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The Environment, Safety & Health (ES&H) policies of the James R. Macdonald Lab
Environmental, Safety, and Health Guidelines
Last Major Revision: 04 November 2003
Last Minor Revision: 07 November 2013
IF IN DOUBT - ASK
If you have questions about any of the guidelines outlined below
or if an operation is not outlined below, ask an experienced member
of the laboratory staff for assistance.
Life Safety is a broad category that
basically includes the guidelines for maintaining a means of exit
from a facility in the event of an emergency. The exit pathways in
the JRM Lab are designated by yellow stripes on the floor and/or
exit signs in various locations throughout the lab. In the event of
a power failure, the exit pathways are illuminated with battery
- Keep exit pathways clear by not leaving items in the designated
- Keep access to fire extinguishers and
other safety equipment clear by not placing items where they will
- Observe all warning devices (signs, alarms, etc.) and take
General Housekeeping is the area
that generates the most notices of violation from OSHA (the US Occupational Safety and
Health Administration). In general, a clean and neat work area is a
safe work area.
- Keep your work area clean and organized.
- Avoid causing tripping hazards by leaving cables, extension
cords, etc. on the floor. Route them through the overhead cable
- Return unused equipment and supplies to their designated
Before you will be able to properly deal with a hazard, you must
first know what the hazard is. The easiest way to learn of a hazard
in the JRM Laboratory is to observe the various identification and
warning devices such as signs, labels, flashing lights, etc. It is
your responsibility to take the proper actions to deal with the
indicated hazards. It is also your responsibility to properly
identify hazards that you create.
- A "permanent" warning device will indicate most hazards that
are found in the JRM Lab continuously.
- Short-term hazards may be indicated by a temporary means such
as a hand-written sign or temporarily posted warning device.
- A verbal warning from the person attending the hazard may
indicate very short-term hazards that will not be left
- Various warning signs, tags, and labels are available in the
SAFETY SIGNS folder in the bookshelf above the control console in
the control room.
- Contact the lab
safety officer for additional information and items that may be
necessary to properly identify a hazard.
- Always wear dosimeter badges in the laboratory.
- If an accelerator is operating, consult the status boards
(located near the main entrance to the lab) and/or check with the
operators for possible restricted areas.
- Hand-held survey meters or portable area monitors should be
used to monitor the radiation level when working in potential
- Area radiation monitors provide a visual and audible indication
of an unsafe radiation level in the area.
- If your operation is causing a localized radiation area, post
the area with rope barriers and temporary warning signs.
- Never by-pass a radiation gate or warning rope barrier.
- Never by-pass the tandem tank chains. The
tandem/linac accelerator area is the most
likely area in the laboratory to have radiation.
- Never remove the tandem tank chains without authorization from
the accelerator operator.
- Avoid contamination of equipment and personnel when using
More general information on radiation safety is
available from OSHA. The KSU
Department of Environmental Health & Safety maintains the campus
Radiation Safety Manual.
- Turn off the main power switch,
place a tag on the power switch indicating that work is being
performed on the equipment, and lock the switch in the OFF position
(if possible) before working on electrical equipment.
- Always attach grounding sticks to High Voltage equipment before
- Amber flashing lights and/or the words "High Voltage" indicates
the equipment has voltages greater than 600 volts.
- "Electrical Hazard" indicates the equipment has voltages less
than 600 volts. NOTE: Low voltage hazards can be as deadly as high
- Avoid wearing jewelry. Jewelry provides a very good conductive
path to your body.
- Work in pairs if possible.
- Do not by-pass any interlock.
More information on electrical safety is available from
- Always secure a compressed gas
cylinder with a strap or chain whether it is in use or in storage.
Never leave a cylinder freestanding.
- Always secure the cylinder to a cylinder cart to
- When taking a cylinder out of service, remove the regulator,
replace the valve cap, and transport the cylinder to the compressed
gas storage area.
- Use regulators and piping that are compatible with the gas to
be used. Consult the Material Safety Data Sheet for
- Most compressed gases are chemically hazardous. Refer to the
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS guidelines.
More information on compressed gas safety
is available from OSHA.
- Refer to the Material Safety Data
Sheet or other chemical safety sources such as our safety
information web page at
for guidelines concerning proper
handling, storage, use, and disposal of specific materials. Contact
safety officer if additional information or equipment is needed to
comply with these guidelines.
