Safety guidebook


1.1 The objective of the SEAS Safety Guidebook is to ensure a safe and healthful working environment for all faculty, staff, students and visitors. The Safety Guidelines are determined and monitored by the Safety Committee with the Advice of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office, endorsed by the Dean’s Executive Committee and enforced by the Vice Dean of Engineering.

1.2 Additional University health and safety policies, procedures and programs are described in the Princeton University Health and Safety Guide. The latest version of this document is available through the EHS Web Page.

1.3 The Safety Committee is composed of the Safety Managers of the six School of Engineering departments, their alternates, the School of Engineering Safety Manager, the manager of Building and Engineering Services, the Special Facilities Maintenance Supervisor, and one or two graduate students from each department. The Director for Administration and Services of the School of Engineering chairs the committee.


2.1 Inspections
All laboratories, classrooms, offices and public areas are to be formally inspected twice each year. Self-audit checklists designed to assist in this effort are available on the EHS website Each Departmental Safety Manager (DSM) is responsible for scheduling and leading an annual inspection of their respective departmental operations, the School of Engineering Safety Manager will work closely with each department to insure two inspections are conducted annually. The inspection team will consist of the DSM (or alternate), a DSM from another SEAS department, and the School of Engineering Safety Manager. The Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for each laboratory (or/his/her designate) should be available to accompany the inspection team. The department also has the option to notify EHS to request further assistance. The second annual inspection shall be a laboratory safety survey conducted by EHS Technical Support Staff. Findings from this survey will be provided to the DSM.

The DSM will report all findings from both of these inspections to the PI (or Department Manager in the case of office inspections), the Department Chair and the Safety Committee. The PI will request re-inspection when corrections have been made, which should, under most circumstances be no longer than one month.

If a correction requires physical modifications to a laboratory or to an experiment which cannot reasonably be accomplished within one month, that information shall be transmitted to the Chairman of the Safety Committee with copies to the Department Chair and the University Safety Engineer.

2.2 Construction, Renovation and Equipment Installation Safety Review
New construction, pressure piping, pressure vessels, electrical and structural work will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Design and Construction and the University’s Engineering Department in Facilities. The Office of Environmental and Health and Safety strictly regulates work involving building systems. Only those individuals who have received the required training should engage in these activities. Students and Post Docs are not authorized to do this work.

All construction projects are to be managed by a Project Manager from the Facilities Department (e.g. Physical Planning, Engineering, Maintenance or Construction Offices) in partnership with the School of Engineering Manager of Building and Engineering Services. No one else is authorized to be the manager of a construction project. The PM is responsible for obtaining necessary approvals, including land use, building permits and safety inspections.

Safety and health review of new or significantly revised potentially hazardous experimental operations is the joint responsibility of the PI and the Department Chair. The procedure for initiating such reviews is outlined in Appendix 1.

2.3 Emergency Shutdown
Where appropriate, experimental equipment shall be posted with emergency shutdown instructions that include the telephone number of the responsible persons. Critical switches or other controls referred to in the shutdown instructions will be clearly labeled. Emergency instructions shall be kept up to date.

2.4 Emergency Information Posters
Information on the university’s Emergency Information Poster program can be found in Section C7 of the University Health and Safety Guide. An Emergency Information Poster shall be displayed at the entrance to each laboratory, storage area, or other space containing equipment or materials that could pose unusual hazards to response personnel during an emergency. EIP poster information must be reviewed and updated every six months. Initial the EIP poster to indicate the update has been completed. The posting and semiannual review of these documents rest with the individual responsible for the space. One copy should be sent to Public Safety. The EIP posters will be inspected by the Safety Manager of the School of Engineering twice a year and annually by the Princeton Borough Fire Marshal. EIP posters that are not initialed to indicate the information has been reviewed and is current are considered a fire violation and a fire violation notice will be issued by the Safety Manager and by the Fire Marshall.

2.5 Emergency Response
According to the University Policy on Fire Emergencies, employees are not required to fight fires and should evacuate the building immediately in the event of a fire. Public Safety has primary responsibility for managing fire emergencies and must be notified immediately of such situations at their emergency number, 911. From your cell phone, call 258-3333. You may want to program this number into your cell phone. Employees may use fire extinguishers to fight small incipient stage fires (no larger than a waste paper basket) only if they have been trained in the proper use of a fire extinguisher and are confident in their ability to cope with the hazards of a fire. In such cases, fire-fighting efforts must be terminated when it becomes obvious that there is danger of harm from smoke, heat, or flames.

If you discover a fire, activate the nearest fire alarm pull station and call Public Safety at 911. You may attempt to put out the fire if you have been trained in and are comfortable with using a fire extinguisher, otherwise, immediately evacuate!

