Laboratory, Shop, and Studio Safety Program

RWU's laboratories, shops, and studios play important roles in our architecture, art, construction management, engineering, graphic design, science, and theatre programs.

These specialized workspaces host a variety of equipment and processes that enable our students, faculty, and staff to work, study, create, and conduct research safely.

All laboratory, shop, and studio users should please review the following information:

Upcoming Hazardous and Biological Waste Pickup Dates

  • Friday, June 7th
  • Monday, June 24th (AQUAVET Waste Disposal/Shipment only)

Additional pickups will be posted once the new fiscal year begins (July 1, 2024)


All laboratory, shop, and studio users (faculty, staff, students, and visitors) are required to complete the following training items:

  1. Laboratory Safety Agreement and/or Shop and Studio Safety Agreement (each semester)
  2. Working Environment Safety Trainings (each academic year) - for each work space you are working/taking classes in
  3. Process, Task, and Equipment Trainings (each academic year) - for each task, process, or equipment item you are doing/using
  4. Hands-On Training for the specific process, task, or equipment (each academic year) - hands-on training from your instructor or supervisor for the process, task, or equipment you are doing/using

Laboratory, Shop, and Studio Safety Training Links: The training links for the above items are posted on this PDF and broken out into the four categories listed above, with requirements listed by area (chemistry, biology, visual arts, etc.). UPDATED: 01/26/24 (V4; spring agreements, tool updates)

Training Completion Reports (for faculty/staff review only): The training completion reports links are posted on this PDF and are for faculty/staff to review to confirm that all students/employees have completed the necessary trainings (please reach out to EHS for the access code if you do not have it). UPDATED: 01/26/24 (V4; spring agreements)

Hand and Power Tool Training for Supervisors, Managers, Technicians, and Monitors: For employees managing/supervising tool users or instructing/training/providing safety oversight to tool users (Hard Hat Training - $39.00 course registration fee - please pay with your department credit card) (Please send copy of course completion certificate to and

Confused about the training process? Review this video walkthrough

Facility Construction and Renovations

  • EHS will work with Capital Projects and departments on new construction of (and renovations to existing) laboratory, shop, and studio spaces with regards to regulatory compliance needs (fire safety, wastewater, chemical, eyewash/safety shower, ventilation, etc.)

Equipment Updates and Purchases

  • Faculty and staff: please reach out to EHS prior to purchasing new or replacing existing laboratory, shop, and studio items, including:
    • a chemical or biological material we do not currently have in our inventory
    • any equipment with a radiological or laser component
    • hand or power tools, welding/soldering or other hot work equipment, laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.
    • metalworking/shaping/plating equipment, paint cleaning equipment, kilns, cylinders and compressed gases
    • any equipment with ventilation needs (spray booths, fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, welding fume extractors, etc.)
  • EHS will work with you and your department to make sure all safety requirements are in place prior to equipment being used (examples: state licensure, safety inspections, training programs in place, PPE purchased and available, waste disposal procedures in place, etc.)

Processes and Tasks Safety Reviews

  • Faculty and staff: please reach out to EHS with new (or significant changes to existing) processes and tasks involving physical, chemical, biological, or radiologically hazardous equipment or items, so we can review safety requirements with you prior to beginning the new/updated process or task

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and First Aid Kits

  • PPE requirements vary based on workspace and the tasks being performed
  • First aid kits are purchased by the departments and should include adhesive bandages of several sizes, as well as individual packets of antibacterial wipes or ointment. Please do not include items such as burn cream or tourniquets in the first aid kits. All laboratory, shop, and studio injuries must be reported to RWU Public Safety and documented on the illness/injury reporting form
  • Faculty and staff: please reach out to EHS with questions regarding PPE and first aid kits

Safety Committees

  • SSNS hosts the Laboratory Safety Committee and EHS hosts the Shop and Studio Safety Committee. Please connect with the Chemistry Department Chair for the Laboratory Safety Committee or Cat Conley for the Shop and Studio Safety Committee.

