At Smith College if you work in a laboratory setting, at a minimum, you must follow these rules:

  • You must have attended a general Lab Safety Training Seminar (Margaret Rakas in charge) AND have received specific Lab Safety Information from you own research instructor. (Note: Students engaged in course-based research do not have to attend the general lab safety seminar)
  • You must wear appropriate eye, apparel & shoe protection at all times.
  • You must NOT bring any food or drink into the lab including water bottles.
  • You must NOT work in lab alone unless granted permission to do so.
  • You must abide by the safety rules and protocols regarding handling chemicals and equipment found herein.

For more detailed safety information navigate the buttons below.


Information on how to look up Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs). Cryogenic hazard information, as well as how to handle gas cylinders and running reactions overnight, is also included. A variety of other information can also be found, such as how to choose the PPE for your chemical task at hand.  The Chemical Hygiene Plan is the official Smith document containing all laboratory safety information.


Information on the handling of Select Agents and Biological Toxins, as well as Recombinant DNA/Viral vectors can be found in this set of pages. Bio SOPs and information on what to do with blood-borne Pathogens are also included. 


The Radiation Safety Program is administered by the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) under the guidance of the Radiation Safety Committee.


What to do in specific chemical spills and emergencies.