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Working in Research Laboratories

What do you need to know when working in a laboratory?

Laboratories are safe to enter. But just because they are safe doesn't mean that you don't have to be careful.

  • Make sure you obey all warning signs.
  • Do not enter labs with x-ray or laser lights on.
  • Do not enter labs where alarms are sounding.

Follow these easy guidelines to make sure that you are safe while working in a laboratory:

  • Don’t lean or put your equipment on lab benches or lab equipment.
  • There is no eating, drinking, or smoking in labs.
  • Always wash your hands before eating and after using chemicals or working in labs.
  • If you have any questions, contact the lab supervisor first, your supervisor next, and finally REHS.


  • Don’t touch anything with a radiation or biohazard symbol on it.
  • Don’t touch containers of hazardous materials or chemicals.
  • Never clean spills in the lab unless the spill is from your cleaning materials. (even if you made the spill).
  • Do not touch or remove contaminated glass.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles at all times in the lab.


  • Inform the lab supervisor before doing any work.
  • The lab supervisor is responsible for ensuring your work area is free from hazards.
  • Do not touch or move chemicals in the lab.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles at all times.



Caution Sign Symbol Explanation
Laser Laboratory Safety (Word Document)



Campus Health Safety Specialist, or call (732) 445 - 2550

For more information, contact webmaster Last Updated: 8/18/06
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