General Safety and Managing Lab Hazards

Locations of Safety Related Resources

First Aid Supplies

Most work areas have at least basic first aid supplies. In Ag/For Centre, major first aid kits are in AF 4-35 (NE corner), AF 2-58 (just inside the door), outside AF 3-51 (on a table), and in the central area of AF 1-20. Basic supplies are in many laboratories. These major kits have First Aid Treatment Record Forms, for reporting injury accidents and any treatment rendered.

A list of first aiders is available here, and is also posted in or near the four main first aid kits.
For off-campus Units, research stations and centres, please refer to the ALES Research Facilities for location-specific information on personnel responsible for safety.

Automated external defibrillator

An AED is located outside AF 2-21.

Health Centre

Open on regular working days, the Health Centre (2nd floor SUB) is open 8:00 am-5:00 pm. Campus Security personnel (780-492-5050) are first aiders.

Reporting incidents

All incidents, injury or near-miss events involving staff, students, or visitors, while conducting activities in the labs or other research sites on behalf of the U of A, should be reported. These include personal injury, health and safety violation, property damage, hazardous spill and environmental release, stolen or lost property, and near-miss event. Both the employee and the employer report the accident. Injuries must be reported as soon as possible to your supervisor, or Lab and Genomics Unit Manager, Urmila Basu (AF 4-32A; tel: 2-8712) or, if off-campus, the Unit Manager. More information can be found at

Door Signage

All labs have an ‘Environmental Health and Safety Laboratory Hazard Sign’ indicating hazards present in that laboratory and the emergency contact information. You can also contact your Unit Manager or supervisor for all inquiries.

Building (‘infrastructure’) problems

In the event of serious water or steam leaks, suspected natural gas leaks, unusual odours (not easily traceable to lab work), heating or humidity problems, malfunctioning fans or fume hoods, plugged drains, burnt-out lights, etc., call: Physical Plant, Maintenance/Repairs: 780-492-4833.

When the Fire Alarm Sounds

Stop what you are doing and leave. Do not assume it is a drill! During working hours Emergency Wardens check that everyone evacuates. Fire extinguishers are located in most laboratories and in hallway “fire cabinets”.

Fire Alarm Pull Stations

First Floor: hallway west of east washrooms; opposite main elevator; outside west washrooms; inside southwest entrance; outside AF 1-12; across from AF 1-63; loading dock; by freight elevator.

Second Floor: hallway south of AF 2-58; west of east washrooms; east of central doors in main hallway; outside AF 2-14 to the west; outside west washrooms; by freight elevator.

Third Floor: by southwest stairway; east of central doors in main hallway; inside east hallway doors; inside west hallway doors; across from main elevator; by freight elevator.

Fourth Floor: outside west washrooms; across from main elevator; by west staircase doors; east of central doors in main hallway; hallway across from AF 4-73; west end of north hallway; across from AF 4-31; by freight elevator.

Fifth Floor: just inside south doorway of AF 5-17; across from main elevator; by west staircase doors; by freight elevator.

Eye wash Stations / “Drench Hoses” (low pressure, high volume, hand-held)

Many laboratories (mostly “drench hoses”) and east hallway of 2nd and 3rd floors.

Emergency Showers (“Overhead”)

AF 1-20E and AF 1-20F, AF 3-36 and east hallways of 2nd and 3rd floors.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)

The principal means to access currents MSDSs is through an on-line computer search. And can be found on the Health Canada website.

Small Chemical Spill Clean-Up Kits. Bottles of Spill Clean-Up Mixture

“Kits” are in AF 1-20, AF 2-58, on a cart outside AF 3-49, and in AF 4-35 and AF 5-17D. Bottles of clean-up mix are in most laboratories. A metallic mercury clean-up “kit” is in AF 2-58.


Most offices and laboratories have telephones. On-campus numbers generally begin with “2” or “8” followed by four digits. Off-campus local numbers are reached by dialing “9” then the 10-digit number.