Standard Safety Packet (All Research Workers)
Responsibilities of Researchers


UMass Letterhead

TO: New Lab Personnel at UMass-Amherst Chemistry Department
FROM: Chemistry Department Safety Committee
SUBJECT: Your Responsibilities for Safe Laboratory Practices

Welcome to the University of Massachusetts Department of Chemistry! We hope you will find your stay here to be interesting and productive. Most particularly, we want it to be safe.

As a professional chemist, you will understand that you have various responsibilities to your colleagues and to the surrounding community to behave in a manner that is as safe as possible, both for yourself and those around you. This is simply ethical and logical behavior. Although the Environmental Health and Safety (EH & S) Division of the University, and the faculty of this department, are able to help encourage safety, it is very much up to you to keep things safe. You are the one who puts on safety glasses upon entering the lab; you are the one who separates and labels chemical waste for proper disposal. You must be a responsible professional chemist, before you ever set foot in a laboratory.

In order to help you understand proper safety protocol, we provide you with the attached packet of information concerning proper procedures for transporting chemicals, for preparing excess or waste chemicals for disposal, and for a variety of other important safety concerns. We expect you to be familiar with the procedures of importance to you. Do not expect others to impose safety intelligence upon you--do it to yourself. To advance in your profession in today's world, you owe it to yourself to learn good habits, and to exemplify good habits for those who will be learning from you by example. Do not take this duty lightly.

In addition to the material you received in your safety packet, please familiarize with the information contained in the EH & S manual. There should be a manual located in every lab; additional copies are available from EH & S.

The forms attached to this letter will be placed in your departmental file as evidence that you have accepted this safety packet and have attended the safety lecture given by EH & S. You must sign the forms to indicate that you have accepted the responsibility to know the proper safety procedures. Please always feel free to discuss safety concerns with your faculty advisor or with members of the departmental safety committee, any time you feel that you are uncertain what to do in a particular situation. It is better to check, and to be safe, than to proceed and have a tragedy occur. You bear the responsibility to work safely as a professional chemist!