CEC Safety Procedures and Guidelines

The College of Engineering and Computing is home to engineering departments which feature laboratory and/or experimental activities that are integral to their academic programs and ongoing faculty research. Laboratory/experimental activities can entail exposure to new equipment, work surroundings, and/or materials handling techniques. To establish instructional spaces that are safe and effective, information and procedures pertaining to their use is presented in the following pages.

Emergency Contact Information

Local Safety Contacts

  • Emergency : 911
  • Oxford Police, Fire, Medical Assistance: 513-523-4321
  • Butler County 24-hr Crisis Hotline: 1-844-427-4747
  • YWCA Dove House Shelter: 1-800-618-6523
  • Mcullough-Hyde Hospital: 513-523-2111
  • Women Helping Women 24-hr Hotline: 1-513-381-5610

Miami University Contacts

  • Miami University Police: 513-529-2222
  • Dean of Students: 513-529-1877
  • Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity: 513-529-7157
  • Student Concern Management System: www.miamioh.edu/studentconcern
  • Student Counselling Service: 513-529-4634
  • Miami University Bias Reporting: biasreporting@miamioh.edu

CEC Contacts for Safety Related Issues



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Incident/Recommendation Reporting Portal

CEC Safety Guidelines

  1. Active Shooter: Run-Hide-Fight (get out if you can, if not try to hide/lock doors, fight if confronted). More info here.
  2. Faculty and staff should be familiar with the Miami Emergency Procedures website.
  3. Further information on dealing with emergencies, safety concerns and student wellness/distress is provided by the Dean of Students. This information should be provided to all faculty and staff at least once a year. Notices from the Miami administration or MUPD should be distributed immediately.
  4. When CEC buildings need to be evacuated (due to a bomb threat or fire, for example), members of the Safety Committee will act as “checkers” as they exit their buildings. To the extent that they can do so safely on their way out, they will check offices/rooms and advise anyone they see to evacuate, and report to Diane Delisio or Scott Campbell on High Street in front of the arch (where first responders will arrive) if they know of anyone remaining in a building.

Department Specific Procedures & Guidelines

Computer Science and Software Engineering Safety


Chemical, Paper and Biomedical Engineering Safety

General Rules and Safety

  1. All users must complete a training overview and follow, where possible, standard operating procedures.  The rules for the Bioengineering Laboratory apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  2. Proper personal protective equipment (PPE) must be won at all times when using Bioengineering Lab facilities.  These include a laboratory coat, appropriate gloves, long pants, closed toe shoes, and safety glasses or goggles.  Specific gloves for some chemicals are described in the Chemical Hygiene plan.
  3. Food, drink, smoking, or applying cosmetics are not allowed in the laboratory.
  4. Visitors must be escorted by a Bioengineering Laboratory member at all times.
  5. Failure to follow Bioengineering Lab rules and regulations, misuse of the equipment in the laboratory, or leaving an unclear/unsafe workplace will result in loss of access to the laboratory.
  6. If you have safety questions, please contact one of the faculty members that conduct research in the Bioengineering Laboratory or contact one of the other Chemical and Paper Engineering faculty.
  7. Many questions can be answered in the Miami University Chemical Hygiene Plan.  A copy of this plan is maintained in the Bioengineering Laboratory for your reference.

Identified Safety Hazards in the Bioengineering Laboratory

There several specific safety hazards in the Bioengineering Laboratory of which you should be aware.  Examples of these hazards are identified below, and basic safety rules for dealing with them are described.

Chemical and Hazardous Waste

  • The Bioengineering Laboratory contains numerous solvents, salts, acids, bases, oxidizers, and other hazardous chemicals.  For specific chemicals you should consult the MSDS for proper disposal methods.  Many chemicals must be disposed of as hazardous waste.  Proper procedures for generating, labeling, and disposing of hazardous waste should be followed.  Additional information on hazardous waste disposal can be found at: http://www.units.muohio.edu/ehso/wpr/index.html.  
  • It is important that non-compatible wastes not be mixed when storing them or preparing them for hazardous waste disposal.  A chemical compatibility chart is located in the laboratory for commonly used chemicals in order to keep non-compatible chemical wastes separate.  
  • Chemicals in the laboratory may present other health risks (carcinogen, reproductive toxins, etc.) and proper PPE should be work at all times.  The MSDS should also be consulted before working with any chemical.
  • When a new or replacement chemical arrives in the lab, it should be marked with the user (or PI) name and the date on which it was received.


  • There are several sources sharps in the Bioengineering Laboratory. These include needles, razor blades, and microtome blades for the cryostat.
  • Sharps that are not contaminated as biohazard should be placed in a properly marked, hard container.
  • Biohazardous sharps should be disposed of in a solid, red Biohazard sharps container.
  • The cryostat is a sharps hazard.  It contains a sharp, mounted blade.  When not in use, the cryostat should be in the locked position.  The cryostat should not be touched or used if you have not been trained.



  • The Bioengineering Lab may contain biohazard: agents that may cause human disease.  These include infectious bacterial strains and human cells.  These should be disposed of in properly labeled biohazard containers.
  • Non-biohazardous biological agents (e.g., mammalian cells or mammalian cell lines not infected by agents of human origins) can and should be disposed of as regular waste.


