The Research and Academic Safety Program for Teaching Labs provides guidelines and support for the safety of the students (undergraduate and graduate), teaching/research assistants (TAs/RAs), lecturers, faculty, and staff associated with the teaching labs at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD). The Research and Academic Safety Program for Teaching Labs is overseen by the ORIO Research and Academic Safety Team.
Students in UTD labs will do many activities requiring the use of hazardous materials and equipment. Safety is the top priority for all of those involved in a lab. To ensure a safe work environment, everyone associated with a lab should follow best practices at all times. Reference the below information for best practices.
Students enrolled in a course with a lab component have the right to be aware of the hazards associated with their coursework and must be properly trained in safe lab practices to protect them from such hazards.
It is the responsibility of the course instructor to determine what safety information needs to be conveyed and the best way to relay that information. Instructors may contact ORIO Research and Academic Safety, if desired. Record of student training must be maintained by the instructor.
Subjects students may need training on can include, but are not limited to:
- Hazard Communication (HAZCOM)
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Hierarchy of Controls
- Equipment use and safety
- Emergency procedures
- Waste management
- Chemical safety
- Biological safety
- Electrical safety
- Shop safety
Teaching/research assistants (TAs/RAs) work closely with students in labs, thereby putting them in an important position. The TAs/RAs serve as an additional resource for students and are often the first person a student goes to with questions. As such, TAs/RAs must be trained in appropriate safety practices. TAs/RAs should receive site-specific training from the faculty and/or more senior TAs/RAs, as well as training in-person and/or online through ORIO Research and Academic Safety.
Faculty members must be well-versed in all applicable safety procedures, best practices, emergency procedures, and waste management associated with their laboratories. Depending on the information, training may be in-person, or online through the Office of Research.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Requirements are in place for proper attire and personal protective equipment (PPE) for labs working with chemical, biological, physical, or radiological hazards. These items are extremely important for protecting individuals working with hazardous substances, and should be worn properly. The minimum requirements for laboratory attire and PPE are outlined in the UTD Policy for Personal Protective Equipment and Laboratory Attire for Laboratories and Technical Spaces. Additional PPE or exceptions to the minimum requirements should be determined by the instructor and may change from one experiment to the next. Instructors may contact ORIO Research and Academic Safety for guidance.