Safety Newsletter

July, 2022

Hello and Happy July!

Hope you are all enjoying the lovely weather this summer! This edition of the Safety Newsletter has learnings from recent incidents and tips for faculty, staff and students to keep everyone informed and safe!

Image of green pencil on an accident information form


The Workers Compensation Act (WCA) defines an incident to include: an accident or other occurrence which resulted in or had the potential for causing an injury or occupational disease. All incidents should be reported even if there was no injury. There are NO consequences for reporting an incident but they can be valuable learning opportunities for everyone.

Recent incidents (learning opportunities):

  • Popped Shoulder Injury: A worker was tightening a fitting in a small space and raised the shoulder for more leverage. After applying pressure, the shoulder popped causing pain.
    • Takeaways:
      • Evaluate the space and consider the movement needed to complete work safely before starting the task.
      • Do not over‐extend or over‐exert yourself – know your limits!
  • Drum Dryer Pinch: A worker was operating a mechanical rotating press and their hand slipped into a pinch point between the rollers, crushing the tips of their fingers. The machine was turned off and fellow lab members rushed over to extricate the worker’s hand from the device.
    • Takeaways:
      • Check that guards and safety devices are properly installed and working before using equipment. NEVER remove or bypass safety guards on equipment.
      • Ensure appropriate work alone procedures are in place / work with another lab member present when operating dangerous equipment
  • Cut Hand from Metal Burr: A worker was wiping metal debris off a newly installed countertop with their hand and sliced their palm on a metal burr.
    • Takeaways:
      • Always be sure to use the appropriate tools for the job (a brush or vacuum in this case) – no matter how small!

How to report an incident? For Emergencies: Call 911, then first aid (604‐822‐4444). First aid is available 24/7. Once injuries have been attended to, immediately advise your supervisor and Report using UBC CAIRS.

Safety Information and Quizzes:

A cartoon sign saying "Quiz" on it. Background is blue, sign is white. Sign also includes some colored exclamation points and a check mark.

New information on safety topics as well as some fantastic resources are provided in the CHBE Safety Orientation Canvas page to help you complete your research safely! To help check if you learned the materials, be sure to complete the CHBE Safety Quizzes. There will be a new topic and quiz posted with each new newsletter that comes out.

QR code to access BERP document

The last quiz was on Emergency Response, referencing to the 2022 Building Emergency Response Plan (BERP). The scores were incredibly high on this quiz – great job to everyone who participated. It will remain available for reference so you can recheck your knowledge. The BERP is here or via the QR codes that have been posted in all of the labs!

The newest safety topic and quiz is on Inspections and Audits to clarify and inform about appropriate standards and procedures for lab and experiment inspections. This is especially relevant with our Annual Lab Inspections currently being conducted through these summer months. The Inspections quiz (and the rest of the quizzes) can be found here.


On the note of annual lab inspections, there have been a number of inspections so far, most of which were really incredible – just a few minor things to fix up – great work so far! One lab did not have a single deficiency to correct! Kudos and thank you to Dr. Englezos for taking such incredible care of your lab and ensuring that safety is a number one priority.

Safety Tip:

Photo of the recycling symbol, surrounded by materials that can be recycled

Amber Glass Disposal:

Amber glass used to simply be reused for hazardous waste or disposed of with other glass waste, but we are happy to announce that CHBE has started amber glass recycling! Simply bring your clean, empty amber glass bottles down to CHBE 176 for us to take care of for you! Please refer to the Amber Glass Poster for more details on what can or cannot be accepted.

Fume Hood Regulations:

Fume hoods are used in labs to ensure harmful vapours and gases are exhausted out of the lab to protect researchers. Work Safe BC regulates the installation and operation of fume hoods and all CHBE fume hoods are tested annually to confirm they meet the standards. To ensure safe fume hood operations:

  • Do not store chemical in fume hoods
  • Keep equipment in fume hoods at least 15 cm from the front of the fume hood
  • Maintain the sash opening within the operational range
  • Check the fume hood monthly as per the Monthly Lab Safety Checklist

Safety Updates:

  • COVID‐19 Protocols: As of June 30th, 2022, face masks are no longer required in public spaces here at UBC. However, we continue to recommend use of face masks as COVID cases continue to occur. Please remain respectful of those who choose to wear masks. For more information, read the full UBC Broadcast here.
  • Fire Wardens: With an upcoming fire drill later in the summer, we are looking for individuals to volunteer as a Fire Warden of their floor. This would involve aiding in the evacuation during the drill (all routes, training, PPE, etc. are provided). Please contact the safety coordinator for more details or if this interests you!

Should you have any comments, questions, concerns, or otherwise on any safety material, please be sure to reach out to the Safety Coordinator –

Thank you!
Erin Hagen 😊
Safety Coordinator