On the sounding of a fire alarm, it is the responsibility of each individual to secure any experimental equipment (if doing so does not endanger his/her personal safety), close the door of his/her work area and leave the building by prescribed exit routes. Emergency exit routes are posted throughout the E-Quad buildings.

Evacuate via the nearest stairwell or street/grade level exit. Two Evacuation Monitors are designated for each floor of each wing of the E-Quad. It is the responsibility of the Evacuation Monitors to assist everyone in leaving the buildings and to ensure that no one remains behind. On leaving, everyone is to gather either in front of the Computer Science Building or in the grassy area by Bowen Hall (not in the parking lot) or in the grassy area between parking lot 2 and Olden Street (not in the parking lot). Parking lots must be kept clear to provide access for emergency vehicles. The Public Safety Officer will advise you when to return to the building. Additional information on emergency action planning can be found in the University Health and Safety Guide, on the EHS web page, or by contacting the University Safety Engineer (extension 8-5849) or the University Fire Marshal (extension 8-6805).

2.6 Safety Education and Training
The Safety Committee offers a mandatory series of seminars on safety topics during the academic year. A core curriculum has been designed. Attendance by undergraduate, graduate students, visiting fellows and post docs who are appointed by the Dean of the Faculty is required. EHS staff presents these mandatory sessions. The Department Chairs are responsible for ensuring attendance by students in their departments. Scheduling of enrollment in seminars is handled by the administrative assistant at extension 8-4560.
Additional training on a variety of health and safety topics is available through EHS. Descriptions of available training are provided in the Training Section of the EHS Web Page.

2.7 Personal Protective Equipment
Requirements for the selection and use of PPE can be found in Section B4 of the University Health and Safety Guide. No sandals should be worn in wet laboratories where acids or chemicals could spill. Safety glasses must be worn in the SEAS Machine Shops. PI’s are responsible for determining if eye protection and/or protective clothing are required in their laboratories. Each department shall have a PPE Hazard Assessment by EHS and each department will be notified of the requirement. These assessments take place periodically. Shop areas and laboratories will be posted accordingly. If eye protection is required, they will be made available to visitors as well as workers in the laboratory. EHS must be consulted before assigning anyone a respirator. Information on the proper selection and use of respirators can be found in Section C4 of the University Health and Safety Guide.

2.8 Safety Showers and Eyewashes
Safety showers and eye wash stations are tested by EQUAD Maintenance (84565) annually at a minimum, or as requested by the PI. Eye wash stations are flushed monthly at the discretion of the PI. Fire extinguishers are checked monthly by Building Services. Eye wash stations in labs must be kept clean and free from debris.

Self-contained breathing apparatus are checked monthly by SEAS and hydrostatically tested every five years by an outside contractor, as arranged by EHS.

Chemical fume hoods are surveyed semi-annually by EHS and maintained by Maintenance. Survey results are posted on the hood sash. A summary of survey findings is provided to the individual designated responsible for the hood. Details of the chemical fume hood survey program are contained in each department’s Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Problems with any safety equipment should be reported to the responsible service organization (listed below). Advice on selection and use of safety equipment is available from EHS.

Building Services Ext. 8-3490
Maintenance Ext. 8-4565
EHS Ext. 8-5294

2.9 Chemical Safety Information
Each department of the SEAS has a Chemical Hygiene Plan and a Chemical Hygiene Officer. A copy of the plan is available in each laboratory. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each chemical handled in a laboratory must be maintained where they are readily accessible to all lab workers.

2.10 Transport of Chemicals
Bottle carriers must be used when carrying chemical through the halls of the E-Quad or between other locations and the E-Quad.

2.11 Chemical Spills
Before handling a chemical, individuals should familiarize themselves with the potential hazards of the materials, including protective equipment and materials required for spill control. In the event of a chemical spill of one gallon or less, the individual(s) that caused the spill is responsible for prompt and proper cleanup. It is the responsibility of all users of chemicals to maintain or have ready access to a supply of spill control equipment and supplies appropriate to the chemical types and quantities they use. Spill kits are located on the ground (1st) floor near each elevator throughout the building. Additional spill control materials are available outside at the E-Quad Loading Dock near the G-Wing entrance and Hazardous Waste Room Shed 7. Public Safety x911 and EHS x5294 must be notified if the chemical spill exceeds one gallon, if fire or personal injury is involved, if there has been a release to the environment, or if the individual does not feel he/she can clean up the spill safely. Calcium Gluconate Gel and Boric Acid for Hydrofluoric Acid exposure/spills and a Mercury Spill Kit are also available for emergencies in a wall mounted safety cabinet located in the 3rd floor A-D link.

