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Safety Inspection Checklist

This list is not all-inclusive but provides general guidelines for laboratory safety. Laboratories will be inspected monthly during the academic year. Every laboratory must have in a prominent location a copy of the American Chemical Society's booklet, Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories. Refer to this booklet for additional policies and recommendations. Additional precautions may be required by laboratory supervisors.

Emergency Equipment

  • Fire extinguishers near exit, charged and appropriate type and size
  • Appropriate spill kits available in laboratory
  • Safety showers and eyewash fountain tested quarterly by lab occupants, annually by Environmental Health and Safety

Fume Hoods and Ventilation

  • Hood operating in "normal" range, alarm system enabled
  • Air flow in hood unobstructed -- hood not cluttered, items behind 6" line, large items on blocks, baffle area clear
  • Hood not used for storage unless designated and signed "for storage only"
  • Hood or appropriate gas trap used when hazardous gases or fumes are created
  • Special hood in REN 315 used for work with perchloric acid
  • Vacuum pumps filtered or vented to exhaust system
  • Windows closed

Personal Protection

  • Eye protection: splash/impact protective goggles used when working with liquids, safety specs with side shields acceptable otherwise
  • Visitors provided safety glasses
  • Proper gloves and clothing (long pants, closed-toe shoes, lab coat) worn
  • Gloves and lab coats removed before exiting laboratory
  • Long hair constrained

Chemicals and Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Material safety data sheets (MSDS) available for all chemicals used in lab
  • Chemicals separated and stored by class (e.g., store acids away from bases, reducing agents away from oxidizing agents)
  • Chemicals stored away from heat and direct sunlight
  • Flammable liquids stored in approved safety containers or in solvent cabinet
  • Chemicals stored in proper containers with lids
  • Highly toxic chemicals stored in locked cabinets
  • Liquids stored below eye level
  • No chemicals stored on floor
  • No chemicals in or around sink
  • Shelves have raised edges and are securely mounted
  • Compressed gas cylinders secured individually
  • Gas cylinders capped when not in use
  • Lecture bottles stored in racks, clamped, or on sides

Chemical Waste

  • Waste separated by class and clearly labeled (substance, amount, date added) in proper, closed containers
  • Waste containers labeled either "hazardous waste" or "non-hazardous waste"
  • Waste accumulation forms placed near waste bottles
  • Disposal requests submitted promptly using Chemical Track System

Labels and Signs

  • All chemical containers labeled in English and dated
  • All reactions of long duration (overnight or longer) labeled: structure/formula, initials
  • Signs posted for special hazards (e.g., lasers, UV lamps, radioactive materials)
  • Chemical cabinets labeled (e.g., flammable, acid, base)
  • Following signs posted in all labs:
    • This checklist
    • Emergency procedures
    • General policy on working in research laboratories
    • Hazardous materials disposal procedures
    • Blood-borne pathogen safety guidelines
    • Emergency contact information (label on outside of door)
    • Eyewash fountain and safety shower use and testing sheet

Obstructions and Hazards

  • Emergency exit unobstructed and unlocked
  • Taped area under safety shower and eyewash fountain kept clear
  • Aisles and paths unobstructed
  • No cords or tubing obstructing or dangling in paths
  • Belt guards on pumps
  • Apparatus properly set up
  • Floor and benchtops clear of spills
  • No bicycles in laboratories

Electrical Hazards

  • Cords in good condition
  • Extension cords used on a permanent basis are fuse or circuit breaker protected
  • No more than one extension cord per instrument
  • Cords may not run through doorways or ceiling tile grid


  • No broken glass, bare needles, chemical spills, trash, etc. on benches
  • Hazardous materials and glassware away from edges of benches
  • Sinks clear, matting or screen over drain
  • Sharps for disposal kept in separate, marked container
  • Refrigerator clean, freezer defrosted

Food and Beverages

  • Food, beverages, coffee makers, etc. are not permitted in any laboratory
  • Laboratory water is not potable; use water from fountains or restrooms


Department of Chemistry

Physical Address:
Renfrew Hall 116

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr, MS 2343
Moscow, ID 83844-2343

Phone: 208-885-6552

Fax: 208-885-6173


Web: Department of Chemistry