The health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors are a priority at UTIAS.
Legal requirements are dictated by the Occupational Health & Safety Act (1979) and the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System Regulation (1987) as they pertain to the responsibilities of the employer, the supervisor and the worker.
UTIAS houses several experimental laboratories that may use potentially harmful chemicals, operate heavy machinery and more. The purpose of this section is to provide a starting point for reviewing Health & Safety information and a reference point for UTIAS students, staff and visitors.
Please note that the University offers a WHMIS training session at the beginning of each fall term. This seminar is mandatory for all applicable students and staff before undertaking research and/or work here, at the Institute.
For information on the seminar, contact Jeff Cook at 416-667-7724.
If you have any questions about health and safety issues not covered here, please contact any member of the Health and Safety committee.
To ensure that you are adhering the required safety procedures of UTIAS please be aware of the following resources available to all staff, students and visitors:
For detailed University Safety policies and procedures please visit University of Toronto Environmental Health and Safety.
|Dr. P.R. Grant||Managerial Co-chair, certified||Rm. 116||416-667-7726 email@example.com|
|Jeff Cook||Worker Co-chair, USWA||Rm. 140||416-667-7724
|Peter Miras||Worker Rep. CUPE, certified||Rm. 140||416-667-7723 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chris Coggon||Non-Union/Non-Managerial Workers Rep.||416-667-7739
|Sandipan Chatterjee||UTIAS Teaching Assts. Rep.|
In addition to the obligations of a joint occupational health and safety committee as specified in the Act, the Committee provides a confidential forum for staff and students to discuss health and safety concerns. The Committee meets four times a year and copies of minutes are kept on file with the co-chairs.
The workplace is inspected four times a year and if safety violations are found, a notice is forwarded to the responsible researcher. Violations must be corrected within a two-week period. The Committee also investigates and reports on all accidents in the Department.
Mandatory WHMIS Training
Some of you may not start work at UTIAS without attending the University’s WHMIS Training Session. This seminar is offered each year during the Fall. Attendance is mandatory if you will be working with chemicals,gasses,adhesives etc.
You should not work alone at any time. After normal business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. or to 4:30 p.m. during July and August) you are advised to work with a “buddy”. A “buddy” can be a colleague in your research group or someone in the same area of the building where you intend to work. Make sure you and your buddy check with each other at regular intervals.
Safety glasses must be worn in the lab when working with chemicals. These are available to you through your Supervisor.
Contact lenses do not protect the eye and may increase the severity of accidents involving chemicals splashed in the face. Therefore, if you wear contacts, you must still use your safety glasses!
Proper gloves should be worn when required, consult MSDS.
Do not let unfamiliar people into the building after hours. If they have legitimate business in the building, they will have a key to let themselves in, just like you.
If you see a suspicious person in the building at any time, report it immediately to your supervisor or the building manager.
Always lock up your valuables.
All users of cryogenics (liquid nitrogen, Argon, Helium) should be aware of the potential for asphyxiation, burns and condensation of O2. Whenever dispensing liquid nitrogen, adequate ventilation must be available.
For more information on cryogenics see EH&S Home Page.
Make sure you know what type of fire you have, what type of extinguisher you need to put it out and where that extinguisher is located. Standard practice is to have the extinguisher in the vicinity in case something does happen.
If the fire cannot be completely extinguished with one extinguisher, leave the area, use a pull station to call the Toronto Fire Department. Notify Univ. of Toronto Emergency Control at 9-978-2222. (After the emergency is over, remember to have any discharged fire extinguishers re-charged)
If possible, wait in the vicinity of the main entrance,to advise attending emergency personnel.
If the fire alarm is activated, quickly leave the building with your personal things such as house/car key, wallet,etc.
Leave the building quickly, making sure you have your personal house/car keys and wallet with you. If possible, shut off any equipment which may be damaged or may cause damage if it comes on automatically with power restoration (beware of power surge).
As fume hoods cease to function during a power outage, no one will be allowed back into that area until it has been adequately ventilated,if required,after power restoration.
Call 9-911 and provide sufficient information to locate the victim and for emergency personnel to anticipate treatment. If possible arrange for attending emergency personnel to be met in the vicinity of the front office. Do not leave the victim. If a chemical is involved, have the MSDS available for emergency personnel.