2.12 Chemical Wastes
EHS administers contracts with chemical disposal firms to provide for the prompt, safe, proper, and legal disposal of chemical wastes. Contact EHS at extension 8-5294 for answers to questions about disposal.

2.13 Warning Lights
It is the responsibility of the principal investigator to be sure the appropriate warning lights and signs are displayed outside of laboratories when hazardous procedures are in progress. Examples include lasers and radiation sources. Checking for appropriate lighting will be done twice a year during regular safety inspections.

2.14 Lasers
Use of lasers must comply with ANSI 136.1-1993 (American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers). Engineering and administrative controls must be in place and hazard warning signs posted, as determined by the laser hazard class. Users of class 2B, 3, and 4 lasers must attend EHS Laser Safety Training and must be certified by EHS.

2.15 Radioactive Materials and Radiation Producing Equipment
EHS coordinates the University’s Radiation Safety Program. Questions regarding the use of these materials or equipment should be addressed to the Radiation Safety Officer at extension 8-5294. Any user of radioactive materials or radiation producing equipment shall attend radiation safety training offered by EHS.

2.16 Gloves
Gloves used for protection during laboratory work should not be worn outside the lab.


3.1 Purpose
This policy is intended to encourage review of potentially dangerous lab experiments prior to start-up to provide for maximum assurance that all appropriate safety and health considerations have been addressed and included in the design of the experiment and its operation procedures.

3.2 Discussion
It is impossible to identify with precision all categories and threshold levels that should require review under this policy since there are many variables that affect the ultimate hazard level. Under certain circumstances, almost any experiment or material could create a variety of hazards. Judgment and foresight are needed to recognize those situations that should be reviewed.

3.3 Policy
Any experiment, equipment, or apparatus should be reviewed if it could cause serious bodily injury or property damage due to component failure, release of energy, exposure to hazardous materials, or exposure to dangerous electrical circuits or laser beams when put into operation. Extension cords are not allowed. Surge protectors are available as a replacement in the 3rd floor AD3B Stockroom.

3.4 Examples
3.4.1 High voltage circuits other than those enclosed or contained by the manufacturer.
3.4.2 Electrical circuits operating at 50 volts or more with exposed energized conductors.
3.4.3 Pressure vessels over 6” diameter or 30 psi operating pressure.
3.4.4 Nonmetallic pressure vessels.
3.4.5 Vacuum vessels over 6”diameter.
3.4.6 Class IV Lasers.
3.4.7 Open flame devices.
3.4.8 Mechanical apparatus and systems including dies, hydraulic components, hoists, centrifuges, and others subjected to stresses, weights or pressures that could result in injury in the event of failure.

In all cases, the perceived likelihood of failure or exposure must not be considered when interpreting this policy. Review is required if there is any possibility of serious injury or damage.

3.5 Responsibility
The Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor is responsible for the safety of all persons, equipment, and materials in their labs. Review under this policy does not, in any way, relieve them of that responsibility.

3.6 Procedure
3.6.1 PI recognizes need for review.
3.6.2 PI prepares brief written description of equipment, facilities, and procedures.
3.6.3 PI sends written description to the SEAS Manager of Building and Engineering Services.
3.6.4 SEAS Manager of Building and Engineering Services distributes copies of written description to the Review Board members and sets deadline for written comments.
3.6.5 SEAS Manager of Building and Engineering Services shall consider a professional engineering review by an outside agency.
3.6.6 SEAS Manager of Building and Engineering Services schedules a review meeting with appropriate Review Board members and with the SEAS Safety Manager; such a meeting is to be held as soon as possible and not later than two weeks from receipt of the description. Consensus recommendations are prepared promptly by the SEAS manager of Building and Engineering Services and Environmental Health and the SEAS Safety Manager. Recommendations are forwarded to the PI.
3.6.7 PI responds to the Board with comments on each recommendation accepting, rejecting, or modifying each.
3.6.8 Further comment by review board as necessary.

3.7 Review Board
The following list of suggested members may be used to constitute the Review Board but is not limited to those listed below:
Director of Engineering – Engineering Department
Professor – MAE Department
Professor – EE Department
Professor – ChE Department
Professor – CEE Department
Professor – ORFE Department
Manager of Building and Engineering Services – SEAS Dean’s Staff
Manager of Safety and Security – SEAS Dean’s Staff
University Safety Engineer – Environmental Health and Safety
University Industrial Hygienist — Environmental Health and Safety
University Health Physicist – Environmental Health and Safety