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The Department of Chemistry at York University is committed to a healthy and safe work environment for all students and staff. ​

  • SAFETY GLASSES/GOGGLES AND LAB COATS MUST BE WORN at all times. They are intended to prevent accidents from chemical splashes and breaking glass. Contact lenses are NOT recommended in the laboratory, especially when using volatile organic solvents. 
  • EATING, DRINKING, and SMOKING are not allowed in the laboratory. 
  • Closed-toed shoes and full-length pants must be worn in the lab. 
  • Use common sense, e.g. do not leave papers or flammable solvents near lit Bunsen burners. 
  • Know the location of the safety showers and eye-wash stations. 
  • Know where the fire extinguishers and the first-aid boxes are located. 
  • Never use cracked or broken glassware. They are liable to cause an accident. 
  • Keep your bench-top clean and uncluttered, to avoid unnecessary accidents. 
  • Take due care when handling chemicals and solvents. If they are spilled, let your T.A., lab supervisor or professor know about it. 
  • Disposable gloves can protect your hands from accidental exposures to small quantities of materials. Solvents can, however, seep through gloves. Replace your gloves if something spills on them and properly dispose of contaminated gloves. 
  • Do not carry hazards outside the lab. Remove your gloves when leaving the lab.  
  • All accidents, no matter how small, must be reported to the lab supervisor or instructor. 

The labels on bottles and jars of chemicals carry symbols indicating any dangers associated with their use: 

Pictogram of potential Chemistry hazards
  1. Notify your supervisor immediately.​
  2. Refer to the YorkU Emergency Response Guide for protocols in case of a fire, gas leak, flood, hazardous material spill, and other safety-related emergencies.​
  3. If you require medical attention, the nearest emergency room is Humber River Hospital.​
  4. Complete a Workplace Incident Report with your supervisor. Submit the form to Health, Safety & Employee Well-Being (HSEWB) ( within 24 hours of the incident.

Health and Safety Training

Faculty of Science – Health and Safety
(information about important procedures and training)​

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) database
A SDS for a given substance is designed to provide both lab workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or working with that substance. The SDS will include information such as physical data, toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures.​

If the situation is… ​

life threatening call 911

an urgent matter call ext. 33333 or 416-736-5333 (Campus Security)​

a hazardous spill call ext. 55491 or 416-736-5491 (HSEWB)