- Use the necessary personal protective equipment (eye
protection, gloves, etc.) when handling chemicals.
- Some chemicals (especially compressed gases) may need special
ventilation when used. In some cases, your roughing pump exhaust
must be ventilated outside the lab.
- All chemical containers should be labeled with the chemical
name and hazard.
- Do not dispose of chemicals down laboratory drains. Contact the
to arrange for proper disposal of hazardous materials.
- Used batteries should be disposed of by placing them in the
"broken electronics" box in the control room.
- Sharps (razor blades, needles, etc.) should be placed in the
sharps disposal container near the equipment room sink.
- Absorbent pads and other spill clean up equipment are located
near the chemical storage area near the negative ion sources.
See also the KSU EH&S
Policies for pointers on good laboratory practices.
In general, the JRML follows the ANSI Z136.1-2000 Standard on laser
safety. A copy of this standard is kept in the Control Room
bookshelf. Exceptions to the Standard are listed below. It is
strongly recommended that everyone working with lasers peruse this
(See also the OSHA Technical
Links chapter on laser hazards.)
While the ANSI Standard contains the exhaustive list of our
rules, there are some items it does not contain. These include
procedures, and lab-specific policies. As these are dynamic in
nature, they will be undergoing continual development. The JRM
Safety web pages as well as the safety notebooks in the control
room will hopefully be maintained to reflect the most current
procedures and policies.
Lab-Specific Laser Safety Policies
- A light at the entrance to the laser area indicates that a
laser in on. If a laser is on, do not enter the laser area without
appropriate eye protection even if you think you will be safe. In
all cases except the entrance to the KLS (Kansas Light Source) room itself,
these warning lights are BLUE. At the KLS entrances, the warning lights are
RED. The appropriate eye protection is indicated at all entrances
to the hazardous areas.
- Never look into the end of a laser cabinet (whether the laser
is on or off).
- Never open the shielding panels/curtains around lasers and
optics tables without authorization from the operator.
- Use the proper eye protection when working with lasers. (If you
have any question as to what constitutes “proper”,
ASK!) A guide to
appropriate protective eyewear
- Many laser dyes are hazardous. Refer to the HAZARDOUS MATERIALS guidelines.
- Be aware that some lasers have invisible beams and it is not
readily evident that the laser is operating.
We also recommend that you read:
- Before using the equipment in the
machine shop, you should have
proper training. The Physics department machine shop foreman offers
a machine shop course.
- Wear eye protection when there is a hazard from flying
- Avoid contact with exposed moving parts. Loose fitting clothing
may get caught in moving parts.
- Never exceed the capacity of any lifting device. Specifications for our
Ruger Model HP-2A are available.
- Use the proper rigging for moving heavy items.
- Overhead cranes may have exposed power lines.
- Always wear gloves and a face
shield when handling pressurized cryogenic fluids.
- Avoid contact between the cryogenic liquid and your skin.
- Avoid contact between your skin and the cold gas evolving from
the cryogenic liquid.
- Before removing level probes, etc. from a cryogenic system, be
sure that the system has been brought to atmospheric pressure to
avoid an unexpected release of cold gas and/or liquid.
- Rapid boil-off of a cryogenic liquid may lead to an oxygen
deficient atmosphere. A strobe light along with an audible alarm
indicates an oxygen deficient atmosphere in the area.
HIGH NOISE LEVELS
Wear hearing protection when working
in areas with a high noise level. Headsets can usually be found on
the handrail at the entrance to the lab.
More information on Noise and
Hearing Conservation is available from OSHA.
KSU has a program to
recycle a wide variety of materials.
Recycle bins are located across campus, both inside and outside buildings. Note that Cardwell Hall
has a dedicated dumpster for cardboard near the west-side driveway. You may also drop off your recyclables at the K-State Recycling Center behind Weber Hall.
WORK RELATED INJURIES
All employees of the Macdonald Lab (students, staff, faculty, and
certain visiting researchers) are eligible for
Compensation benefits. Should you receive an injury while working in
the Macdonald Laboratory, notify your supervisor and our office manager,
Peggy Matthews, as soon as possible and complete an
accident report form
at your earliest convenience. You may also contact Human Resources
directly at 532-6277.