Plans, Procedures and Posters

Download the RWU Procedures for Unplanned Power Loss in Academic Laboratories, Workshops, and Art Studios as a PDF (PDF, 211 kB)

Roger Williams University Procedures for Unplanned Power Loss in Academic Laboratories, Workshops, and Art Studios 

Unplanned power loss in academic laboratories, workshops, and art studios can potentially cause many kinds of damage, including damage to equipment, environmental contamination due to inoperative air emissions control equipment such as fume hoods or dust collection units, illness or injury to invertebrates/vertebrates, and/or the loss of student, staff, and faculty research and projects. Planning response actions in advance and executing them safely during a power loss even can help prevent these kinds of damages from occurring. 

Reminder: Notify RWU Public Safety of all emergency situations at 401-254-3333 

Step 1: Immediate Response to Unplanned Power Loss 

  • First: Address immediate potential hazards 

    • Immediately halt all experiments/projects/processes in progress 
    • Shut off any radios, TVs, or other listening/watching devices 
    • Shut off all open flames and fuel sources, including natural gas valves, Bunsen burners, cylinders, and butane canisters for biosafety cabinet usage 
    • Shut off all thermal, laser, and UV devices in use, including hot plates, microwaves, UV gel readers, lasers, CNC Mill, close liquid nitrogen dewars, etc. 
    • Shut off and/or put down any hand, power, or tabletop tools 
    • Close, cover and secure all chemical containers, cylinders, biological containers, specimens, agar/growth plates in correct storage areas (do not put in fume hood or biological safety cabinet if the units are showing low or no flow) 
    • Place any broken glass or sharps into their designated waste collection containers 
    • Place any live invertebrates or vertebrates back into their tank or container and secure lid/door in usual manner 
    • Close fume hood sashes 
  • Second: Address items which can be hazardous upon start-up 

    • Shut down and unplug any active items which may create a hazard by starting up unexpectedly or unattended (dust collection systems, UV gel reader, centrifuge, rotovap, 3-D printers, etc.) 
  • Third: Address items which can be damaged by starting up unexpectedly 

    • Shut down (and unplug as needed) any electronic equipment which could be damaged upon restart (computers, microscopes, table tools, etc.) 

Step 2: Short-Term Response to Unplanned Power Loss 

  • Students (including work studies, research students, assistants, etc.) must leave the building unless otherwise approved 
  • Lock all labs, shops, and studios which have been safely “closed out” using the above procedures and do not allow use/access until further notice 
  • Notify EHS of any special storage or waste needs 
  • Only work directly supporting emergency management/power restoration is permitted in the labs, shops, and studios until the issue has been resolved, or unless otherwise approved 

Additional Short-Term Response Actions Specific to MNS: 

  • Have designated representatives from each department/lab/etc. check all chemical storage areas, biological storage areas, refrigerators, and freezers. Determine which units do not have power and what are the necessary timeframes for relocating stored items to prevent loss or damage (e.g., -80 freezer items OK for 3 hours, refrigerator items OK for 2 hours) 
  • Activate initial steps of IACUC Emergency Animal Care Plan 
    • Designated representative check on status of vertebrates, seawater pumps, oxygen in tanks, etc. Correct immediate needs, and determine needs for next few hours, as well as for 24 hours out, 48 hours out, etc.
    • Activate call chain 
    • Determine which RWU faculty/staff (non-student) are available to meet animal care needs for next few hours, 24 hours out, 48 hours out, etc. - keep to a minimum while still safely meeting staffing needs 
    • Dry ice and liquid nitrogen can only be used as specified by manufacturer to keep items cool - do not allow these chemicals to openly off-gas into closed room or closed freezer, refrigerator, or walk-in - this practice can create serious potential inhalation hazards for employees 
    • Place “OUT OF ORDER” signs on any fume hoods or biosafety cabinets which are not working. Close any chemical/biological containers needing fume/organism control in air-tight container and move to separate safe, designated storage area. 

