Students are expected to learn and adhere to the following safety guidelines to ensure a safe laboratory environment for the student and the people he/she may be working near. Students who fail to follow any safety rule may be asked to leave the lab or suffer grading penalties.
Once the student reviews the Safety Notes and Department Policies below, he/she must sign the Safety Notes and Department Policies Signature Sheet. By signing this sheet, the student acknowledges that he/she has read and understands all aspects of the Department of Chemistry’s Safety Rules and Policies and releases Northern Michigan University and the Department of Chemistry of any and all liability.


  • Any student with medical concerns should seek the advice of a physician before attending labs.
  • No student shall work in the laboratory when under the influence of substances (alcohol or drugs, including prescription, over the counter, or recreational) that would impair laboratory activities and create an unsafe environment.
  • No student shall work in a laboratory outside of regularly scheduled classes without permission from their instructor.
  • No student shall work in a laboratory alone without permission.
  • Guests are not permitted in the laboratory.
  • Do not perform unauthorized experiments in the lab.


  • Even though the instructor will discuss potential hazards before beginning the experiment, you should familiarize yourself with the experiment (chemicals, procedure, and equipment) before class.  Material safety data sheets of chemicals used in the lab can be found at
  • Clothing must fully cover your torso, legs, feet, and upper arms.
  • Keep benches and aisles free from clutter.  Backpacks, coats, and personal items must be put away.
  • There will be NO food or beverage allowed in the laboratory, this includes chewing gum.
  • Confine long hair whenever in the laboratory.
  • Wear approved safety goggles at ALL times and gloves as needed.
  • Do not use broken or chipped glassware, or damaged equipment.
  • Dispose of broken glass in the glass disposal boxes only.
  • The use of cellphones and laptops are only allowed upon the instructor’s permission.
  • Never use an open flame to heat organic solvents.
  • Never leave an experiment unattended.
  • Note odors of chemicals only when told to do so, then waft the fumes only.
  • Dispose of chemicals as directed by the lab instructor.
  • Wash your hands before leaving the lab.
  • In case of spills, leaks, injury, fire, or any other unsafe situation, notify the instructor immediately.
  • Report all spills or broken glass immediately.  Clean up as instructed by the lab instructor.
  • If you get a chemical in your eyes, a burn or cut, flood the injured area with water for 15-20 minutes.
  • Report any injury to the instructor.

Print a copy of the safety sheet here.