If the injury is not severe enough to call 911 but you wish to take the victim to a hospital for some treatment, the closest hospital with an emergency room is:
555 Finch Ave W.
Emergency Room Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm.
Keep common chemicals for manageable spills (vermiculite for solvents, sodium bicarbonate for acids) in your lab.
Stop and think. Decide if you can safely handle the spill (from MSDS). If you can handle it safely and choose to clean it up make sure that all materials used in the clean-up are disposed of as hazardous waste (as per WHIMIS regulation).
Steps to be taken calmly in rapid succession:
- Immediately evacuate the area.
- Call Chemical Waste Management at 9-978-7000. After 5:00 p.m. and on weekends call 9-978-2222.
- State your name, location, chemical and amount spilled (be precise).
- Report to Safety Officer (667-7723), Administrative Manager (667-7717) or Chair (677-7868).
- Meet emergency personnel by front entrance to advise
Follow-Up To All Accidents
Report the accident to the Safety Officer. Fill out the appropriate paperwork.
NB: In the case of personal injury, a report must be filed by the University with the Workers’ Compensation Board within 48 hours. Fines are levied for lack of compliance.
It is illegal and unconscionable to dispose of any chemical down the drain or in the garbage.
The Department and University provide convenient, hassle-free disposal mechanisms. Disciplinary action will be taken against anyone found violating disposal procedures.
DO NOT MIX CHEMICALS THAT ARE INCOMPATIBLE.(ie: acids and bases)
All waste from your labs must be properly labeled and in correct waste containers. Labels must show chemical names not formulae. A waste label is not required if the chemical is in its original container.
There are cabinets available for waste storage in the corridor outside of Rm. 135. Please use them. The Key for these cabinets are available at the shipping/receiving area.
Segregation of Wastes:
Put solid flammable waste(ie: oily rags,etc)in “red” waste cans, which are available from stores dept. If you need more of them, see P. Miras at shipping/receiving. Liquid flammables should be placed in proper containers and labelled. There are cabinets outside of Rm 135 strictly for the storage of liquid flammable waste. USE THEM. Keys to the cabinets are available at the shipping/receiving area.
Do not put acid or chlorinated waste in these containers.
Put in glass bottles available from stores dept.
Do not contaminate regular waste with chemical or sharp waste(ie: broken glass). This may cause injury to the people handling regular waste (Housekeeping). Likewise do not contaminate chemical or sharp waste with regular waste.
Radioactive waste is handled exclusively by Radiation Protection 9-978-2050. Contact 9-978-2050 to arrange removal and disposal.
The Occupational Health & Safety Act states that MSDS must be available in the workplace for all hazardous materials. Departmental policy requires those people handling hazardous materials to be familiar with MSDS prior to handling. In addition, the sheets must be readily accessible by all workers who may be exposed to the hazardous material to which it relates.
When ordering chemicals from a supplier, ask the supplier to fax the appropriate sheet to you at your fax number (if this is not requested and the chemical has been ordered recently by others, the suplier does not routinely send the information or may send it to a central point).
Within the Department, MSDS are available from the following sources:
- hard copies in binders, organized alphabetically, located near the shipping/receiving areas.
- Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: On-line databases of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.
- Access for University of Toronto users only.
- Fisher Scientific , then use search function for chemical in question
- University of Toronto Environmental Health & Safety Web Site
- 9-978-7000 Aldrich emergency line
- 1-800-558-MSDS line
Dispose of waste properly.
Keep your lab clutter free.
Do all chemical work in fume hoods.
Keep an up-to-date inventory of chemicals in your lab if you use them.
Know available escape routes.
Know location of fire extinguishers,pull stations, first-aid stations.
When the Fire Alarm sounds, LEAVE THE BUILDING IMMEDIATELY . Know who is trained in first aid and how to contact them.
Know Health & Safety Committee members and how to contact them.
Store any toxic chemicals in a ventilated fume cupboard.
Transport cylinders properly– with caps and strapped into trolleys. Secure cylinders appropriately in your lab. Return trolleys to Shipping/Receiving immediately,so that someone else can transport their cylinders appropriately.