Lab Safety

Laboratory safety implements the priority of "safety first" through the emphasis on experiment planning, including habitual attention to risk assessment and consideration of hazards for oneself, one's fellow workers, and the public.

A prudent attitude toward dealing with hazards in the laboratory is characterized by a determination to make every effort to be informed about risks and reduce them to a minimum while recognizing that the notion of ''zero risk" in laboratory operations is an impossible ideal. However, an accident-free workplace can be approached by setting a goal of zero incidents and zero excuses.

  • Working with Research Animals

    Potential health hazards exist with research animals, including allergies. Personnel, including DU students and any volunteers, who work directly or indirectly with laboratory animals, have to be qualified by medical certification and training in accordance with the Laboratory Animal Facilities Occupational Health & Safety Plan. It is the responsibility of the PI or the supervisor to make sure that research lab personnel attain qualifications. If you are working in a lab with research animals and are unsure about the potential hazards or have questions contact your PI, your supervisor or the EH&S Director.

  • Radiation

    Radioactive materials and radiation-emitting devices are used in various research projects on campus. DU, which is licensed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), has a Radiation Safety program which provides for:

    • the radiation safety manual
    • assignment of a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)
    • personnel training
    • control of materials

    The RSO is responsible for the following:

    • control of material inventory
    • approval of material purchases
    • radioactive waste pick-up and disposal
    • inspections and radiation monitoring
    • instrument calibration
    • exposure dosimetry and recordkeeping
    • personnel training on the use of radioactive materials and sources

    If you have any concerns or questions about radiation please contact the Hazardous Materials Manager at extension 303-871-4044.

CTA pattern

Find information on working with chemicals in a laboratory context.

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Safety Data Sheets

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) provides information about the associated hazards of a chemical. The lab must maintain an SDS, either a physical hard copy or electronically, for all chemicals used. You have a right to know about the hazards associated of the chemicals in your lab. Refer to these links below regarding SDS’. If you cannot locate an SDS for a chemical in your lab speak with your PI or contact the EH&S Manager.