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    Safety

We are committed to safety for all of our students, faculty, staff, and post-doctorates, both inside and outside of our laboratories. We have a number of resources to ensure that we have and continuously foster an ongoing culture of safety in our department.

Chemistry Department Safety Committee

Chemistry Department Safety Committee

The Chemistry Department Safety Committee regularly meets for collaborative discussions to ensure a positive safety culture is an expected part of working in the department. The committee: 

  • sets department specific safety policies that are outlined in the Chemistry Department Safety Manual;
  • reviews Incidents and Learning Experience Reports before sharing with the department;
  • verifies safe practices through monthly personal safety equipment (PPE) checks and annual official inspections of the labs; 
    • Lab walk-throughs are unofficial educational safety visits each semester by the Joint Safety Team students.
  • coordinates the annual peer review of faculty lab-specific operating procedures; and
  • determines resources needed to ensure safety requirements are reasonable, relevant and set the bar for best practices.

The safety committee welcomes comments, questions and concerns and is frequently asked for opinions on safety related matters both internal and external. To send an issue to the committee for review, please send an email to the committee chair Chuck Tomlinson at chuck1@umn.edu

Safety Committee Members

Chuck Tomlinson
Director of Operations (chair)
612-624-2321
chuck1@umn.edu

Anne Sitek
Research Safety Specialist
Department of Environmental Health & Safety
612-625-8925
asitek1@umn.edu

Diana Mayweather
Senior Laboratory Services Coordinator
612-624-5585
dmayweat@umn.edu

Professor Andreas Stein
612-624-1802
a-stein@umn.edu

Professor Ian Tonks
612-624-4705
itonks@umn.edu

Department of Environmental Health & Safety

Department of Environmental Health & Safety

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) ensures the safety of the University of Minnesota community. It works with community members to prevent accidents, report unsafe conditions, and protect the environment. 

Some key resources are:

Joint Safety Team

Joint Safety Team

The Joint Safety Team (JST) is a researcher-led organization focused on improving the culture of safety in chemical laboratories at the University of Minnesota. The JST consists of all graduate student or post-doctorate Laboratory Safety Officers (LSOs) within the departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. For additional information send an email to jst@umn.edu

Security

Security

Laboratories and offices

Doors

  • lock when you leave
  • larger labs should be locked at all times

Visitors

  • ensure they have a legitimate purpose
  • don't be lured away from lab or office
  • report suspicious behavior by calling 911

Building exteriors

Doors

  • ensure that a locked door closes and locks behind you
    • don't block a door open for any reason
  • call (612) 625-0011 when you encounter an unlocked door that should be locked.
  • Doors are normally locked:
    • 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday
    • 6 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday
  • call the chemistry administrative office at (612) 624-6000 to report malfunctioning doors and/or locks

Windows

  • don't leave basement or first-floor windows open

Training

Lab-Specific Hazard Communication Training

The University requires documentation that all laboratory personnel have received Lab-Specific Hazard Communication training. This training is provided by principal investigators (PI) or their designee. Fill out the Lab Specific Training Log.

Low-Flow Fume Hood Safety

Low-flow fume hood safety presentation, and orientation to proper use of your Kewaunee dynamic barrier low-flow fume hood. 

Safety Training

Web-based Initial Training

You may satisfy your initial safety training by viewing three web-based tutorials and successfully completing a short quiz for each. These tutorials cover:

To access the tutorials, follow the links above and click in the lower left corner to register and begin the online training. You can also go to https://www.uhs.umn.edu/new-lab and scroll to the relevant modules. You will need to log in using your University of Minnesota (UMN) email address and password. Each tutorial concludes with a short quiz. Once you complete the training, the results are automatically stored in your UMN Training Record.

Topic specific online modules

If your group works with some additional hazards, you are required to take the corresponding modules:

In-person & Refresher Laboratory Specific Safety Training

Initial and annual refresher lab specific safety training is required for faculty, staff, and students who work with and/or handle chemicals. This training is provided by the Principal Investigator or someone they designate. Training requirements are available on the Department of Environmental Health & Safety website at https://dehs.umn.edu/41-training-requirements.

There are not training requirements if you are a computational/theoretical faculty member, post-doctorate, or graduate/undergraduate student, or a secretarial, clerical, or administrative employee.

Questions

If you have any questions, contact:
Chuck Tomlinson     
Department of Chemistry
139 Smith Hall
612-624-2321
chuck1@umn.edu

Anna Sitek
Department of Environmental Health and Safety
asitek1@umn.edu

Contact