General Lab Policies




Labs run all day, you must start and end your lab section on time.


Check In is the only time you will be able to exchange or obtain equipment for your locker without being charged.  After check-in you will be charged for missing or broken glassware. Please follow the instructions on the check in sheet.



  • The locker you are assigned is your responsibility and is used by you and only you.
  • After completing the experiment, return all equipment to your drawer. Make sure that you lock your drawer.  Check that it is locked by tugging on the lock a few times.
  • If your lock is not working properly, or if you suspect that someone else has had access to your locker, a different lock can be issued at the Teaching Laboratory Services window, A003.
  • Make sure that you remember your locker number and the combination of your lock. Write these numbers down in a secure place.  (The cover of your lab manual or the palm of your hand are NOT secure places.)  Have these numbers with you every time you come to lab.



  • Students must complete all pre-laboratory work before beginning work in the laboratory.
  • A penalty (up to and including being prohibited from working in the laboratory) will be applied where pre-laboratory assignments have not been completed.



  • If you miss a lab or anticipate missing a lab, you must make up this work the same week the experiment is assigned. Follow the procedure below for making up a lab:
  1. See the Teaching Laboratory Services attendant to make arrangements to reserve a space.
  2. Fill out a make-up sheet.
  3. The laboratory technician will assign you to a section and TA.
  4. Turn in your make-up sheet and prelab calculations to the TA and get an unknown.
  5. When you have finished, turn in your data and unknown report to the TA.

Make-ups are assigned on a first come first serve space available basis. You will be allowed to do this twice in a semester.

  • DO NOT make private arrangements with your TA for make-up in the lab.
  • If you cannot make up the lab the week the experiment is assigned, you can make up one experiment at the end of the semester. If you have a legitimate excuse for missing more than one experiment, see your instructor.



  • Follow the safety contract at all times.
  • State law requires the use of chemical splash safety goggles when anyone is in the laboratory. Only the approved kind will be allowed.  Any TA, faculty member, or member of the safety committee can kick you out of the lab if you do not have your approved safety goggles on.
  • Appropriate attire is required; refer to the safety contract for specific details.
  • Note the location of emergency exits, eyewash station and fire alarms.
  • If you have an accident in which you are injured no matter how slightly, report it at once to your TA.
  • In case of a fire, DO NOT TRY to take care of it by yourself, report it to your TA immediately.



  • It is essential that the laboratory be kept clean and neat at all times.
  • If you accidentally spill a chemical, notify your TA immediately.
  • DO NOT, under any conditions, put insoluble materials, matches, papers, or capillary tubes in the sink.
  • When you have completed your experiment, wash off your bench area and ask your TA to sign your data sheet and check you out for the day. DO NOT FORGET TO WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU LEAVE!



  • The reagents used in the current experiment will be set out on the bench in front of the reagent rack.
  • DO NOT move these bottles to your own bench. They are for the use of all the students in your section.
  • Never pour excess reagent back into a bottle or do anything else that might contaminate it.



  • Special equipment, not in your lockers, will be necessary to perform certain experiments. Follow the procedure below for signing out this equipment:
  1. Obtain the equipment from the reagent bench.
  2. Check that you have all the equipment in good working order. If you are given glassware, check that it is not chipped or scratched.
  3. When you are finished, return the equipment to the reagent bench. Do not just leave your equipment on the counter in the lab.

Equipment, such as ring stands, clamps, burners etc., is located in the cabinet in the lab.  If something is not in working order, inform your TA.  When you are finished, return all equipment to the proper cabinet.



  • Solid waste should be discarded in the waste bottle provided at the reagent bench. Do not dispose of any solid waste in the sink or in the trashcans.  Trashcans not for chemical waste.
  • Liquid waste generated by the experiment should be disposed of as instructed by your TA.
  • Glass should be disposed of in the white buckets labeled BROKENGLASS. Do not throw any glass in the solid waste container or in the trashcans. Do not throw any trash in the glass waste container.
  • Weigh paper, filter paper, weigh boats, pH paper, gloves, paper towels, etc. are to be disposed of in the trash can and not the solid waste container.