Safety Newsletter

September, 2022

Hello and Welcome Back Everyone!

Hope you are all soaking in the last bit of sun before fall begins! As you return from summer activities to academic and research, take a moment and review your lab safety practices


The Workers Compensation Act (WCA) defines an incident as: an accident or other occurrence which resulted in or had the potential for causing an injury or occupational disease. All incidents must 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):

  • Splashed Solvent on Face: A worker and colleague were filtering a sample when the tube flipped and splashed onto their lab coat, face, and eye. Medical care was required.
    • Takeaways:
      • Take your time with every step of your process – no rushing!
      • Wear appropriate PPE, including lab goggles, when handling hazardous materials.
  • Minor Foot Injury: A worker was assembling a retractable banner and let the banner go before it was fully latched. The retracted banner hit and bruised their foot.
    • Takeaways:
      • Ensure you are properly trained and familiar with all equipment before using it.
  • Degassing Chamber Failure: A worker was throttling a vacuum chamber with a sample inside when the device imploded. The lid was sucked inwards breaking the beaker and sending glass flying into the face of the worker. First aid and medical care was required – worker needed stitches.
    • Takeaways:
      • Always wear the appropriate PPE in the lab, including safety glasses.
      • Ensure that appropriate start up procedures are being followed.

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:

New information on safety topics as well as some fantastic resources is 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.

The July quiz was on Inspections and Audits to clarify for everyone what inspections should be done, by whom, and when. All inspections – monthly, annual, and audits – are completed in order to comply with WorkSafe BC regulations. Please review to ensure that your lab is not missing anything!

The September safety topic and quiz is on Personal Protective Equipment. Minimum mandatory PPE in CHBE/CERC/PPC/BRIC/Gas Gun Labs is lab coat, safety glasses, closed toe shoes, and long pants. Additional niche suggestions that could be helpful to lab users are provided as well. You can take this, and all older quizzes in the CHBE Safety Orientation Canvas Course, under Quizzes.


We have randomly selected an individual to receive a $20 coffee card for completing the aforementioned Inspections and Audits Safety Quiz from July. Congratulations to Carlos Alvarez Rosario who is our big winner! Be sure to complete this month’s quiz for perhaps another secret prize next time! Safety audits are an essential and basic tool for establishing and maintaining safe conditions and finding unsafe practices in the workplace. They are a practical way to identify and correct unsafe conditions. With annual lab inspections complete, we have had so many terrific labs with almost no deficiencies. A special shout out to Dr. Fariborz and his hard‐working team for having ZERO deficiencies and reflecting what safety should look like in the labs – thanks!!

Safety Tip:

Pressure gauges: Please use caution when swapping around pressure gauges supplied with equipment. Never change pressure gauges to display a lower range than the max possible output from the regulator. If you exceed the maximum range of the gauge, you have no idea of the actual pressure which is a huge safety risk! Best practice is to purchase regulators with the gauges to ensure perfect compatibility.

Safety Updates:

  • Autoclave Training: Individuals requesting access to the UG autoclave MUST have completed autoclave training. Contact Erin, for training, resources and for a demo. Additional reminder, do NOT provide access to individuals who have not completed training.

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