Laboratory Policies for Students

Laboratory Policies for Students

The information presented herein is intended for all students working within the equipment-related laboratories of the School of Engineering. The policies outline the laboratory access and safety practices to be followed to ensure the health and safety of all students. SEPARATE POLICIES APPLY TO THE COMPUTER LABORATORIES (login).


The School's engineering equipment-related laboratory policies are written to make you aware of your surroundings so that you will be less likely to be injured as you work. Remember that you are responsible for:

  • Your own health and safety.
  • The health and safety of those around you.
  • The security and the safe use of equipment and facilities that you have been authorized to use.
  • Understanding and complying with all laboratory policies.

General Laboratory Policies

In order to manage risks, it is necessary to limit access to equipment, laboratories, workshops, and certain storage facilities. The following general policies apply to ALL equipment-related laboratories within the School. Policy pertaining to laboratories identified and posted as "machinery laboratory" is also to be followed in addition to the general polices outlined below.

  • Access
    • Having card access does NOT mean you are authorized to access a facility. To be authorized, you MUST have hazards and control measures explained by the faculty/lab coordinator conducting a laboratory for a course in which you are enrolled. Once authorized, you may gain access to that laboratory during the time of your scheduled laboratory or at anytime during open lab hours as posted. THIS ACCESS OUTSIDE OF SCHEDULED LAB HOURS DOES NOT APPLY TO A DESIGNATED "MACHINERY LABORATORY" (see specific polices for machinery laboratories).
    • If you desire access for labs for which you are not normally scheduled, or to gain access outside of scheduled open laboratory hours, you must be authorized and secure the necessary permission. Notification of special use requires that a Request Form for Special Laboratory Access be completed and sent to the School card access coordinator (Sherry Johnson) who will obtain the necessary approvals and assure the update and monitoring of required card access. A request form can be found on the School's Web site at Resources For > Current Students > Laboratory Request.
    • You are not permitted to enter the technician's office area, machine shop or storeroom unless you are in the presence of a faculty or technician or have been specifically authorized. In either case, you should seek advice about any hazards you may encounter.
    • Where access to a facility is restricted, such as by a card access or lock, you are NOT authorized to allow entry by people who do not have authorization for access to that facility. This means that you are NOT allowed to unlock the facility or provide entry for someone else.
    • Because of the unique hazards posed within the "machinery laboratories", no access outside of normal class related laboratory hours is permitted unless specific authorization has been obtained. Procedures for obtaining authorization are described under the machinery laboratory policies. Under NO condition are you permitted to work alone within any of these designated laboratories.
  • Safety
    • You should locate posted information regarding emergency contact information and identify the location of fire extinguishers and eye washes (if appropriate) within the laboratory.
    • You should review and understand all additional posted access, safety warnings, and safety policies for the laboratory.
    • All injuries that occur in the laboratory must be reported immediately to Police and Safety Services (x6101) and the School of Engineering administrative office (x6153).
    • You should not attempt to operate equipment or apparatus unless you are specifically authorized to use that equipment, and you have been advised of any hazards you may encounter.
    • Do not attempt to modify or repair any equipment or apparatus unless you have been authorized to do so.
    • Keep the work area clean and tidy. When you have finished for the day, make sure all tools, equipment, and supplies are returned to their proper storage (including electronic components back to drawers), and the equipment is shut down.
    • If you create a hazard you must control it. It is important to notify and involve a faculty member or technician where the hazard is located.
    • Consumption of food and drink is prohibited in those laboratories where such restrictions are posted.
    • Suitable clothing and footwear as determined by the faculty must be worn in all laboratories. Safety eyewear must be worn in those laboratories where the requirement is posted. Faculty will not allow access if you do not have suitable clothing, eyewear and footwear. As this may affect the completion of your assignments for that laboratory, it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet any requirements.

Designated Machine Laboratory Policies

The following policies pertain to those laboratories designated and posted as a "machinery laboratory" and apply as additions to the general policies cited above.

