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Safety Training Orientation

Introduction 12/1/06

To work in the ChBE labs at Clemson University, you must first complete, and document completion of, required safety training. This orientation will give an explanation of your safety responsibilities; outline what safety training is required, how to find it, and how to properly document your training.

Safety Responsibilities Overview


Clemson University's Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) department has the responsibility of providing overall guidance to the educational departments in areas concerning safety. EHS provides manuals and plans that meet governmental guidelines for research universities in the area of safety, hazardous waste management, chemical inventories and storage, related training, safety inspections etc. EHS is the department that collects and disposes of hazardous waste. You can find more information at the EHS website: Contact information for each area of safety is provided.


Dr. Bud Rice (656-5428,, 128 Earle) is the ChBE Faculty Safety Coordinator. Dr. Rice can help you with any question you may have about safety, safety procedures, or your safety related responsibilities in the lab.

The Safety Technician is Bill Coburn (656-2056,, G14 Earle). Bill maintains the safety training file, will assist you in finding required training, and can answer most safety related questions. He can also help you with labeling issues or hazardous waste pick-up issues, but he can not store hazardous waste. He also supervises the Chemical Storage Sheds, maintains the Hazardous Chemical Inventories, tests the Eyewash/Safety Shower stations, and is responsible for the placement and inspection of fire extinguishers. He is also responsible for moving compressed gas cylinders as needed if you need help.

The person ultimately responsible for safety in the lab is the professor in charge of the operations of the lab. This faculty member may be called the PI (Principle Investigator), Advisor, or Supervisor. The reason for this is that the PI should be the most familiar with and has the most control over, lab operations. The PI decides if additional safety training is required for some hazardous operations.

Sometimes due to necessity, the PI will assign a designate, or a representative, for them in the lab. Usually these designates are post-docs or senior researchers that are very familiar with the day to day lab operations and safety requirements and procedures. All safety related questions can and usually should be addressed by the PI or designate first.

As a worker in the lab, you are responsible for getting the proper safety training, for following established safety procedures, and for calling to attention any violations or neglect of safety procedures you may find.

Safety Training Files

Files of completed safety training is kept in G14, and maintained by the Safety Technician. Each PI has a folder, and each worker has a file. If a worker does not have a completed file, then safety training is not complete. The ChBE department has a policy that workers can not work in the labs without completing their safety training.

Contents of the Worker Files

Training record
The cover sheet for your training file is the Training Record. It is divided into Personal, Departmental Training , EH&S training, and Final Approval sections. It is designed to be able to audit your safety training at a glance. Notice that several duplicate signatures must be given in order to complete this form.

Personal: This section should be self-explanatory.

- Compressed Gas Cylinder and Electrical Safety Videos: You must watch 2 short videos. The safety technician can help you with this.
- The Chemical Hygiene Plan: You must read this EH&S publication and sign a statement to that effect. A copy of the signature page is attached to the file. The CHP can be found in the lab, or at:
- Safety Articles: You sign that you have read the magazine articles concerning safety. Copies of some articles not posted may be attached to the file.
- Safety Checklist: This form, Attachment D, is attached to the file. It is your orientation into the lab from a safety perspective. It should be completed before your first day of work if at all possible, or at least the first day. Notice that you and the person doing the orientation must sign that every area is covered. When you are comfortable with the orientation you sign again, and the PI must sign as well, at the bottom. This assures the PI knows you have been properly oriented concerning the lab. Once completed, you and the safety technician sign again on the Training Record.

This section covers training received by EH&S. You may attend training seminars held by EH&S, or you may find the training online at:

The required EH&S training for all workers in the labs are Chemical Hygiene and Hazardous Waste Management. Additional training may be required by the PI.

PI Notification:
This is a notification to the PI that all training is complete. This is a good time to discuss with the PI any questions you have about your training or safety in general. The PI may require additional training as mentioned above. The signatures here should be the final signatures given in your training.

Safety Related Questions

All safety related questions can and usually should be addressed by the PI or designate first. If for some reason the PI is not available, or you are not satisfied with an answer, then you can take the question or problem to the Safety Technician or the Faculty Safety Coordinator. The ChBE department chair would be next in line for notification. Under the unusual circumstance that a proper answer is not found within the department, then you should take your concern to the proper EHS contact person.

Other Relevant Topics

Mercury or Other Residual Chemicals

We have renovated most of the ChBE labs in recent years, and this process is ongoing. This has included a thorough cleaning of the labs to assure no residual chemicals remain from prior research. There is a slight possibility you may encounter mercury or other residual chemicals from prior lab use. If this unlikely event occurs, notify the Safety Technician as a soon as possible so the chemicals can be cleaned up properly.

Spills or Glass Breakage

Please clean up spills and glass breakage using the proper procedure. In general, you will not be fired or dismissed for a spill or breakage. It is more likely a worker to be dismissed for not following the proper procedure afterwards, than for the accident itself. Broken Glass containers and Sharps containers are located in each lab.

Working Late and Working Alone

Discuss these issues with the PI. Make sure you understand and follow the requirements set by the PI for each lab.

Special Protocols

Certain chemicals require special handling procedures or protocols due to the specific hazards they pose. Be sure you are familiar with the correct procedures for each chemical you use or are in use in the lab you work in.