All News

June 17, 2024

What happened?

A researcher walking towards an optical table was exposed to a laser beam that reflected off a hex ball driver tool.  Another researcher at a nearby bench was installing an optical component on a breadboard when the hex ball driver he was using inadvertently moved into an active beam path. The hex ball tool had a reflective surface.

May 22, 2024

The annual material handling and storage safety self-inspection period is here! As a reminder, facilities are asked to conduct self-inspections each year to supplement EH&S inspections in order to promote safety awareness and safe work practices. These inspections are also in compliance with the UC Berkeley Workplace Safety Program and thus, Cal/OSHA annual safety inspection requirements.

Complete a self-inspection via RSS Inspect by Friday, June 7, 2024.

May 13, 2024

Working in high temperatures can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. It is important to take precautions and to be prepared for high heat conditions. Please share this information with supervisors and employees in your department that work outdoors or may be exposed to high temperatures indoors during their workday. 

May 2, 2024

Need a clean lab coat?

Get it by campus mail or in-person

April 23, 2024

A NEW Field Hazards section is now live in UC Berkeley's Lab Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT)

What to expect? 

During recertification of existing assessments, PIs will see a new fieldwork screening question. If any members of your research group conduct fieldwork or research off-campus, mark "Yes."  

Example fieldwork activities include:

  • specimen collection

April 16, 2024

Following these simple steps supports safe and successful research.

Five reminders for the Spring/Summer fieldwork & travel season

  1. Register all University travel >100 miles via UC Away (Calnet login required) for travel insurance documentation, 24/7 travel assistance, and a destination-specific trip brief. 

April 9, 2024

The California Retail Food Code regulates food service for Non-Profit Charitable Organizations. This includes Registered Student Organizations (RSOsat UC Berkeley. The Code restricts organizations from holding more than four events per calendar year where food is served to the public and requires approval by a Local Enforcement AGENCY (LEA).

March 21, 2024

The annual shop safety self-inspection period is here! As a reminder, shops are asked to conduct self-inspections each year to supplement EH&S inspections in order to promote safety awareness and safe work practices.

March 20, 2024

In response to a directive from the UC Office of the President on December 15, 2023, Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) will be working closely with campus departments to establish appropriate practices for both initial tagging and ongoing maintenance of chemical inventories as part of multiyear implementation of UCOP’s 

February 22, 2024

Annual General Lab Safety Inspections will begin soon.

Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) lab safety specialists are in the process of scheduling an in-person inspections for labs.

February 5, 2024

The Biological Use Authorization (BUA) submission process is moving to the Risk & Safety Solutions (RSS) software system, RSS BUA, in time for the April CLEB Meeting! EH&S will be transferring your existing BUA data into the new system.

January 25, 2024

The beginning of the year is the perfect time to review the following key points to help prevent contamination of food and beverages.

January 23, 2024

Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) is preparing the 2024 Manufactured Nanoscale Materials Disclosure for the City of Berkeley.

If you use nanoscale materials in your lab, and

    a. you have never filled out the Nanoscale Materials Information Form,


    b. you have begun using new nanoscale materials, or a new class of materials, in your lab, 

January 9, 2024

Leaking cylinders can pose serious hazards, including: oxygen displacement, release of toxic or other hazardous gas, and/or fire/explosion due to flammable or reactive gas release. If your lab works with compressed gas, please be aware that older cylinders are prone to leaking at the valve.

What to do

Please follow the precautions below to prevent gas cylinder leaks:

December 12, 2023

Information for Biological Use Authorization (BUA) holders

We are modernizing the Biological Use Authorization (BUA) submission process by moving to the online UC Risk & Safety Solutions software system (“RSS BUA”).

December 7, 2023

EH&S needs your extra lab coats!

When researchers leave the lab or the university, many lab coats are left behind and remain unused. This occupies valuable space and prevents EH&S from reissuing coats.

1. Return Surplus Lab Coats.

To sustain our campus-funded lab coat program, please return any surplus coats by following the instructions.

October 18, 2023

Information for Researchers

Earlier this fall, Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) launched a new lab coat laundry process.

Please perform the following steps if your lab coat is in need of laundering:

October 2, 2023

The following lessons learned reports detail what went wrong and what corrective actions have been taken or will take place to address the incidents. 

September 25, 2023

What happened?

A researcher was heating a small volume (<30mL) of hexanes/ethyl acetate containing approximately one gram of an organic azide. The solution was placed in a capped, 40mL pyrex media storage bottle. Holding the bottle of the azide solution in their left hand, the researcher was heating it with a heat gun with their right hand behind a horizontal fume hood sash protecting their face and torso. 

What happened?

Using dry Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO) as solvent, a reaction between an organic macrocycle and bromoethane was placed in a round bottom pressure vessel. The reaction was heated using armor aluminum beads in a stainless steel bowl sitting atop a hotplate. The setup was briefly left unattended inside a fume hood with the sash closed.