Outline for TA Safety training


Chemistry Department Laboratory Safety guidelines

Marshall University Environmental Health and Safety


Basic Items/Housekeeping

  • Be professional, you are now a role model: Always display appropriate laboratory behavior, no horseplay – boisterous or silly behavior is to be avoided.
  • Wear safety equipment; use goggles & save your eyes.
  • Dress appropriately – long pants, closed shoes, shirt as indicated by professor and as described in the syllabus. No hanging sleeves or clothing that could knock over items.
  • No food or drinks in the lab. Wash hands after handling chemicals and equipment.
  • Keep area tidy: don’t block exits or safety equipment. Avoid tripping hazards, close drawers, store backpacks, clean up messes & spills. You should do an end-of-the-period walk-through to ensure balances, counters, etc. are clean.
  • No open bottles & don’t set bottles next to the edge or where they are likely to get knocked onto the floor.
  • Know where the safety equipment is located and how to use it. (eyewash, shower, fire blanket…)
  • Cell phones, radios, MP3 players, and similar devices should not be used in the lab. Turn off your cell phone during lab.


Fire & Burns

  • No open flames around flammable materials or vapors.
  • Know emergency exit routes and the sound of the fire Alarm.
    Additional information is in the Fire and Smoke guidelines.
  • Become familiar with location and use of fire blanket & fire extinguishers.
  • Remind students (and yourself) that Bunsen burner flames can be difficult to see. Be careful not to reach over an active burner.
  • Observe safe practices with hot plates and heating mantels. These should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Place and observe warning for hot items such as glass. Hot glass looks like normal glass but it can burn you.



  • Report/avoid frayed cords and exposed wires.
  • In general, water and electricity do not belong together. Shock hazard.



  • Practice good chemical hygiene.
  • Use a pipette bulb when pipetting; no “mouth pipetting! ”
  • Add concentrated acid or bases into water slowly. Reactions are sometimes very exothermic and can lead to the solution explosively splashing out of the container.
  • Be aware of potential reactions and gas generation.
  • Store reagents and solution in proper containers that are labeled.
  • Review Chemical Spill or Release guidelines for information on significant spills.


Glass Handling

  • Handle with caution. Do not force glass.
  • Chipped or cracked glass tends to break easier and should usually be disposed of.
  • Dispose of broken glass in designated container or bucket. Handle broken pieces with a dust pan and brush/broom rather than your hands. Broken glass is sharp and can cut you. Ask the professor for assistance if the broken glass is contaminated with hazardous materials.


Waste & Labeling

  • Collect waste in a proper container; the right size and type that may be sealed.
  • Label needs to include: Identification (what it is), concentration, solvent, date, owner, origin, hazard and any special notes.


First Aid

  • For emergencies: Call 304-696-4357 or 911. Report your name, victim’s name and nature of injury. Also provide location and phone number and follow instruction. Consult marshall.edu/safety for additional information.
  • If a student suffers a burn on their hand from hot glass, etc., have them immediately place the affected area under cool running water for at least 15 minutes. Inform the instructor as soon as possible.
  • If a student cuts themselves, avoid contact with blood. There are gloves in the first aid kit or in an alternate location that your professor will point out to you when you begin working with them, although you should not attempt to administer first aid yourself unless it is absolutely necessary. If it is a small cut, have the student wash thoroughly with soap and water and give them a bandage. Inform the instructor immediately. If the cut is larger and needs more extensive attention, have the student apply pressure, get the instructor, and proceed as per their instructions. If there is blood to clean up in any instance, inform the stockroom manager.


Contact Us:

Dept. of Chemistry
450 Science Building
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri 8:00 AM-4:30 PM

Telephone: 304-696-2430
Telephone: 304-696-6738
Facsimile: 304-696-3243
Directory: Faculty & Staff


Student Resources: