Chemical Safety Information for YUAL
Note: Chemicals are only allowed in the following buildings: 10 Sachem Street, Room 22 (Fume Hood Lab) & Room 23 (Dirty Lab – limited); and 51 Hillhouse Ave, rooms TBA.
Working with Chemicals at YUAL
All students who wish to work with chemicals must first complete the OEHS courses on Laboratory Chemical Safety and Hazardous Chemical Waste Management. Both courses are available online and the links for these courses can be found at www.yale.edu/oehs. Please submit a copy of your training transcript to the Laboratory Assistant.
In addition, students must read the YUAL Laboratory Policy, Spill Response Protocol, and inform the Laboratory Assistant prior to initial use of the laboratories. Chemical work must be carried out in the approved room. Proper attire and personal safety items (minimum long pants, long sleeve lab coat, and closed toe shoes) are required. No student may work in the labs without additional personnel present, to ensure assistance in case of an emergency.
For work involving any chemicals, Yale University’s Chemical Hygiene Plan must be adhered to. Details of the Chemical Hygiene Plan are available here. A printed version is also available in the relevant laboratories. Main topics include, but are not limited to, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), use of protective clothing and equipment, and chemical waste disposal.
Proper personal protective equipment/clothing must be worn at all times when working with or around chemicals. The minimum requirement for laboratory clothing is closed toed shoes, laboratory coat, and no shorts. For certain procedures further protective wear may be necessary. This is also true for any person working in the lab that chemicals are being used in.
Each laboratory cleared for use of chemicals has the following emergency items: first aid kit, spill response kit, and relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Note the location of these items before starting any work. In case of major emergencies, the MSDS should be taken during evacuation, if possible.
A safety shower and eye wash station is available in 10 Sachem Street, Room 22. If using Room 23 for chemical work (must be preapproved), the door to both Room 22 and 23 must be kept open to allow access to the safety shower and eye wash station.
More details on 51 Hillhouse will be added as the information becomes available.
Eating and drinking are prohibited in all Yale laboratories. In areas where eating and drinking are prohibited, food and beverages (including empty food, candy wrappers, and beverage containers) may not be stored, left or discarded. This is especially crucial when working with chemicals, to avoid accidental ingestion.
Carefully read the label before storing a hazardous chemical. The MSDS, available in binders in the room, will provide any special storage information as well as information on incompatibilities. Separate hazardous chemicals in storage as follows:
- flammable solids (phosphorus, magnesium, lithium)
- water reactives
- inorganic acids
- organic acids
Hazardous chemicals should not be stored on bench tops, on the floor, or in hoods. Chemicals should also not be stored under sinks, if possible. If separate cabinets are not feasible, chemicals of different chemical classes can be segregated by placing them in trays. Corrosive or hazardous liquids should not be stored above eye level.
Conduct periodic inventories of chemicals stored in the laboratory and dispose of old or unwanted chemicals promptly in accordance with the Environmental Services Section's hazardous chemical waste program.
Assure all containers are properly labeled with the identity of the contents and any appropriate hazard warnings.
Personal Contamination and Injury
- Know the locations of the nearest safety shower and eye wash fountain.
- Report all incidents and injuries to your supervisor.
- If an individual is contaminated or exposed to a hazardous material in your laboratory do what is necessary to protect their life and health as well as your own. Determine what the individual was exposed to. The MSDS may contain special first aid information.
- Do not move an injured person unless they are in further danger (from inhalation or skin exposure).
- A blanket should be used immediately to protect the victim from shock and exposure.
- Get medical attention promptly by dialing:
University Police (ambulance): 111
Yale University Health Services: 432-0123
Office of Environmental Health and Safety Emergency Response: 785-3555
Fire and Fire Related Emergencies
If you discover a fire or fire-related emergency such as abnormal heating of material, a flammable gas leak, a flammable liquid spill, smoke, or odor of burning, immediately follow these procedures:
- Notify the Fire Department:
Dial 111 on University phone
Dial 911 on non-Yale phone
- Activate the building alarm (fire pull station). If not available or operational, verbally notify people in the building.
- Isolate the area by closing windows and doors and evacuate the building.
- Shut down equipment in the immediate area, if possible.
- If trained to do so, use a portable fire extinguisher to: assist oneself to evacuate; assist another to evacuate; and control a small fire, if possible.
- Provide the fire/police teams with the details of the problem upon their arrival. This is available in the chemical safety binder located in the lab. Special hazard information you might know is essential for the safety of the emergency responders.
Chemical Waste Disposal
Laboratory chemical waste must be handled according to the University's policy and management guidelines outlined in the Environmental Services Section's manual available here. This manual provides laboratory personnel with specific guidance on how to identify, handle, collect, segregate, store, tag and dispose of chemical waste appropriately.
Last Updated: Jan 2010