Lab Safety

Safety Guidelines for Introductory Physics Labs

As a student you are responsible to comply with all safety warnings posted in the room, mentioned in the lab manual or given verbally by your TA/Instructor.

The following are the lab safety guidelines for all undergraduate physics labs:

  1. Note the location of general safety equipment such as:
    • Fire Extinguisher ‐ to operate pull safety pin out, point hose at the base of fire, squeeze handle;
    • First Aid Kit ‐ minor injuries such as small cuts can be treated effectively in the lab
    • Emergency Telephone – follow instructions given in ASU Emergency Response Guide;
    • ASU Emergency Response Guide – located by the emergency telephone set;
    • Emergency Exit Routes – there are signs posted on each door explaining your location and showing the exit route during an emergency.
  2. Do not enter a lab room if your instructor is not there.
  3. Do not consume food or drink in the laboratory. Any food or beverage brought to the lab must remain in the student’s carrying bag until he leaves.
  4. Under no circumstances will you be allowed to attend a lab session while “under the influence” of alcohol or prohibited drugs.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing to laboratory. Confine long hair, loose clothing, and dangling jewelry. Keep the hat off.
  6. Do not perform unauthorized experiments or use materials and equipment in a manner for which they are not intended.
  7. Do not sit on the lab tables at any time.
  8. Exercise caution when working with electrical equipment – do not use electrical equipment with frayed, broken or exposed wiring; do not allow any liquid to come into contact with electrical cords. Handle electrical equipment with dry hands; when unplugging any electrical equipment always pull the plug itself; do not attempt to disconnect electrical equipment that crackles, smokes or snaps.
  9. Use extreme caution when working with hot plates or other heating devices. Always assume that hot plates are hot – never leave any heat sources unattended; handle hot equipment with tongs, safety gloves and other appropriate aids; turn heating devices off when not in use, make sure they are off before leaving the laboratory.
  10. Avoid spills – place liquids away from the edges of the lab table; clean up any spills as soon as they occur.
  11. Report all accidents with broken glassware to the instructor. Do not attempt to clean up by yourself.
  12. Always thoroughly wash your hands at the end of lab involving toxic or radioactive materials.
  13. Do not shine a laser light at anyone nor point a laser beam at mirror‐like surfaces.
  14. Keep your lab station neat and organized at all times – only books and notepads needed for the Experiment should be on the lab table, any other items must be stored on the designated shelving units; always clean up any clutter made during lab work, rearrange apparatus in an orderly fashion, and report any damaged or missing items to your TA.
  15. Any bodily fluid is to be treated as a hazardous material. Do not attempt to clean it up by yourself.
Lab Safety Guidelines