Safety in the Laboratory
To ensure safe practices in the lab, please refer to our safety manuals and emergency/spill reponse protocols on the Safety Manuals page.
Our mission is to partner with researchers across campus to ensure that laboratory research is conducted safely and according to federal and institutional guidelines. It is our belief that research safety is essential to the responsible conduct of scientific inquiry.
The University of Chicago established the Office of Research Safety to pair rigorous inquiry with safe laboratory practices. Three hazards commonly found in research labs are biological, chemical, and radiological. Our programs are designed to address these hazards by providing up-to-date information, training, and consultation delivered by our experienced teams. The University of Chicago and Office of Research Safety ensures that safety of all laboratory personnel, non-laboratory personnel, and the environment remains a top priority.
Our Biological Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling and disposal of all hazardous biological materials. Hazardous biological substances may include viruses, toxins, and pathogenic organisms.
Our Chemical Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling and disposal of all hazardous chemical substances. Some examples of hazardous chemical substances include carcinogens, neurotoxins, corrosive materials, etc.
Our Radiation Safety Team focuses on providing training and guidance on the safe handling, disposal and monitoring of all radioactive materials. Radioactive materials are defined as any material that spontaneously emits ionizing radiation. Our team also oversees the best safety practices for the use of X-rays and lasers.