Safety in the Laboratory

Several labs in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department have equipment that can pose a danger if used improperly. All students, teaching assistants and faculty using the lab, should be aware of the risks that are present in the particular lab they are working in. Inside the main door of every lab in the department there are two posters— an information poster and a safety poster.

The information poster:

  • outlines the general rules governing the use of the lab,
  • lists networked printer names and locations,
  • lists the name(s), telephone extension, office number and email address of the Engineering Support contact responsible for the equipment in the lab.

The colour-coded safety poster:

  • lists the safety precautions that should be taken when using the lab,
  • identifies the dangers and possible risks in that lab, and
  • describes the procedures to follow in case of emergencies.
The safety posters are colour-coded based on the severity of the risk: high-risk labs are coded with RED POSTERS, medium-risk labs with YELLOW POSTERS and low-risk labs with GREEN POSTERS. The sections that follow, explain each type of environment.

HIGH-RISK LABS (RED POSTER)

  • Electrical Power, floor and wall outlets are at 120 Volts AC. If you come in contact with 120 Volts AC it could be fatal; take appropriate safety precautions.
  • 208 Volts 3-Phase AC and 120 Volts DC exist in this lab. If you come in contact with any of these voltages it could be fatal; take appropriate safety precautions.
  • Power Supplies in this lab generate fatal voltage levels.
  • Improper use of test equipment will pose a danger.
  • Eye and muscle strain due to prolonged use of the computer. Take frequent breaks to relieve eye and muscle strain.

MEDIUM-RISK LABS (YELLOW POSTER)

  • Electrical Power, floor and wall outlets are at 120 Volts AC. If you come in contact with 120 Volts AC it could be fatal; take appropriate safety precautions.
  • Power Supplies in this lab could expose you to fatal voltages.
  • Improper use of test equipment will pose a danger.
  • Eye and muscle strain due to prolonged use of the computer. Take frequent breaks to relieve eye and muscle strain.

LOW-RISK LABS (GREEN POSTER)

  • Electrical Power, floor and wall outlets are at 120 Volts AC. If you come in contact with 120 Volts AC it could be fatal; take appropriate safety precautions.
  • Eye and muscle strain due to prolonged use of the computer. Take frequent breaks to relieve eye and muscle strain.

WHAT TO DO IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

The following instructions apply to all locations on campus:

  • In case of Emergency, dial 80 on any campus telephone (RED button on pay phones), go to a safe location.
  • If you discover a fire: pull the closest fire alarm, dial 80 from a safe location on any campus telephone (RED button on pay phones), and give Security all the pertinent facts.
  • IF YOU HEAR OR SEE THE FIRE ALARM ACTIVATE, YOU MUST EVACUATE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY.

SAFETY DEVICES IN LABS/BUILDING

Please be aware of the following emergency devices:

  • RED Emergency Power Shut Off (EPO) buttons, know the location of these buttons before starting work.
  • Blue Destress Pulls, know the location of the these Pulls.
  • Pay phones with RED emergency button, know the location.

GENERAL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

The following precautions apply to all labs:

  • Report any unsafe conditions, such as broken or frayed power cables, to your Professor, TA or Engineering Support.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; familiarize yourself with the location of the Blue Emergency Pull Stations, Telephones, Fire alarm Pulls.
  • Always consult Material Safety Data Sheets before using any chemical or hazardous materials.
  • Never work alone late at night.

GENERAL LAB RULES

The following rules apply to all labs:

  • No food or drink allowed in the lab.
  • No offensive computer screens.
  • No tampering with wires or network cables.
  • No use of illegal software.
  • No attempting to compromise network security.

General Safety Practices in the Laboratory

The Laboratories in the Electrical Department provide students with the best opportunity to gain practical knowledge. Students, Staff and Faculty should make themselves aware of the possible hazards that may be present in the laboratory. Following are some general guidelines that can be used to reduce the risk of injury caused by laboratory hazards.