Science Safety for Employees

Annual Safety Training

All secondary science teachers had the annual safety training on Monday August 14th.  We hope it was beneficial for all those that attended. 

Did you miss the safety training on 8/14?  Look for an email with a link to the asynchronous training.

We ask that all science teachers complete a laboratory equipment survey to document the status of their classrooms. 

Chemical Inventory and Waste Disposal

Chemical Inventory and Storage (Due Annually by May 15th)

chemical storage cabinet

We are required by the state (OSHA and DPH) to report site-specific chemical inventory annually. Please follow the Instructions to complete site inventory by May 15th.  

Chemical Storage: Chemicals need to be stored in such a way that like substances are stored together and those that could potentially interact with each other are kept separately. Some chemicals need to be stored in flammables or corrosives cabinets. See this more detailed guidance for chemical storage.

Chemical Sweeps: The inventory update provides a great opportunity for school sites to turn unwanted items into waste. See the instructions for the form you need to fill out with your request for a waste pickup.

Hazardous Waste Pickups

Waste labeled and waiting for pickup

We are awaiting finalization of a new waste contract with Clean Harbors.  When we have more details, it will be emailed to department chairs/leads and teacher leaders.  We are anticipating waste pickups to happen in Fall 2023. Once you gather new waste, check out how to submit a hazardous waste pick up form. To request labels and/or containers for waste, please fill out this request form.  

General Guidance:

  • Length and quantities: According to CalOSHA and DPH, school sites must not accumulate waste for more than 1 year.  Please make sure to submit pickups each time you are asked.  Avoid waiting if you have waste.  Total quantities should not exceed 55 gallons.  
  • Labeling: For waste generated during labs, use a white label and make sure to include a generation date and any hazards.  
  • Chemical Sweeps: If you are using the "dot system," you will be able to look at your shelves and easily see which chemicals are no longer being used. In addition, any lab waste created during the year will also need to be added to the pickup request. Please label, set-aside, and submit the form for any known and unknown chemicals that are surplus, unused, or expired. Make sure that when chemicals are set aside as waste that they continue to be kept by compatibility.
  • Avoid unknowns: The best way to avoid generating unknown waste is to label your containers when the lab waste is created. Include the date, reactants, and product on the label. A pink chemical waste sticker also goes on the container. If you need these labels, check with your department chair or please fill out this request form.
  • Storage: Make sure waste is stored according to compatibility, just like your ongoing inventory. 

If you have unknown waste, follow the above procedure with as much information as you can.

Disposing of biological waste

  • Microbial specimens in petri dishes need to be sterilized using an autoclave or bleach. They are then disposed of in the regular trash. You will follow the hazardous waste procedures above for disposal of the bleach.
  • When you receive a shipment of specimens, be sure to look at the SDS so you know what was used to preserve the specimens. If it includes formalin, you will follow the hazardous waste procedures above for disposal.
  • For larger specimens and other waste from dissection labs see these instructions for how to bag and dispose of bio waste. If you need bags, please fill out this request form.
  • If you have old biological specimens that may have been preserved in formaldehyde, use the instructions for how to inventory biological specimens. It is not recommended that you continue to keep specimens preserved in formaldehyde. These specimens need to be included in the chemical waste pick-up request. Leave them in the containers and list on the waste removal form.

This page was last updated on September 21, 2023