  • Access and Equipment Use
    • In the machinery laboratories, only students qualified and approved by faculty knowledgeable of equipment operation and safety or a technician, to run equipment may do so. You are not to "teach" unapproved students how to use equipment. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE TRAINING ON ANY MACHINING, OR MACHINE SHOP RELATED EQUIPMENT PRIOR TO USE AND A RECORD OF COMPLETION OF TRAINING IS TO BE ON FILE WITH THE LABORATORY COORDINATOR. A copy of the appropriate Training Request/Approval form can be obtained from the laboratory coordinator whose name is posted outside the machinery laboratory.
    • If you are granted access to the laboratory for a particular project, you are permitted to work on only that project and not on an unauthorized project.
    • A maximum of six (6) authorized students may be in the laboratory without a faculty member.
    • A faculty or staff member must be present in the lab in order for you to operate any foundry equipment or injection molding machines.
    • You are not permitted to bring materials and/or chemicals into the lab without approval from the lab coordinator.
    • Materials in the lab are for class use. All material for projects must be purchased using the project's budget, identified to the project, and separately stored on a space available basis. Do not "borrow" class materials for a special project or project materials for a class. Plan ahead. The cost of unauthorized use of materials will be directly charged to you.
    • It is your responsibility to clean up your workspace immediately and put away all tools before leaving the lab. All tools must be cleaned before they are put away.
    • Normally, all lights and fans are to be turned off when leaving the lab and all doors checked as locked. The fan may be left on as needed in the foundry and paint booth areas and a technician or the laboratory technician should be notified.
  • Safety
    • WHEN POSTED, APPROVED EYE PROTECTION MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES WHILE IN THE LABORATORY, regardless of whether you are a visitor or you are working on the machinery. Eye protection includes protective goggles or safety glasses with side shields.
    • NO SHORTS, TANK TOPS, SANDALS, OR OPEN-TOE SHOES ARE ALLOWED. Long hair must be tied back, long sleeves must be cuffed or rolled up, and loose jewelry secured when working on machinery.
    • DO NOT WORK ALONE IN THE LABORATORY. Use the "buddy" or "two-person" system in order to have a second authorized person present in the laboratory to summon help in case of an accident.
    • IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KNOW THE SAFETY REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE OPERATION OF ANY EQUIPMENT PRIOR TO USING SUCH EQUIPMENT. DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY UNFAMILIAR OPERATIONS. If you have any questions regarding the operation of a machine, ask for help from a qualified faculty member or the laboratory technician. Safety procedures, safe operation of equipment, and fire regulations will be strictly enforced.
    • DO NOT USE EQUIPMENT THAT IS BROKEN, DANGEROUS OR MALFUNCTIONING. Report all such items to the School of Engineering technician (REDC126).
    • In order to prevent injury to you and damage the equipment, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO OVERLOAD THE CAPABILITIES OF THE MACHINERY.
    • SECURELY CLAMP DOWN ALL WORK PIECES. This will prevent work from being lifted up or spun around with the cutters. Use all guards that are available and be wary of points of contact with rotating cutters and chucks.
    • USE PUSH STICKS OR BRASS RODS PROVIDED or some other approved method for keeping fingers away from moving blades and hot plastic.
    • DO NOT LEAVE KEYS IN CHUCK TIGHTENING HOLES OF LATHES, DRILL PRESSES, OR MILLING MACHINES. The key can be thrown out with great force when machinery is turned on. This also applies to wrenches used to tighten the draw bar into the spindles of the milling machines. The chuck key may be inserted in the chuck and the chuck hand tightened when you are finished using the drill press or milling machines.
    • USE A BRUSH OR WOODEN DOWEL TO REMOVE CHIPS FROM THE MACHINING AREA. Chips can be very sharp and often very hot.
    • CLEAN UP THE AREA USING A BRUSH AND DUSTPAN. DO NOT use compressed air to blow chips or plastic pellets off the machinery. DO NOT vacuum oil, oily chips and water. Vacuum the machine and sweep the floor area of any remaining chips or pellets.
  • Violations and Enforcement
    • Engineering faculty, staff and technicians will strictly enforce laboratory policies and safe use practices.
    • Anyone found under the influence of drugs or alcohol or is impaired in such a way as to compromise safety will immediately be asked to leave. Offenders will have their lab privileges revoked for the semester.
    • Any violation of machinery laboratory policies or witness of an unsafe act will result in the loss of authorized laboratory access. Depending on the severity of the violation, you may lose your lab access privileges from a minimum of three (3) days to a full semester. Because this may limit your ability to complete laboratory assignments, a reduction in course grade or failure of the course may result.