College of Pharmacy

Lab Signage

All labs should have an Emergency Contact List, a Lab ID Data Card and appropriate Hazard signs (with the non-applicable hazards covered) posted outside the door (on the wall or on the door). If you are missing LAB ID DATA cards or HAZARD signs outside your doors, you can download and print out the following cards (in PDF format). Please keep this information up to date.

Plastic holders are available in the department office (or you can contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office: 6-SAFE)

Lab Safety Training

All people working in labs need to have completed the following training:

The EHSO website has a Safety Training Matrix to help you determine what training you should take:

People who need access to the solvent room must also complete a special Solvent Room training course annually.

Computer Software

The University has site-licenses or campus agreements for many useful software programs/packages. Some of these are for use on University-owned computers, some are also available for computers owned by faculty, staff, or students. There is a list here to get you started.

Lab Safety Guidelines and Inspections

The Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHSO) conducts safety audits of all lab spaces annually. The items listed below are some general items that apply to most lab spaces (from previous inspections):

  • Spill Kits: At least 2 mil weight and 12” X 24” size polyethylelne bags for collecting the spill materials, sorbent materials available from Lab Safety Supply (product # 49255 or 126742), Grainger (2AJ14 or 5UZ48), or Fisher Scientific (17-215-1A or 19-052-053). Vermiculite, activated charcoal, bentonite clay, or Oil-Dri may also be used but they are messier and less absorbent.
  • Formaldehyde: Labs who use formaldehyde, must stock Formalin neutralizers such as "Neutralex" - produced by Scigen/Tissue Tek (Since Neutralex treats to below 100 ppm, the neutralex powder can be diluted up to 7:1 with water prior to treatment and still meet the sewer limit.) or "Form-X by Harleco (800) 222-0342 ext.244 or Fan-Pad-GL Formaldehyde & gluteraldehyde neutralizing pads treated with Formalex®.
  • Respirators: Most respirator users are either using the wrong respirators for the job or had not yet been medically evaluated and properly trained and fit tested. 29CFR 1910.134 requires that if respirators are to be used, a respirator program must first be established. Respirator users must visit the UIC Health Services, (835 S Wolcott St, first floor, near the entryway, tel 312996 7420), to fill out a medical evaluation form, have it signed by them and then contact Industrial Hygienist, Rebecca Oberjat, to arrange for training and fit testing. Facial hair (massive mustache, beard, excessively long side burns) interferes with a proper fit. Men with facial hair that will interfere with a proper seal will not be fit-tested. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) encourages the use of engineering controls to limit chemical exposure before utilizing respirators. When chemical work is performed in a properly functioning fume hood, there is no need for respiratory protection (not to be confused with surgical or the blue dust masks). But in situations where silica gel is in a container too heavy to lift into the fume hood or if the researcher opts to wear a respirator when pouring potentially hazardous waste into drums in room 112K, the proper respirator must be worn.
  • Bench Pads: Some researchers prefer to protect the bench surface with pads, but find them impossible to keep clean or replace daily, as is required by good lab practices. If these pads are to provide containment of contaminants, not only are they to be changed when contaminated, but disposed as potentially hazardous solid waste through the EHSO Hazardous Waste Removal Program if it is not contaminated by a biohazard. If the purpose is aesthetics, these benches could be covered with Bytac, a chemically resistant surface protector available at Fisher.
  • Eye Wash Stations: Eyewashes must be flushed weekly (for 5 minutes). Maintain a log for a reminder.
  • Fume Hoods: Please report non-functional hoods as soon as possible (FMweb). Also, for optimum safety, whenever possible work closer to the back of the hood (where the hood is much more effective at removing any hazardous fumes) rather than towards the front.

There is a Laboratory Self-Audit Checklist on the EHSO website that is intended for CHO's, which may also be helpful for lab users as a reminder to maintain proper safety in the labs. The Lab Audit Guide, which is also available on the EHSO website, provides a bit more information about good laboratory practices and safety requirements than the checklist.