Physics Department Safety
The Physics Department is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and faculty. We strive to teach appropriate respect for safety while engaging in scientific pursuits. Department faculty and the Department Safety Committee work to ensure that of all laboratories and shops are compliant with federal, state, local, and USU safety requirements.
All persons who work in Physics Department research laboratories or shops are required to read and understand (i) the USU Safety and Health Policy and (ii) the Physics General Safety Requirements (see below). At the bottom of this page is a form for confirmation that one has read and understood these policies.
In addition to these general USU and Physics Departments policies, each laboratory is required to have a set of specific safety policies that are outlined in an appropriate Chemical Hygeine Plan (CHP). Each laboratory is also required to have a Specific Operating Procedure (SOP) that details safety procedures associated with each potentially hazardous material or process. All persons working in each lab are required to understand the CHP and any appropriate SOPs.
Physics General Safety Requirements
I. Hazard Communication
- Signage - All labs and shops should have a sign posted on the entry that provides contact information for the lab PI or manager, department head, and emergency personnel. The sign should also include a summary of potential hazards, and notice that only authorized personnel may enter.
- Safety Documentation - Each research lab should have readily available the following documentation: (i) An appropriate chemical hygeine plan (CHP), (ii) any relevant Standard Operating Procedurees (SOPs), and (ii) any relevant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
II. General Guidelines
- PPE – Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is required when working in the research laboratories. PPE may inculde goggles or safety glasses, a lab coat, and proper gloves. Specific lab entry requirements and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hazardous activities can be found in the safety documentation of each laboratory.
- Food and drinks - Food and drinks are not allowed in laboratory. Food and drink containers must be disposed outside the laboratory.
- Shoes - Shoes should cover the entire foot. Sandals, clogs, and other opentoed or open-heeled shoes do not cover enough foot and are not allowed.
- Hair - Hair should not be worn in a style such as would impair vision, cause distractions during job functions, or come in contact with work surfaces or moving equipment.
- Emergency equipment - Anyone working in a research lab or shop should know the locations of the closest fire extinguisher, eye-wash station, safety shower, first aid box and chemical spill materials.
- Emergency exit - Exits and aisles must not be obstructed by equipment, chairs, supplies, or trash. Exit doors must not be blocked, locked, or obstructed in any way to inhibit egress.
III. Handling of Chemicals
- Fume hood - Always make sure the fume hood is operational before use. Open the sash to proper height when performing a procedure. Avoid opening the sash too high as this may reduce the effectiveness of air flow. Avoid overaccumulation of items in the fume hood that may restrict the air flow. Lower the sash after performing the procedure.
- Transfer of chemicals - For transporting chemicals outside the laboratory, always place the chemicals in secondary confinement and transport on a cart. The hand carrying of chemicals outside the laboratory is absolutely forbidden. When transporting chemicals within the laboratory always wear PPE including gloves, goggles, and lab coat, and carry the chemicals with caution. Never grab a container by the cap. Return the chemical to its designated storage site after use.
- Chemical storage – All chemicals must be stored appropriately with other compatible chemicals/materials. Refer to chemical Safety Data Sheets for storage information.
- Waste – All laboratory chemical and hazardous waste must be managed following University policies. Refer to laboratory specific safety documentation for details. Chemical waste must NOT be poured down the drain.
- House keeping - Good housekeeping is an essential aspect of laboratory safety. The work area must be cleaned up at the end of each procedure and prior to the start of a new procedure.
- Chemical spills - You must know the location of spill clean up material in your laboratory. You must know the Spill Prevention and Response procedure for your laboratory.
The USU Environmental Health and Safety office offers a wide variety of safety courses. These course range include topic in safety related to Biology, Chemistry, Laser, Physical, Radiation, and Waste and recycling. The EH&S Laboratory Personnel webpage lists all available courses. From this page one may register for any of the offered courses.
EH&S Safety Training Courses
Accidents and Near Misses
All safety related accidents and near misses must be reported to the Physics Department and the EH&S Office. Each entity has its own forms; links to these forms are provided below.
Accident Reporting Forms
The Accident Report forms are used to document all laboratory or shop based incidents within the Physics Department that have resulted in (i) personal injury and/or (ii) property damage that required the involvement of USU Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety, Risk Assessment, or local fire and/or law-enforcement officials. Pleasae fill out both forms following an accident.
Physics Department Accident Reporting Form
EH&S Office Accident Reporting Form
Near Miss Reporting Forms
The Near Miss forms should be used to describe non-injury situations within laboratories or shops in Physics Department that could have resulted in injury or property damage under sligtly different circumstances. Portions of the general information provided on this form may be used for future training purposes.
Physics Department Near Miss Reporting Form
EH&S Office Near Miss Reporting Form
Completed forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Other University Resources
Departmental Safety Commitee
|D. Mark Riffe||(435) firstname.lastname@example.org||SER 222B|
|J. R. Dennison||(435) email@example.com||SER 222D|
|T. C. Shen||(435) firstname.lastname@example.org||SER 222C|
|Jan Sojkaemail@example.com||SER 250A|
|James Coburn||(435) firstname.lastname@example.org||SER 116|