FACULTY OF ENGINEERINGCIVIL ENGINEERING


Health & Safety

 

METU Civil Engineering Laboratory Rules

 

“Laboratory personnel” refers to the total of laboratory technicians, engineers, and faculty members who are responsible for the particular laboratory where you intend to work.

  • If your lab has an RFID lock, have your ID card activated by the authorized laboratory personnel, so that you can enter the lab.
  • Almost all equipment is stored in closets. If these are locked, laboratory personnel have the keys and are in the lab during work hours. If you need to use something outside of work hours, get the equipment in advance. Alternatively, ask to borrow a key (whether keys are lent might differ among different laboratories).
  • Know the location of exits, telephones, fire extinguishers, material safety data sheets, safety showers and eye washes for use (either your own use or to assist someone else) in case of emergency.
  • Wear protective clothing and tools (lab coats, safety glasses, goggles, hard hat/helmet, steel toe shoes etc.) which require them.
  • If you break or damage something by accident, it is acceptable only if you tell laboratory personnel about it.
  • If you are unsure of something, ask the laboratory personnel.
  • If you don’t know how to use certain equipment (even in the case that you know how to operate similar equipment), don’t try to figure it out by yourself.
  • No food or drinks in the lab.
  • Clean everything after use.
  • Do not wash particulate material (sand, gravel, metal pieces, etc. – small amounts of mud or clay is acceptable) or potentially adhesive material (cement, glue, epoxy, etc.) into the sink.
  • Put everything back to their places after using and cleaning them. 

 

 

Laboratory Hazards

 

Hazard

sources

countermeasures

Electricity

- damaged sockets/plugs/cables

- water near electrical devices

- If you fix or modify electrical devices, make sure they are disconnected from power. If it can’t be disconnected, turn off the main power switches of the room. Generally, leave such tasks to professional electricians.

- Don’t try to fix damaged cables, replace them with new ones.

- Don’t wet electrical equipment.

Fire

- blowtorch

- Bunsen burner

- oven

- damaged sockets/plugs/cables

- Don’t hold flammable objects (cloth, paper towel, etc.) in your hand when working with bunsen burners.

- Don’t lean over bunsen burners.

- Don’t put flammable liquids near bunsen burners.

- Replace damaged sockets/plugs/cables.

Heat

- oven

- paraffin melting pot

- containers that come out of oven or heated over fire

- steel immediately after machining or welding

- Use oven mitts and tongs when handling hot objects, taking containers or trays out of the oven, when holding paraffin pitchers, or when heating flasks or beakers over fire.

Chemicals

- most chemicals vs. eyes

- acids vs. skin

- gases

- mercury

- Label containers of chemical substances properly.

- If you find an unknown chemical without a label, don’t open it, notify lab personnel.

- If eyes or skin is exposed to a chemical, wash with running water. If the chemical is hazardous, contact health center immediately.

- If you work with gases or volatile chemicals, have proper ventilation – even a gas hood if necessary.

- If you find mercury, don’t touch it, notify lab personnel.

Pressure

- pressurized tubes of gas

- triaxial cells

- containers with pressure or vacuum

- Don’t have a pressurized tube stand unsupported.

- Carry it only with a tube cart, tube tied to the cart with a safety strap.

- When not in use or when carrying it, cover the tube’s outlet with its protective steel cap

Moving

parts

- power tools (drill, saw, lathe, grindstone, etc.)

- motors and gears

- clasps

- Don’t put your hand or fingers in any of the listed items.

- Wear protective gear if possible.

- If you have long hair, tie it when operating power tools.

Mechanical Controllers

- hydraulic jacks

- pneumatic pistons

- displacement controlled force applicators

- Most countermeasures from the “pressure” and “moving parts” hazards also apply here.

- Be aware of the force or pressure capacity, and range of movement (stroke) of such devices, and where it is within that range during your use.

Sharp

objects

- knives, razors

- broken glass/ceramics

- reinforcement steel

- Be careful with sharp objects.

- Dispose of sharp objects in a container other than the regular trash.

Projectiles

- fragments from a concrete or rock specimen tested in compression

- steel cables in tension

- sparks from a grindstone

- If your equipment has a protective door or cage, close it during testing.

- If not, wear safety goggles.

- Keep your distance if possible.

Gravity

- heavy objects falling

- people falling down

- Put heavier objects on lower shelves.

- If a fluid is spilled on the floor, clean it.

- Any area below cranes should be free of people

Infection

- injury from any above

- Hygiene

- In case of minor injuries, wash the wound, apply iodine or ethyl alcohol, and apply band-aid

- In case of major injuries, go to health center or call 4960

Particulates

- soil dust

- cement

- dust from power tools

- Work in an environment with proper ventilation.

- Wear a dust mask and protective eyewear.

Noise

- sieve shaker

- air compressor

- power tools

- In case of prolonged exposure, wear ear protection

Radioactivity*

- x-rays

- nuclear field sensors

- Keep equipment in lead-lined containers, store in a room with lead walls.

- Periodically check for leaks with a Geiger counter.

- Stay away if you don’t have the proper operation and safety training of the device.

* Currently there aren’t any such sources in our laboratories. This is for possible future use.