Safety is the protection of life and property from harm or damage. Safe lab practices ensure personal well being and the well being of the public.
Safety is important because it helps maintain a hazard-free work place. That creates a comfortable, orderly environment to work in.
Basic Safety Rules
- Note marked exits.
- Know where the fire extinguishers are.
- Know the other students and TAs. Do not admit strangers into the laboratory.
- Dispose of your garbage properly. Do not leave paper lying around.
- Store materials in cabinets.
- Do not drink or smoke in the laboratories.
- Do not overcrowd the laboratories.
- Maintain a professional environment.
- Never work alone. Use the buddy system.
- No horseplay or shouting.
Electrical Safety Rules
- Avoid exposed wires. Use electrical tape to cover them.
- Keep electrical cords off the floor.
- Outlets are for electrical plugs only (not paper clips, scissors, or your fingers).
- Never force a plug into an outlet.
- Water and electricity do not mix.
Mechanical Safety Rules
- Wear protective gear (goggles/work gloves) when working with tools.
- All tools should be used on a workbench.
- Work near a window or in a well-ventilated area.
- Do not use damaged or malfunctioning equipment.
Safety Staff and Emergency Numbers
All landline phones in Dibner, Jacobs Academic Building, Jacobs (Administration) Building, and Rogers Hall can be reached by dialing their four-digit extension on a landline phone in any of these buildings, or you can dial 1-718-260, followed by the four-digit extension from an outside or mobile line.
General Engineering Staff
- Head TAs (RH515A) — x3515
NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
- Dr. Charles Martucci (RH316) — x3613
- Emergency Closings — (800)POLY-FYI
- Office of Facilities Management — x3020
- Dibner Building — x3727
- Rogers Hall — x3537
- Wunsch Building — (718)632-5901
University Safety Guidelines
- Never work alone or unsupervised in the laboratory.
- Do not eat food or drink beverages in the laboratory. You have no way of knowing what has been placed on a lab bench or desk that might be harmful to your health.
- NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering forbids smoking in hallways, laboratories, and most offices.
- No one is allowed to consume alcohol or to use illegal substances. Violation of this guideline will result in immediate expulsion from the university.
- Know the location and type of fire extinguisher in your workplace.
Types of Fire
- Class A (burning paper, wood, plastic, etc.)
- Class B (burning organic liquids, solvents, etc.)
- Class C (burning electrical equipment)
- Class D (burning certain metals)
Types of Extinguishers
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2) — use on Class B and C fires.
- Dry Powder — use on Class A, B, and C fires.
- Water — use only on Class A fires.
- Protect your eyes, skin, and lungs.
- Eyes — use safety goggles when handling chemicals and solvents. If you are working in a laboratory that uses lasers, find out if laser safety goggles are required to protect your eyes. If you are working in a chemistry laboratory or a laboratory that routinely uses organic solvents and cleaners, do not wear contact lenses.
- Skin — if you use chemicals in the laboratory, as reagents or as cleaning solvents, wear the proper kind of gloves (i.e. vinyl, rubber). If you are handling very hot or very cold objects, you may need to use insulated gloves. If your skin comes in contact with any reagent chemicals, solvents, acids, or other corrosives, wash your skin immediately and thoroughly.
- Lungs — as a rule, you will not be working in situations where you need a special mask to protect your lungs. Please check with your advisor or with Prof. Charles Martucci (x3613) if you have any questions about any materials that you are handling.
- The Department of Environmental Protection forbids the disposal of almost all chemicals down the drain. These rules were made to protect our drinking water and our sewage system.
- The electrical equipment that you are likely to use is safe. However, be careful that electrical wires and telephone wires are not lying on the floor where you may trip over them. Never try to force a plug into the wrong kind outlet. Almost all equipment uses a grounded three-prong plug. However, some older equipment may use a two prong plugs with a ground wire.
- In the unlikely event that you have an accident, contact your laboratory instructor immediately.
Remember: Know and follow the safety rules. Report any problems to the safety representatives. Maintain a professional environment at all times.