data sheets (MSDS) of chemicals that you will be using and follow instructions related to handling and storing.
  • Perform experiments under the supervision of designated lab coordinator/s. Students are NOT allowed to work independently.
  • Identify locations of all chemicals in the lab, MSDS folder, emergency phone numbers, eye wash and drench shower, first-aid, aprons, gloves, safety glasses, chemical storage areas, chemical disposal bins and emergency exits. 
  • Wear full-length pants in the lab at all times. No tank tops, spaghetti straps or bare midsection.
  • Wear closed-toed shoes in the lab at all times. No flip-flops, sandals, or chappals.
  • No food or drink is allowed in the lab.
  • You must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) while working in the lab, especially when handling liquid chemicals. Lab coats, gloves, aprons, safety glasses, face shields, nose masks; and respirator are provided.
  • You MUST wear a half-mask respirator when handling nanoparticles and when handling polyurethane resin.
  • Maintain a clean work environment. Be considerate and leave your work area in a neat and clean condition.
  • If you create any mess (such as resin spill or fabric cutting) it is your responsibility to clean it up immediately.
  • After using tools, gages, chemicals or other items, return them to their designated storage location immediately.
  • All small containers containing cured or uncured resin must be placed under a fume hood and MUST be labeled with a marker to indicate their content. These containers are called secondary containers.
  • The wash-basin in the lab is ONLY for washing hands. Do NOT wash/clean glassware or plastics ware in the wash basin.
  • If you break any equipment please report it immediately.
  • Do not leave any equipment running and unattended.
  • Shut off machines, mixers and; vacuum pump once you are done.
  • If you are heating/curing any material overnight or for long hours, you MUST place a note on the oven indicating the material inside, when it was kept and when it should be removed. 
  • Follow protocols for off-cured, uncured resin, rags,VARTM (Vacuum Assited Resin transfer Molding) bagging material, etc. Do not throw everything in the garbage container. Place it in designated satellite waste containers. 
  • All nanoparticles contaminant waste such as wipes, rags, beakers, napkins, respirator cartridges etc. MUST be put in Zip lock bag and kept in the nanoparticles containment room.
  • When in doubt, consult Ray Cook, Jason Wagner, Shane Arabie, Dr. Tate, or   EHS&RM personnel. All important phone numbers are placed near MSDS folder. 

Safety Regulations in the Nanoparticle Containment Room

  • All personal items such as keys, watches, and rings should be stored outside the nanoroom.
  • Valuable personal Items such as wallets may be permitted in the nanoroom provided they are NEVER     removed from beneath the nanoroom garments.
  • NO eating, drinking, or gum chewing allowed inside the nanoroom.
  • Only approved room paper shall be allowed in the nanoroom.
  • Ball point pens shall be the only writing tool used.
  • Use of paper or fabric towels is prohibited. Use cleaning towels within the nanoroom.
  • Only approved gloves, pliers, tweezers should be used to handle product.
  • All tools, containers and fixtures used in the cleaning process should be cleaned to the same degree as the nanoroom surfaces.
  • NO tool should be allowed to rest on the surface of a bench or table. It should be placed on a nanoroom wiper.
  • Only nanoroom approved wipers may to be used.
  • NO ONE who is physically ill, especially with respiratory or stomach disorders, may enter the nanoroom.
  • All nanoparticles contaminant waste such as wipes, rags, beakers, napkins, respirator cartridges etc. MUST be put in Zip lock bag and kept in nanoroom.

Personal Actions Prohibited in NC Room

  • running, walking fast or horseplay.
  • sitting or leaning on equipment or work surfaces.
  • writing on equipment or garments.
  • removal of items from beneath the nanoroom garments.
  • wearing the nanoroom garment outside the nanoroom.
  • wearing torn or soiled garments.