Splash and spill hazards

  • Disposal of chemical or biological agents (when permitted) down the sink represents a splash hazard.  In particular, many biological agents will be bleached before sinking.   Additional care should be taken to use laboratory goggles when disposing of items down laboratory sinks.
  • In the event of a small spill (< 300 mL) the spill can cleaned with an appropriate spill kit.  Several kits are available in the lab for cleaning solvents, acids, and bases.  Bleach and absorbent pads are also available to clean biological agent spills.
  • For larger spills, contact Environmental Health and Safety at x-92829.  If the spill is an emergency and/or presents a danger to laboratory (or building) personnel, then evacuate the laboratory (or building if necessary) and call 911.


Compressed Gas

  • There are several canisters of compressed gas in the Bioengineering Laboratory.  These may include carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and/or argon.  
  • Tanks should always be properly mounted and secured.  If you observe tanks that do not appear to be properly mounted and secured, contact a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty.
  • Do not move compressed gas cylinders without permission and proper training
  • Do not used compressed gas cylinders or the attached regulators without proper training


Cold hazards

  • The bioengineering lab has several cold hazards including a -80oC freezer, freeze drier system, and liquid nitrogen storage units.
  • Do not enter the -80oC freezer without laboratory gloves.  Additional cold gloves may also be worn.
  • Liquid nitrogen is a significant burn hazard in the lab.  Do not use liquid nitrogen without proper training.  When pouring, additional PPE must be worn including a face shield and special cold gloves.

Mechanical hazards

  • The Bose and Instron mechanical testers represent mechanical hazards in the laboratory.  Improper use can lead to crush or other injuries.  These pieces of equipment should not be used without proper training.

Bioengineering Laboratory: Specific Rules

  1. You MUST be trained on equipment in the Bioengineering Laboratory before using it.  This Rules and Regulations Overview does NOT mean that you are certified to use or operate laboratory equipment.  Equipment this includes (but is not limited to) the cryostat, Zeiss microscope, platereader, laminar flow hood, lyophilizer, Bose mechanical tester, Instron mechanical tester, liquid nitrogen cell cryopreservation unit, cold storage, cell culture incubator, and analytical balance.
  2. DO NOT ignore alarms or flashing lights.  If you do not know how to address the problem, bring it to the attention of one of the faculty or technicians in the Bioengineering Laboratory.  
  3. DO NOT ignore a broken piece of equipment.  Be honest and report anything that you have broken or found broken to a faculty member from the Bioengineering Lab.
  4. DO NOT change the location of equipment, chemicals, or biological agents without the permission of a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty member.
  5. DO NOT take equipment, supplies, chemicals, or biological reagents out of the Bioengineering laboratory without the permission of the faculty member responsible for the items.  
  6. If you observe other students (e.g., undergraduate students) using/taking supplies that do not belong to their Principle Investigator (PI), please ask them to stop or contact a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty member.
  7. DO NOT change settings on equipment unless you are trained to do so.
  8. Clean up your workspace and any equipment used after you complete an experiment to ensure that you do not injure or interfere with the work of other Bioengineering Lab users.
  9. WASH and return all glass or plasticware to where you got it.  DO NOT leave it in the sink.
  10. Do not leave any trash or waste products on the bench or in the hoods.  Dispose of them properly.
  11. Put waste in the proper and properly labeled container.  This may include regular trash/waste, chemical/hazardous waste, or biohazardous waste.
  12. LABEL.  All items should be labeled, at a minimum, with your name (or initials), the contents, and the date.  Any item not labeled may be thrown away at the discretion of a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty member.
  13. If you are conducting an experiment and leave the immediate area, please use a sign reading “Experiment in Progress” so that other Bioengineering Laboratory members will be aware.
  14. Return items borrowed from other laboratories.
  15. DO NOT put empty containers back on a shelf.  If you use the last or notice that a general reagent or supply is nearly gone, write the item name and catalog number on the order board or notify a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty member or technician.
  16. If you observe someone using a piece of equipment IMPROPERLY tell the individual or let a Bioengineering Laboratory faculty member know so that appropriate action can be taken.

Bioengineering Laboratory Safety Training Checklist 

(Please check each box after it has been explained by the individual training you):

I am aware of the location of safety showers and eyewash fountains

I am also aware that I can use a fire extinguisher only if I have been properly trained

I am aware of the location of the First Aid Kit in the Bioengineering Laboratory and in the main CPE office.

I am aware that for life threating emergencies, I should dial 911 (I am aware of the nearest telephone)

I have been informed about the presence of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory and how to handle them.

I have been informed about the location and how to use a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

I have been informed how to dispose of chemical and biohazardous waste.

The location and proper use of Bioengineering Laboratory PPE has been explained to me.  These include laboratory coats, gloves, eye protection, long pants, close-toed shoes.  I am also aware of the procedure for replacing these PPE items.

I am aware of how to properly work in a chemical fume hood in order to reduce contaminants in the air of the general lab.

I am aware of how to properly respond to a minor spill (< 300 mL).

I am aware of how to properly respond to a major spill (> 300 mL)

I am aware of what to do if I am injured in the laboratory.

I am aware of what to do in the case of an emergency.  Dial: 911

Electrical and Computer Engineering Safety


Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Safety