Basic Safety Information
Welcome to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)! The information presented here is intended to be a basic safety resource for all SEAS students, faculty and staff. The following information may be of help to you in the event of an emergency.
Kaitlin Lutz, Director for Administration, Finance & Planning oversees the SEAS safety program and serves as a liaison between departments and various campus offices. Her office is C-236 Engineering Quadrangle (EQuad). Contact Kaitlin at 8-6104 or email@example.com for safety-related questions or concerns. Please review this information and the related pages then submit form.
Responsibility for Safety
Supervisors are responsible for the health and safety of individuals who work under their direction or supervision. Each individual employee is responsible for complying with all University and departmental safety policies and procedures.
Environmental Health & Safety (EHS)
The Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) provides leadership, technical support, information and training, consultation, and periodic audits of environmental, health and safety practices and regulatory compliance. EHS is located at 262 Alexander Street. The main office number is 8-5294. Contact EHS for any safety related questions or to report safety incidents. The EHS website (ehs.princeton.edu) is a great resource for safety information.
The Department of Public Safety is the primary department at the University charged with creating a safe and secure environment. Public Safety is located at 200 Elm Street. Contact information for Public Safety is as follows:
Emergencies – Dial 911 from any campus phone or Dial 609-258-3333 from your cell phone. As a best practice, we recommend you add 609-258-3333 to your cell phone contact list.
Non-emergencies – Dial 8-1000 from and campus phone or dial 609-258-1000 from your cell phone.
Blue Light Phones and Towers
There are 23 blue light communication towers throughout campus and an additional 42 blue light phones with similar capability to press a button and connect directly to DPS emergency dispatch.
When immediate first aid is needed, call Public Safety at 911 from a desk phone or 609‐258-3333 from a cell phone. Public Safety will provide first aid and arrange for transport to an appropriate medical facility.
If you discover a fire:
- Alert people in the area of the need to evacuate
- Activate the nearest fire alarm
- Evacuate the building, remembering to close all doors behind you
- Call Public Safety at 911 from a campus phone or 609‐258‐3333 from a cell phone
- Notify your immediate supervisor that you have safely exited the building
If you hear a fire alarm sounding:
- Exit the building immediately
- Assemble at your building’s designated assembly area.
Andlinger Center – Sidewalk on the corner of Prospect and Olden
Bowen Hall – Prospect Avenue Sidewalk
Computer Science – Lawn in Front of Mudd Library
EQuad – Area 1: Across Olden Street at Computer Science, Area 2: Parking Area south of von Neumann; Area 3: Parking Lot #2 behind J- and D-Wing
Friend Center – Front lawn
Friend Center Library – Friend Center Courtyard
Hoyt Laboratory – Steps to Fountain or Freedom/Robertson Hall
Sherrerd Hall – Friend Center Courtyard
- Notify your immediate supervisor that you have safely exited the building
- Do not use a fire extinguisher unless you have been trained.
- Trained individuals should only use a fire extinguisher on incipient stage fires if safe to do so and only after notifying Public Safety.
- No one is ever expected to fight a fire.
The Princeton TigerAlert notification system (formerly PTENS) is an emergency notification system that allows authorized Princeton officials to send news and instructions simultaneously to University faculty, staff and students through landline phones, cellular phones, text messaging and e-mail. TigerAlert complements tools the University already has in place to communicate with the University community during events such as weather-related closings, public health crises, public safety emergencies and other unique emergency situations. It is important to keep your contact information current. Students use TigerHub. Faculty and Staff use HR Self-Service.
The TigerSafe app is designed to make your experience on campus as safe and satisfying as possible. TigerSafe empowers you with the tools you need to be prepared, mitigate dangers and respond appropriately to situations that occur. The app includes emergency alerts, tools for staying safe on campus, emergency response guides, campus maps and a variety of health and wellness resources.
TigerSafe is Princeton’s official health and safety app for the campus community. You are encouraged to download this free app. It is available for the iOS and Android platforms.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE is special gear used to protect the wearer from specific hazards. PPE includes gloves, eye protection, and protective clothing. The need for PPE depends on the type of work and the nature and quantity of the materials in use. Workers who use PPE must understand when and how to use it and the limitations of their PPE. See your supervisor for specific PPE requirements and where to get PPE.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Because of its resistance to fire and its insulating properties, it was used in a variety of building materials. Only when asbestos becomes damaged is there a possibility of exposure (for example, torn or missing coverings on pipe insulation). Under no circumstances should any University employee disturb asbestos‐containing materials. If any employee notices damaged material that may contain asbestos, they should inform their supervisor and EHS.
