Hello and welcome to UCF!
The purpose of this orientation is to familiarize new faculty and research staff with UCF policies and procedures as they relate to the safe and environmentally friendly use of chemicals. There are a host of resources available online and the EH&S department also has professionals that are versed in many different areas of expertise so if you have questions on any of the material presented on this site, please don't hesitate to call us at #407-823-6300.
We've tried to break down this orientation into a few easy modules that can be reviewed independently of one another. A lot of what you'll see here are links to existing documents, online request forms, or links that further highlight university policies. Please complete at your leisure but understand that all of these requirements must be completed, prior to a lab actually starting up.
UCF requires each and every lab that will be working with hazardous chemicals to communicate these hazards to others that may potentially be exposed, in a few different ways. The proper labeling of the chemical containers themselves is covered under our Hazcom Program. It's also important that people who don't work in the lab are aware that hazardous chemicals are stored there. To accomplish this, we require all labs to post lab signage. To order your lab sign click here.
We also need labs to provide us with an estimate of how much hazardous material will be stored in any given lab. This estimate should be based on a worst case scenario. You can submit this form by clicking here.
A question we are commonly asked is how do I find out more information about chemicals that may be present in my lab?� These types of questions may be brought about by a concerned Graduate Assistant or other person curious about exposure risks. The EH&S group keeps MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for all chemicals that are shipped to campus. In addition, many MSDS sheets can be found online.
An important facet of providing a safe workplace in ensuring that our leadership is familiar with safe and environmentally friendly work practices as they pertain to the laboratory environment. In order to accomplish this, we have compiled a UCF Chemical Hygiene Plan which covers these practices. The highlights of this plan are also available in a Powerpoint format here. You can bookmark these links or come back to review them at any time by navigating through the EH&S site.
So far we've focused a lot on the safety aspects of working with potentially hazardous chemicals but haven't talked much about the Environmental portion. Many of the labs on campus produce Hazardous Waste (you can use this to aid you in making a waste determination). It's important that the EH&S department know what types and how much waste each lab is generating. You can tell us about your lab activities here. Once these wastes have been generated, we ask that you properly containerize and label these wastes and then fill out our online form to arrange for pick-up. You can find more information on the proper handling of hazardous wastes on campus here.
OK, we're almost finished here, just a couple more items to bring to your attention. One of the things we try to minimize here on campus, is the use of mercury thermometers. This is due to the significant environmental impact they can cause, plus the difficulty faced with cleaning up elemental mercury. We ask all PI's to use alcohol type thermometers whenever possible. This effort is explained in greater detail here.
Even with this fairly long list of information and links, we can still only provide the basics without overwhelming new folks. If you have future questions, you can peruse the site at any time or try our FAQ page which may provide some additional insights. We also offer classes at various times during the calendar year here.
Thanks for your attention.