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UIC TA Handbook - Appendix D: Safety Recommendations for Laboratory Teaching

General Laboratory Rules

  1. Inform your students:
  1. Safety goggles must be worn at all times. (Required by Illinois State Bill 1190, Section 1, August 4, 1965.)
  2. Location of fire blankets, safety showers, eye-wash fountains, and fire extinguishers.
  1. Inform your students about and demonstrate proper laboratory techniques for the following, which have a high potential for injury:
  1. Handling of volatile solvents, acids, and bases;
  2. Using electrical apparatus;
  3. Fabricating glassware and assembly of apparatus;
  4. Heating and/or mixing of chemicals or solutions;
  5. Disposing of chemicals.
  1. Report unsafe conditions to the professor in charge of the laboratory or course, or to the office personnel who can locate professor. These unsafe conditions may include:
  1. Missing or malfunctioning safety equipment.
  2. Incompatibility of stored chemicals.
  3. Obstructions to exits or passageways in the lab.
  4. Improper hood operation.
  5. Dangerous spills that you cannot handle yourself.

Accidents: Personal Injury and Fire

Verify these procedures with your faculty supervisor and/or department office.

  1. Be calm, cool, and collected in event of any accident.
  2. Personal Injury
    1. Chemical: Flush the affected area with water for 15-20 minutes. This is especially important in the case of the eyes.
    2. Burns: Smother burning clothing with a blanket or other clothing. Irrigate affected area with cold water.
    3. Cuts: Allow bleeding to cleanse wound. Cover with sterile gauze or bandage to stop bleeding. Never apply a tourniquet. Use pressure points to control arterial bleeding.
    4. In the event of any injury, no matter how slight, the injured party should be asked if he/she wants to receive medical treatment at the Emergency Room of the University of Illinois Hospital. If emergency treatment is indicated, telephone the campus police at 312-355-5555 for assistance. In any event, before injured party is permitted to resume laboratory work he/she should be asked to provide you with a written note from the medical facility stating that he/she was treated. In every case of injury, no matter how slight, you, as the instructor supervising the lab, should fill out an accident report form (which is available in the department office and upon completion return it to the department secretary.)
  3. Fire
    1. Evacuate all personnel from the immediate area.
    2. If the fire cannot be handled by smothering with wet towels, or by use of a hand-held fire extinguisher, call the fire department by alarm box and telephone (312-355-5555), give your name and location, and arrange to have someone sent outside of the building to meet and direct firemen to the scene.
    3. After the emergency is under control, notify the campus police (312-355-5555) of the occurrence, no matter how small.
  4. Report any occurrence to the Department Office as soon as possible after having taken the emergency actions mentioned above.

Enforcement of Safety Rules

  1. Insist that your students follow the basic rules of safe laboratory conduct and you should provide a model for them, especially in wearing safety goggles.
  2. Students who are uncooperative in following your recommendations concerning safety should be asked to leave the laboratory at once. Whenever this occurs, you should notify the course instructor in writing and decide, between you, how to solve the problem.

Training and Other Information

Visit the Environmental Health and Safety Office website,, for information on laboratory training and safety information,

Emergency Numbers

The following information was taken from the Environmental Health and Safety Office website at

Environmental Health and Safety Office

  • Normal Business Hours
  • After Business Hours
  • (312) 996-7411
  • (312) 996-7133

Radiation Safety Section

Normal Business Hours

(312) 996-7429


24 Hours/Day

(312) 355-5555

UIC Hospital Emergency Room

24 Hours/Day

(312) 996-7297

UIC Health Services

Normal Business Hours

(312) 996-7420

Facilities Emergency Services

24 Hours/Day

(312) 996-7511

Illinois Poison Control Center

24 Hours/Day

  • 1 (800) 942-5969
  • 1 (800) 222-1222

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