Reporting Injuries and Illnesses
All incidents, work‐related injuries and illnesses, or near‐misses must be reported to your supervisor before your work shift ends on the day you are injured. Staffing agency employees should contact their agency for instructions for seeking treatment for work‐related injuries. University employees should report to the Office of Employee Health at McCosh Health Center for evaluation, treatment and consultation.
Hazard Communication – Chemical Safety
All University employees have the right to know about the identity and hazards of the workplace, and how to handle them safely. Each department provides chemical information by labeling containers, providing Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and providing training.
- Labels – Labels have certain information such as the chemical name, hazard warnings and the manufacturer’s name and address. Labels may not be removed or defaced. If the product is being transferred from one container to another, the new container must be labeled.
- Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) – Safety Data Sheets contain specific chemical information about each chemical. Departments maintain SDSs for each hazardous material in the workplace and they are available to employees during work hours. See your supervisor for SDSs.
For More Health and Safety Information:Environmental Health & Safety 609‐258‐5294 ehs.princeton.edu Employee Health at University Health Services 609‐258‐5035
Chemicals on Skin – Immediately flush with water for no less than 15 minutes and remove contaminated clothing.
Chemicals in Eyes -Immediately flush with water for at least 15 minutes, preferably with an eyewash or rinsing from the nose outward.
Chemical Inhalation – Open windows or otherwise increase ventilation and move to fresh air.
Ingestion of Chemicals – Contact Poison Control at 800‐962‐1253. Do not induce vomiting unless instructed to do so.
Please seek medical attention for all chemical exposures.
Job Specific Training
Your position within SEAS may require additional, job-specific training. For example, if you work in a laboratory you are required to take Laboratory Safety training. If you work with lasers you are required to take Laser Safety training. Your supervisor will provide a list of required training.
SEAS Dale Grieb Safety Award
In honor of the late Dale Grieb, Safety Officer and Director of Administration and Services for SEAS, the Dale Grieb Safety Award recognizes members of the SEAS community who have made a substantive & positive contribution to improving laboratory and/or workplace safety within the School. This annual award recognizes an individual or a group within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and is intended to acknowledge an outstanding commitment to ensuring laboratory and/or workplace safety, as was Dale’s passion.
Safety Award Review Committee
William Gervasi, Chair
School of Engineering & Applied Science
Asst Director – Facilities & Building Services
Chemical & Biological Engineering
Environmental Health & Safety
Assoc Director for Laboratory Safety
Environmental Health & Safety
Exec Director, Environmental Health & Safety
Chemical & Biological Engineering
Tips and Additional Information
Top 5 or 10 lab safety violations
Top 10 Fire Safety Violations
- Fire Extinguishers: Fire extinguishers shall not be obstructed or obscured from view, and must remain visible at all times. Fire extinguishers should be mounted to a wall surface to protect them from physical damage. Also, if you happen to notice the gauge needle pointing in the red area rather than the green area, please notify the Fire Marshal’s office. When a fire strikes, we want these invaluable tools functioning properly!
- Extension Cords: If you see one in use, please remove it. Extension cords are strictly prohibited from use inside University buildings as permanent wiring. Should you have the need to use an extension cord on a permanent basis, you must contact Facilities to have the area of use inspected to determine if additional wall outlets can be installed to accommodate your needs. Extension cords cannot tolerate numerous electronic devices, they become overloaded and fry, starting fires. Extension Cords must be replaced with power strips.
- Misuse of Power Strips: If you are using a power strip, they must be plugged directly into a wall outlet and not into one another. Do not plug power strips into extension cords to make up the distance to an outlet on the other side of your office. Submit a work order to Facilities for a new outlet to be installed. Again, extension cords are meant for temporary use. An extension cord will not protect your equipment if a surge occurs in the electrical line, but a power strip will. Please use power strips.
- Storage Too Close to the Ceiling: The New Jersey fire code requires a 24-inch clearance between stored materials and the ceiling in non-sprinklered rooms. The clearance must be 24-inches to allow manual hose streams to effectively reach the top of burning materials and to project over and beyond to reach other burning materials. Rooms that are equipped with sprinklers must have an 18-inch clearance between the bottom of the sprinkler head and the stored materials. Materials stored too close to the sprinkler head will prevent heat from reaching the sprinkler’s fusible link and prevent water from reaching the seat of the fire once the sprinklers have been activated. Do not hang items from the sprinkler heads! This will also prevent the sprinklers from functioning as normal.
- Blocked Emergency Exits and Corridors: Keep emergency exits and corridors free of chairs, filing cabinets, small tables and miscellaneous storage that could cause people to trip. In the event of a fire, this is your pathway to safety. Fires can kill the power to a building. During a fire, the corridors can become smoky and dark; any blocked emergency exits or corridors may slow down the evacuation of the building and compromise your path to safety!
