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Submitted by cclorey on Fri, 10/07/2016 - 9:25am

Being a health and safety leader

Environmental Health and Safety works collaboratively with the university community to foster a safe working, learning and research environment through the provision of consultative, educational and evaluation services.

Email: ucsafety@ucalgary.ca
Phone: 403-220-6345

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At the university, fume hoods are installed in our laboratories to keep our faculty and staff safe. A lab fume hood is a ventilated enclosure, that provides local exhaust control, and in which harmful chemicals can be safely handled.

To ensure safety, fume hoods must be used properly. To this end, our insurers conduct an audit of our labs on an annual basis. The auditors have repeatedly identified an issue regarding a significant number of fume hoods being used for storage purposes at the university. Overcrowding fume hoods prevents the device from eliminating vapors efficiently presenting a hazard to the operator and others in the room. Non-compliance with auditor recommendations results in increased insurance premiums for the university. 

A new classroom safety course is mandatory for university employees, graduate students and post-doctoral fellows working in research laboratories. 

Working inside of a laboratory has the potential to expose the worker to a variety of hazardous materials and processes. To minimize the risk of adverse health effects, it is important that workers know; how to identify laboratory hazards, understand the hierarchy of controls and know how to implement the controls and where to find more information on University of Calgary specific procedures.