Center for Atmospheric and Space Sciences
Like all of the departments in the College of Science, CASS is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and faculty. We strive to teach appropriate respect for safety while engaging in scientific pursuits. Center faculty and the CASS Safety Committee work to ensure that all laboratories and shops are compliant with federal, state, local, and USU sa fety requirements.
All persons who work in CASS research laboratories or shops are required to read and understand (i) the USU Safety and Health Policy and (ii) the CASS General Safety Requirements (see below). At the bottom of this page is a form for confirmation that one has read and understood these policies.
In addition to these general USU and CASS policies, each laboratory is required to have a set of specific safety policies that are outlined in an appropriate Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP). Each laboratory is also required to have a Specific Operating Procedure (SOP) that details safety protocol associated with each potentially hazardous material or process. All persons working in each lab are required to understand the CHP and any appropriate SOPs.
CASS General Safety Requirements
I. Hazard Communication
- Signage - All labs and shops should have a sign posted on the entry that provides contact information for the lab PI or manager, department head, and emergency personnel. The sign should also include a summary of potential hazards, and notice that only authorized personnel may enter.
- Safety Documentation - Each research lab is required to have readily available the following documentation: (i) An appropriate chemical hygiene plan (CHP), (ii) any relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and (ii) any relevant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).
II. General Guidelines
- PPE – Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is required when working in the research laboratories. PPE may include goggles or safety glasses, a lab coat, and proper gloves. Specific lab entry requirements and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hazardous activities can be found in the safety documentation of each laboratory.
- Food and drinks - Food and drinks are not allowed in laboratory. Food and drink containers must be disposed outside the laboratory.
- Shoes - Shoes should cover the entire foot. Sandals, clogs, and other open-toed or open-heeled shoes do not cover enough foot and are not allowed.
- Hair - Hair should not be worn in a style such as would impair vision, cause distractions during job functions, or come in contact with work surfaces or moving equipment.
- Emergency equipment - Anyone working in a research lab or shop should know the locations of the closest fire extinguisher, eye-wash station, safety shower, first aid box and chemical spill materials.
- Emergency exit - Exits and aisles must not be obstructed by equipment, chairs, supplies, or trash. Exit doors must not be blocked, locked, or obstructed in any way to inhibit egress.
III. Handling of Chemicals
- Fume hood - Always make sure any fume hood is operational before use. Open the sash to proper height when performing a procedure. Avoid opening the sash too high as this may reduce the effectiveness of air flow. Avoid overaccumulation of items in the fume hood that may restrict the air flow. Lower the sash after performing the procedure.
- Chemical transport - For transporting chemicals outside the laboratory, always place the chemicals in secondary confinement and transport on a cart. The hand carrying of chemicals outside the laboratory is absolutely forbidden. When transporting chemicals within the laboratory always wear PPE including gloves, goggles, and lab coat, and carry the chemicals with caution. Never grab a container by the cap. Return the chemical to its designated storage site after use.
- Chemical storage – All chemicals must be stored appropriately with other compatible chemicals/materials. Refer to chemical Safety Data Sheets for storage information.
- Hazardous waste – All laboratory chemical and hazardous waste must be disposed of through the EHS Office Hazardous Waste Pickup process. Chemical waste must NOT be put in trash waste bins or poured down any drain.
- Housekeeping - Good housekeeping is an essential aspect of laboratory safety. The work area must be cleaned up at the end of each procedure and prior to the start of a new procedure.
- Chemical spills - You must know the location of spill clean up material in your laboratory. You must know the Spill Prevention and Response procedure for your laboratory.
EH&S Safety Training CoursesThe USU Environmental Health and Safety office offers a wide variety of safety courses. These course include safety topics related to biology, chemistry, laser, physical, radiation, and waste and recycling. The EH&S Laboratory Personnel webpage lists all available courses. From this page one may register for any of the offered courses.
Accidents and Near Misses
All safety related accidents and near misses must be reported to CASS and the EH&S Office. Each entity has its own forms; links to these forms are provided below.
Accident Reporting Forms
The Accident Report forms are used to document all laboratory or shop based incidents within CASS that have resulted in (i) personal injury and/or (ii) property damage that required the involvement of USU Facilities, Environmental Health & Safety, Risk Assessment, or local fire and/or law-enforcement officials. Please fill out both forms following an accident.
CASS Accident Reporting Form
EH&S Office Accident Reporting Form
Near Miss Reporting Forms
The Near Miss forms should be used to describe non-injury situations within laboratories or shops in CASS that could have resulted in injury or property damage under slightly different circumstances. Portions of the general information provided on this form may be used for future training purposes.
CASS Near Miss Reporting Form
EH&S Office Near Miss Reporting Form
Completed CASS forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Atmospheric Lidar Observatory
(SER Room 315 and the telescope hall)
Unless authorized by CASS and the PI, because of new USU safety rules, the two lidars are temporarily closed to the public until further notice.
Students and others who work in the lidar labs and observatory must be aware of the following items that may cause potential dangers:
- Very intense laser light
- Extremely high voltages
- Reactive and flammable chemicals
- Steep and high ladders and structures
- Chemicals should only be handled by the personnel who have finished the USU hazardous training course.
- When working on the lasers, please wear proper goggle all the time and do not block the laser beam, except using the right power meters.
- When having trouble with high voltage power supply, unplug the unit and contact PI for further instruction.
- When climbing on anything, be comfortable with doing so and be cautious and responsible for your own safety.
- If working in the lab over 1-hour, please fill out the sign in sheet.
Person of contact:
- Yuan, SER room 318D, phone #435-797-2959
- Wickwar, SER Room 218E, phone # 435-797-3641
Other University Resources
CASS Buildings Safety Information
(25th July, 2017)
Science-Engineering Research Building (SER):
CASS Rooms 220 A,B,C,D,E - Research Offices:
No hazardous instruments or materials.
CASS Rooms 209 and 211 - Connected student office space and video lab:
No hazardous instruments or materials.
CASS Room 205 - Camera and instrument development, testing and storage:
Hazards: Cleaning fluids (Isopropyl alcohol, ethanol), paint, high voltage instruments, mechanical and electrical tools
Senior personnel access only. Student access by permission.
CASS Room 023: Research equipment storage:
No hazardous instruments or materials
Senior personnel Access only. Student access by permission.
Bear Lake Observatory (BLO):
Visitors to BLO should first seek approval from senior personnel.
All visitors to BLO must sign in with Melanie Oldroyd prior to visit (for insurance purposes).Tel: 435-797-2961; e-mail: Melanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
No student access to building without prior permission of senior personnel
Take care: Sensitive optical and radar instruments: high voltage instrumentation.
List of Senior Personnel (for permission):
Mike Taylor, SER room 220c; Tel: 435-797-3919; e-mail: email@example.com
P-Dominique Pautet, SER room 220b; Tel 435-797-8128, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yucheng Zhao, SER room 220d; Tel 435-797-8128; e-mail: email@example.com
Don Rice, SER room 218b; Tel 435-881-3355; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org