- Electrical Panels: Most electrical panels will be located inside mechanical or custodial closets that the majority of you don’t have access to, however, electrical panels need to have a clearance on all sides and in front of them so that they can be easily accessed to shut off electricity to various parts of the building in the event of a fire. Please keep all electrical panels free of obstruction.
- Door Chocks: No door chocks are allowed on any stairway or fire rated doors. Fire doors serve to protect you in the event of a fire. Some offer more protection than others. Doors with a fire rating will indicate how long they are expected to hold up in a fire. If the door is chocked open, it has a fire rating of zero minutes and offers no protection! Wooden door chocks can also damage doors. If you need to have an office door held open for air circulation or to stay cool, then use a rubber door chock and remove it whenever you leave your office.
- Missing or Damaged Ceiling Tiles: Ceiling tiles serve to prevent fire and smoke from traveling through the ceiling shaft to other parts of the building. Building maintenance personnel and outside contractors often remove ceiling tiles to make repairs without putting them back once the service is complete. Some ceiling tiles consist of fire rated material and must be replaced if damaged or removed. Please submit a work order to Facilities to have missing or damaged ceiling tiles replaced.
- Illuminated Exit Signs: Exit signs must be illuminated at all times, including when the building is not fully occupied. If a fire occurs late at night, there may be cleaning crews or persons working overtime in the building who will need to be able to locate an exit. If you should notice that an exit sign is not illuminated, please submit a work order to Facilities.
- Storage of Combustible Materials: There shall be no miscellaneous combustible storage kept in any portion of a stairway. Storage of combustible materials in designated mechanical rooms shall be neat and orderly so as to allow for immediate access to all service equipment. Storage shall be separated from all heating devices or electrical equipment by distance so that ignition does not occur.
1.1 The objective of the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) Safety Guidebook is to ensure a safe working environment for all faculty, staff, students and visitors. The safety guidelines are determined and monitored by the SEAS Safety Committee with the advice of the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office.
1.2 The Princeton University Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) provides leadership, technical support, information and training, consultation, and periodic audits of environmental, health and safety practices and regulatory compliance. SEAS and EHS partner closely to ensure a safe working environment for all faculty, staff, students and visitors and. In addition to the main EHS website (https://ehs.princeton.edu/), the following links may be helpful resources:
All laboratories, classrooms, offices and public areas are to be formally inspected twice each year. Each Departmental Safety Manager (DSM) is responsible for scheduling and leading an annual inspection of their respective departmental operations in conjunction with EHS. The School of Engineering Director of Administration, Finance and Planning and SEAS Assistant Director for Facilities and Building Services will work closely with each department to insure two inspections are conducted annually.
EHS 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 if necessary. The PI may request re-inspection when corrections have been made, which should, under most circumstances be no longer than one month.
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 (PM) from the appropriate Facilities Department (e.g. Physical Planning, Engineering, Maintenance or Construction Offices) in partnership with the School of Engineering. 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.
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.
An Emergency Information Poster (EIP) 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. Please refer to the EHS Web Page for more information and templates.
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 609-258-3333. 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.
Evacuate via the nearest stairwell or street/grade level exit. It is the responsibility of the Evacuation Monitors to assist everyone in leaving the buildings and to ensure that no one remains behind. Each of the seven SEAS buildings has a documented Emergency Action Plan (EAP) which is updated by the SEAS Office of the Dean each July and sent to department and center managers accordingly. The EAP outlines assembly points and additional information/best practices.
2.6 Safety Education and Training
EHS offers a mandatory series of seminars on safety topics during the academic year. Descriptions of available training are provided in the Training Section of the EHS Web Page. All individuals working in a lab must first completed the appropriate series of training modules offered by EHS.
2.7 Personal Protective Equipment
Requirements for the selection and use of PPE can be found on the EHS web page https://ehs.princeton.edu/laboratory-research/laboratory-safety/ppe-the-lab
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. 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.
2.8 Safety Showers and Eyewashes
Safety showers and eye wash stations are tested by Special Facilities (609-258-4565) annually at a minimum, or as requested by the PI. Eye wash stations are flushed monthly and 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 Facilities. 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: 609-258-3490
2.9 Chemical Safety Information
Each department of the SEAS has a Chemical Hygiene Plan and a Chemical Hygiene Officer. As a best practice, 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.
2.11 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 609-258-5294 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 609-258-5294 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.
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 EHS. Any user of radioactive materials or radiation producing equipment shall attend radiation safety training offered by EHS.
Contact, SEAS Office of the Dean
SEAS Director for Administration, Finance and Planning
SEAS Assistant Director, Facilities and Building Services