Step 3: Long-Term Response to Unplanned Power Loss 

  • Refer to the University’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) (link included in "Links" section below)
  • MNS: Continue to follow IACUC emergency procedures and protocols in addition to ERP 

Links to RWU Emergency Planning Resources 

Download the RWU 3D Printer Safety Procedures as a PDF (PDF, 245 kB)

RWU 3D Printer Safety Procedures 

3D printers have become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people using them to create a variety of objects. 3D printers have associated chemical, electrical, fire, and ventilation hazards, and as such, 3D printers need to be selected, operated, and maintained correctly to prevent injuries and property damage. 

3D Printer Use - General Procedure

  • Every 3D printer needs to be operated according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific make/model.
  • All users need to review the manufacturer’s instructions (operator or user manual) prior to using a 3D printer, and have completed the relevant online and hands-on training sessions. 
  • The manufacturer’s instructions must be readily available to the user in the work area at all times. 
    • NOTE 1: Never leave the 3D printer unattended while it is running. The equipment can get hot and it can be a fire hazard. 
    • NOTE 2: Always keep the work area around the 3D printer clean and free of debris and clutter. The equipment can get hot and debris/clutter can be a fire hazard. 
    • NOTE 3: Never use a 3D printer without its associated exhaust fan on and properly ventilating all fumes to either a filtration system or an exterior exhaust stack. The fumes can be a health hazard as well as a fire hazard. 
    • NOTE 4: Read the user manual and product safety data sheets (SDS) prior to use 
    • NOTE 5: Never touch the printer components while it is printing. Electrified parts and/or parts in motion can cause electrical shock, burns, or pinch/crush body parts. 
  • Prepare your design for printing using the associated 3D printer software. 
  • Select the filament you will be using and confirm software/print settings match the filament you have selected •
  • Record the following information on the 3D Printer Use Tracking Sheet: the date of use, the product manufacturer/color/diameter, the name of the user, and the print run time in minutes. 
  • Turn on the ventilation fan (if it is activated separately) 
  • Set up the print bed height and level the bed, being aware of possible pinch points 
  • Start the print and monitor the print while the printer is running 
  • Remove the work piece from the 3D printer when it is cool to the touch 
  • Turn off the ventilation fan (if it is activated separately)
  • Check that your filament use is properly recorded on the 3D Printer Use Tracking Sheet 

3D Printer Emergency Procedures 

  • If the 3D printer ventilation fan suddenly stops working: 

    • Immediately stop the printer and notify the faculty member, technician, or monitor on duty. 
    • The printer is now considered placed out of service. 
    • Do not resume printer use until the printer has been put back into service. 
  • If a 3D printer user shows signs of chemical exposure or other injury/illness: 

    • Note: check product’s Safety Data Sheet for possible symptoms; general VOC respiratory exposure symptoms may include dizziness, headache, faint/lightheaded feeling, confusion, slurred speech, etc. 
    • Stop printer use and immediately notify the faculty member, technician, or monitor on duty, who will call RWU Public Safety at 401-254-3333. 
    • Provide a copy of the product SDS to RWU Public Safety and/or other responding emergency personnel 
  • If a 3D printer product ignites, begins to smoke, or otherwise catch fire: 

    • Immediately stop the printer and notify the faculty member, technician, or monitor on duty 
    • Evacuate the building following emergency evacuation procedures 
    • From a safe place, call RWU Public Safety at 401-254-3333. 

