Lab Safety

Providing support, in the form of risk assessment, review, consultation(link sends e-mail), training, and the necessary resources and guidance for research at UC Berkeley.

Suggested Job Duties for Department Safety Coordinators

Office of Environment, Health & Safety

Department Safety Coordinators (DSCs) are a vital part of the campus safety structure. Yet at times there is confusion about what tasks are appropriate for the role. The Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) has developed the following task descriptions to guide campus departments in assigning responsibilities to DSCs. The language used is appropriate for insertion into job descriptions, a practice that can help clarify expectations for both DSCs and their supervisors. Departments should feel free to modify the task descriptions to meet their unique needs. EH&S staff...

Laura Flores

Associate Biosafety Officer / High Containment Facilities Director
Lab Safety

Olga Draper

Associate Biosafety Officer
Lab Safety

Skin Burns from Heating Glass Vessel

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.

Fume Hood Sash Cracks due to Reaction Vessel Overpressurization

September 25, 2023
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.

Without a means for temperature control, the hotplate generated excess heat, which in turn produced excess pressure. Overpressurization caused the round bottom vessel to shatter. Glass shards along with the aluminum heating beads...

Laboratory Safety Self-inspections

Each year, EH&S initiates and tracks the completion of lab safety self-inspections, which are conducted by principal investigators or their delegates. The topics covered are designed to supplement inspections conducted by EH&S in order to facilitate safety awareness and ownership within the lab.

The self-inspection questionnaire can be viewed prior to initiating the self-inspections: Lab Safety Self-inspection Questions.

Compliance Requirement


Electrical Safety Program

Electrical Safety at UC Berkeley

The UC Berkeley Electrical Safety Program provides information about electrical hazards, guides University safe-work policy, electrical safety procedures, equipment design, development and installation for all electrical work, equipment and systems at UC Berkeley. All faculty, staff, students, visitors and contractors must comply with the requirements of this program as it ensures their safety by:

Defining safe work practices and use requirements for...

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Labs

EH&S provides campus researchers with lab coats, safety glasses, and goggles. We also provide shared protective equipment to labs, such as face shields and protective aprons.

Please contact the PPE coordinator at or by calling (510) 642-3073 if you have any questions or comments about personal protective equipment for your lab.

Equipment and Tool Safety

Providing resources and guidance for the safe use of tools by UC Berkeley personnel.

UC Center for Laboratory Safety - 2023 Workshop

July 24, 2023
2023 Workshop on Laboratory Safety

The UC Center for Laboratory Safety (UCCLS) will be hosting a hands-on in-person workshop to promote research safety for researchers and safety professionals on Sunday, September 17 - Tuesday September 19 in Los Angeles.

About the Workshop