Lab Safety

Animals & Insects


Biological Safety

Wellesley College's Biosafety Program puts forth protocols to protect faculty, staff and students from exposure to biohazardous materials, to guard against the release of biohazardous materials that may harm humans, animals, plants or the environment, and to protect the integrity of experimental materials. Responsibility for oversight of the program resides with the Environmental Health and Safety Office, the Science Center Office and the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC). All recombinant or synthetic DNA studies, pathogenic organisms, and bloodborne pathogens must be registered with the IBC.

Wellesley College Biosafety Information

Other Biosafety Resources


Bloodborne Pathogens:

The purpose of this Plan is to minimize and/or eliminate employee occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens. An occupational exposure, for the purpose of this standard, means reasonably anticipated skin, eye, mucous membranes, or parenteral contact with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) that may result from the performance of an employee's duties.


Chemical Safety

The OSHA Lab standard applies to all employees working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory. The Wellesley College Chemical Hygiene Plan addresses how to safely work with hazardous chemicals to prevent occupational exposure in the laboratory.

Chemical labeling: Properly labeled containers are important in protecting your health and safety as well as first responders. It is also an OHSA requirement. Labels on purchased chemicals must include:

  • The common name of the chemical
  • The name, address and emergency phone number of the company responsible for the product
  • An appropriate hazard warning
  • Signal words used to indicate degree of hazard are "DANGER", for the most serious hazard, "WARNING", for moderate hazard, and "CAUTION" to indicate a lesser degree of hazard

Chemical Inventories

SciShield (formerly Bioraft) is a software solution for managing chemical inventories on campus.  Access to the system is available here at A user name (email) and password is required for access. 


Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency manages CFAT (Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards). This program focuses specifically on on security at chemical facilities.  So if an establishment or individual possesses or plans to possess any of the more than 300 chemicals of interest (COI) in Appendix A at or above the listed screening threshold quantity (STQ) and concentration, it must be reported.  See for more information. 


Dry Ice

How to Work Safely with Dry Ice.                                                                              



Information on Accidents, Injuries, and Chemical Release

  • Police Department: x5555
  • Health Services: x2810
  • Environmental Health & Safety: x3882


Fire Safety

Fire Safety and Emergency Evacuation information.


Fume Hoods

A laboratory fume hood is a three-sided enclosure with an adjustable front opening. It is designed to capture, contain, and exhaust hazardous fumes generated inside its enclosure. Fume hoods accomplish this by exhausting air through the hood face to the outside of the building. Fumes are then drawn away from the worker's breathing zone. Because exposure to volatile chemicals is one of the top health and safety hazards to laboratory workers, a fume hood operates as a principle safety devise in a laboratory setting.


Gas Cylinders


Hazardous Waste

Wellesley College is committed to pollution prevention and the management of hazardous chemical waste in compliance with applicable regulations. It is Wellesley’s goal to reduce, reuse or recycle, when possible. Hazardous chemical waste is managed by the EHS Office and the Science Center.

Other types of waste in the laboratory include biological, spill clean-up material, universal and medical wastes. Information on disposal practices can be found on under Waste Management

  • American Chemical Society Less is Better - waste minimization concepts for labs



The Laser Safety Program at Wellesley College follows ANSI Z 136.1 and 136.5 "The Safe Use of Lasers" and the MA DPH Regulations. Copies of the written plan and ANSI standards are available in the EHS Office.

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health Regulations 105 CMR 121: To Control the Radiation Hazards of Lasers, Laser Systems and Optical Fiber Communication Systems Utilizing Laser Diode or Light Emitting Diode Sources
  • DPH Radiation Control Program Registration Form for ANSI Class 3b or 4 Lasers
  • Wellesley College Laser Inventory Form for all ANSI Class Lasers
  • Wellesley College Laser Safety Plan
  • Recommended Vendors for Laser Safety Products


Material Safety Data Sheets

A Material Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with a particular substance. SDS's include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures.


Medical Screening & Surveillance

Medical screening is a method for detecting disease or bodily dysfunction before an individual would normally seek medical care. Medicalsurveillance is the analysis of health information to look for problems that may be occurring in the workplace that require targeted prevention. Working with some lab chemicals (ie. formaldehyde) or equipment (lasers) may require faculty, staff or students to be involved in these programs.



The EPA defines nanotechnology in their Nanotechnology White Paper as "Research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels, in the length scale of approximately 1 - 100 nanometer range; creating and using structures, devices and systems that have novel properties and functions because of their small and/or intermediate size; and the ability to control or manipulate on the atomic scale."


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


Radiation Safety

The Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for ensuring that users of ionizing radiation are in compliance with existing regulatory requirements, such that any resultant radiation exposures are as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA). These objectives are accomplished through a radiation safety program that includes protocol review, continuous accountability of materials and devices, radiation safety training, laboratory waste processing and personnel dosimetry. Responsibility for oversight of the program resides with the Science Center Office.




Spill Response

Chemical Spills: Small spills can be cleaned up by the user if prepared, trained and spill response equipment is readily available.

  • Evaluate the situation (including a review of the SDS)
  • Notify manager/supervisor
  • Secure the area
  • Control and contain spill
  • Clean up
  • Decontaminate
  • Ensure proper disposal of spill material

For large spills, unknown materials, or extremely hazardous materials, immediately secure & post the area. Contact Campus Police 24/7 at x 5555 and or EHS at x 3882 during work hours.

Large spills may require reporting to local, state or federal agencies. Contact EHS at x 3882 to ensure proper reporting.

For more detailed information see the Laboratory Spills section of the Accidents, Injuries & Emergencies page.

American Chemical Society Guide for Chemical Spill Response planning in laboratories


Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)