3D Printer Training Requirements 

All 3D printer users must complete the following safety training requirements: 

  • Have a current RWU Shop and Studio Safety Agreement on file 
  • Have current completions for all relevant general safety training for the work area, as listed on the RWU Laboratory, Shop, and Studio Safety Training Requirements Links for the current academic year 
  • Have current completion for the 3D Printer Training on the RWU Laboratory, Shop, and Studio Safety Training Requirements Links for the current academic year 
  • Have completed a documented hands-on 3D printer training session with an approved faculty member, technician, or monitor for the current academic year 
  • Reviewed Safety Data Sheet(s) (SDS) for all products they will be using 

3D Printer Recordkeeping Requirements 

  • The shop/studio safety technician (RWU employee – not a student monitor) is responsible for maintaining the following records and providing a second set of copies to EHS on a monthly basis: 
    • 3D Printer Use Tracking Sheet for the previous month
    • Any new student and staff training records 
    • Any new maintenance records, including any cleaning documentation 

3D Printer Installation Requirements: 

  • EHS must be notified at least three months in advance of any 3D Printer purchases. 
    • 3D printers that are connected to exterior exhausts must be registered with Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (EHS needs to complete). 
  • 3D printers must have the following equipment located adjacent the printer (purchasing department is responsible for buying): 
    • Product storage: an OSHA and NFPA-compliant flammable storage cabinet for isopropanol (IPA) used for cleaning 
    • Waste disposal: a 4-liter plastic waste bottle of 5-gallon UN-rated plastic carbody (must include properly fitting cap), satellite accumulation area signage, and a label stating: “Hazardous Waste: 3D Printer Cleaning Solution (Isopropanol, Residual Printer Resin).”) 
    • Glove disposal: a metal step-can (foot pedal-operated lid) for used gloves with a label stating: “Used Gloves for Disposal.” 
    • Single-use saline eyewash bottles/cartridges OR a plumbed eyewash 
    • A portable ABC fire extinguisher 
    • A clipboard with a 3D Printer Use Tracking Sheet 

3D Printer Maintenance Requirements 

  • Ensure power is disconnected before performing any maintenance on the 3D printer or equipment (follow RWU Lockout Tagout Procedures) 
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for maintenance and repair
  • The shop/studio safety technician (RWU employee – not a student monitor) is responsible for visually inspecting the 3D printer on a routine basis and scheduling maintenance and repairs, and completing the routine cleaning with isopropanol (IPA)

3D Printer Routine Cleaning – General Process 

Follow the manufacturer’s specific recommended procedures and cleaning frequency schedule. Every 3D printer is different – always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for that specific make/model 3D printer. The general cleaning process typically includes these steps: 

  • Turn off and unplug the printer. 
  • Wear ANSIZ Z87.1+ rated safety glasses and disposable nitrile gloves 
  • Remove any filament or resin according to the manufacturer's instructions. 
  • Use a soft cloth or sponge with IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to clean the following areas: 
    • The build plate 
    • The extruder (the hotend, nozzle, and other extruder components) 
    • Printer frame and bed 
    • NOTE: Dispose of the used IPA following RWU Hazardous Waste Management procedures: 
      • Place used IPA into closed, compatible, disposable container (e.g., 4 liter plastic bottle, 5-gallon plastic UN-rated carboy) with label stating “Hazardous Waste: 3D Printer Cleaning Solution (Isopropanol, Residual Printer Resin).” 
      • ▪ Place the closed IPA waste container into the area’s Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Area 
      • ▪ Submit a “Health/Safety” work order on the RWU Facilities Work Order System when waste container is ~70% full, so it will be included in the next waste pickup date 
  • Use a soft brush or compressed air to clean:
    • the printer fans 
  • Use a soft cloth or lens cleaning tissue to clean:
    • the print head or laser lens 
  • Reassemble the printer according to the manufacturer's instructions, and plug in the printer.

Download these Shellfish Farm Cage Handling Procedures as a PDF (PDF, 240 kB)

Shellfish Farm Cage Handling Procedures - Notification of Working Environment Hazard and Risk Reduction Steps (April 2023) 

  • Work Group: MNS CEED Shellfish Farm employees and supervisors 
  • Work Task: Manual handling of shellfish cages (bringing up cages from underwater by hand) 
  • Hazard: Recreational anglers are getting fishing lures and hooks snagged on the shellfish farm cages. The lures/hooks get caught on the cages and are not easily visible underwater. The lures/hooks can cut or puncture your hands when you pick up or move the cages. Cut and puncture wounds from metals carry the risk of infection, such as tetanus. 

