Lab Safety

UTA is committed to maintaining a safe campus for students and researchers. Laboratory safety is of critical importance for our undergraduate and graduate students. Safety training is composed of online, in lab, and lecture components.

UTA Safety Plan and Lab Safety Standard Operating Procedures (SOP):

Campus Safety Information

EHS Chemical Safety SOP List

EHS Biological Safety SOP List

EHS online training


Basic Safety Rules

Safety rules must be observed whenever working in a laboratory. Some common lab safety rules include:

  • Know the locations of laboratory safety showers, eyewash stations, and fire extinguishers. The safety equipment may be located in the hallway near the laboratory entrance.
  • Know emergency exit routes.
  • Avoid skin and eye contact with all chemicals.
  • Minimize all chemical exposures.
  • Assume that all chemicals of unknown toxicity are highly toxic.
  • Do not taste or smell chemicals.
  • Post warning signs when unusual hazards, hazardous materials, hazardous equipment, or other special conditions are present.
  • Combine reagents in their appropriate order, such as adding acid to water.
  • Avoid adding solids to hot liquids.
  • Never leave containers of chemicals open.
  • All containers must have appropriate labels. Unlabeled chemicals should never be used.
  • Never consume and/or store food or beverages or apply cosmetics in areas where hazardous chemicals are used or stored.
  • Do not pipette by mouth (using mouth suction to pipette or start a siphon).
  • Wash exposed areas of the skin prior to leaving the laboratory.
  • In the event of a chemical splashing into your eye(s) or on your skin, immediately flush the affected area(s) with running water for at least 20 minutes.
  • Do not chew gum, drink, or eat while working in the lab.
  • Long hair and loose clothing must be pulled back and secured from entanglement or potential capture.
  • Laboratory safety glasses or goggles should be worn in any area where chemicals are used or stored, and any time there is a chance of splashes or particulates to enter the eye.
  • Closed-toe shoes should be worn at all times in the laboratory.
  • Never use lab equipment that you are not approved or trained by your supervisor to operate.
  • If an unknown chemical is produced in the laboratory, the material should be considered hazardous.
  • Do not pour chemicals down drains. Do NOT utilize the sewer for chemical waste disposal.
  • Designated and well-marked waste storage locations are necessary.
  • Do not utilize fume hoods for evaporations and disposal of volatile solvents.
  • Perform work with hazardous chemicals in a properly working fume hood to reduce potential exposures.
  • Access to laboratories and support areas such as stockrooms, specialized laboratories, etc. should be limited to approved personnel only.
  • If an instrument or piece of equipment fails during use or isn't operating properly, report the issue right away. Never try to repair an equipment problem on your own.
  • No cell phone or ear phone usage in the active portion of the laboratories, or during experimental operations.
  • Laboratory coats should not be stored in offices or break rooms as this can spread contaminants to other areas.