Risk Reduction Steps: 

  1. Complete all required training before completing any tasks.
  2. Always wear the correctly-sized waterproof cut/puncture gloves provided for this task. Never handle cages without these gloves.
    1. Follow supervisor instructions and manufacturer requirements for glove use, care, storage, and donning/doffing (putting on/taking off). 
    2. Visually inspect gloves for signs of wear/tear/degradation prior to each use. Do not use damaged or incorrectly-sized gloves. 
  3. If you are able to do so, visually inspect the cage area where you are placing your hands prior to doing so. 
    1. Check for signs of caught fishing line, hooks, or metallics/bright paint that could indicate a lure/hook.
    2. Do not touch areas that appear to visually indicate a hook might be present. 
  4. Visually check all cages for fishing line and lures/hooks after bringing them up to shore and prior to additional handling. Remove and dispose any visible lures/hooks from the cages before re-deploying. 
    1. In addition to the waterproof cut/puncture gloves, wear ANSI Z87.1+ rated safety glasses when removing lures/hooks 
    2. Use a hand tool you have been trained to use, such as needle-nose pliers, to remove the lure/hook from the cage. 
    3. Immediately place the lure/hook into disposable small corrugated cardboard box or plastic container, close the container, and dispose of the container in the trash. 
  5. All Shellfish Farm team members (students, volunteers, and employees) are strongly encouraged to have an up-to-date tetanus vaccine.
  6. All Shellfish Farm team members (students, volunteers, and employees) are required to have up-to-date CPR and First Aid certifications on file with CEED. Example fish hook hand injury // Photo credit: Reddit Ferrycliffe Farm shellfish cages // Photo credit: 

RWU Website Waterproof Cut/Puncture Glove (WCPG) Information 

  • All waterproof cut/puncture gloves (WCPG) used by RWU Shellfish Farm Team members for handling shellfish cages must be reviewed and approved by RWU EHS and RWU MNS/CEED Shellfish Hatchery staff prior to use to check for acceptability (protection level, fit, and function). 
  • Regular work gloves are not to be used as substitutes for approved WCPG. 
  • RWU must provide WCPG to Shellfish Farm Team members to use while on the job. 
    • Here are several links to the currently approved WCPG manufacturer websites. Any sample vendor links are included as a reference and are not an endorsement of a particular vendor. 

WCPG Use, Storage, and Care 

  • Store the gloves either hanging up to or lying flat to dry in closed in a cool, dry, location out of direct sunlight, water, and chemicals. 
  • Try on gloves and review the manufacturer information on sizing/fit to determine the size that best fits you. A snug, but not too tight, fit is the goal – one that allows for full range of motion through fingers and wrists (too tight can be painful over time) but is not loose (loose fabric can get caught/tear on equipment). 
  • Visually check for tears, degradation, holes, and other damage prior to use. Do not use damaged WCPG. Obtain a new pair from your supervisor and throw away the old pair in the regular trash. 
  • Follow all manufacturer recommendations and guidance. 

Safety Glasses Information 

Safety Glasses Use, Storage, and Care 

  • Store with the side/ear pieces folded closed in a cool, dry, location out of direct sunlight, water, and chemicals. A glasses case or other dedicated container will help prevent damage and scratches. 
  • Use a soft cloth to wipe and clean the lenses regularly, particularly before and after use (before placing in storage). 
  • Visually check for scratches, cracks, loose screws, and other damage prior to use. Do not use damaged safety glasses. Obtain a new pair from your supervisor and throw away the old pair in the regular trash. 
  • Follow all manufacturer recommendations and guidance (refer to your specific product's webpage and data sheets)