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Lab Instructor Information
Lab Instructor Information
Taking Care of the Lab Room
The prep-room staff ensures that the laboratory supplies and equipment are changed according to the lab every week. We have over 100 laboratory sections every week and it is very difficult to restore every lab room to its original condition after every section. It is greatly appreciated if the lab is left how it was found. This can be done a few different ways.
- Some T.A.'s assign cleaning duties to students on a rotating schedule. These are quick when 4 students work together (less than 5 minutes).
- Other T.A.'s prefer to take care of cleaning themselves.
On Monday, every laboratory room is clean, stocked, organized, and ready to be used. Unfortunately, it does not remain in that condition for long. Below is a list of what a clean lab room looks like. The prep-room greatly appreciates the lab being left in this condition.
- Electronic balances are clean, level, and have their respective brush and weigh paper to their right hand side.
- Ring stands are placed in their appropiate area and stacked neatly with no clamps on them.
- Liquids, centrifuges, and dessicators are in their appropiate fume hood
- Solid chemicals are on the reagent bench which is closest to the quad room door.
- Any equipment on the work benches including hot plates, melt-temps, etc., are neatly arranged in their respective areas.
Checking Out Equipment
Some equipment must be checked out. We are not able to stock it in the quantities required to outfit all of the lockers. In order to avoid more than one trip to the window, it is beneficial for you to put a list of check-out items on the board for each experiment. In the majority of cases, your prep room attendant is also serving two to three additional labs. Sometimes, your students may have to wait in line to check out their equipment. Please tell them to be patient and not to worry as time is built into the experiment to accommodate this bottleneck. In order to check out equipment, students must fill out an "orange slip" properly. When they return the equipment, it is their responsibility to get their orange slip back. If they do not get their slip back, they will be wrongfully charged for that item.
If a reagent is spilled, please clean it up immediately. Acids should be neutralized with the sodium bicarbonate which is located in the acid hood. The resulting slurry should be placed in the solid waste. Please do not leave the mess for someone else to clean up. Most courses do not use mercury thermometers anymore. For the few that do, we have a procedure to follow if one is broken. Please notify the prep room attendant immediately if this happens in your lab.
The most common emergency in our undergraduate lab, in recent history, is a student fainting. In almost all cases, this was not a result of chemical exposure. If there is ever an emergency in your lab, have a student notify the prep-room attendant at once. You should attend to the student. The prep-room attendant will communicate the emergency to the appropriate person. In these cases, or any case in which the student may subsequently seek medical attention, you must complete an Incident Report to be filed with the University’s Risk Management department. Failure to do this will result in very large fines. The prep-room attendant has these forms and will forward it to the proper authority after it is filled out.
For smaller injuries such as cuts and thermal burns, a first aid kit is located in the center prep-room on every floor.
Please note: Students are not covered under Worker’s Compensation insurance. When the Student Health Center is not open (such as during night labs), injured students will be transferred to UMC. Any associated costs will be the responsibility of the student.
Splash-proof goggles (no safety glasses), lab coats, and closed shoes are required to work in the lab. Students are encouraged to purchase a set of goggles and a lab coat from Alpha Chi Sigma, our Chemistry fraternity. Representatives will come to your lab during the first and second weeks of lab. Students may keep these items in their lockers, as no one else is assigned to their locker. If they choose to bring these items to lab each week and forget them, they may them out from the prep-room using an orange slip. They will not be charged but it shouldn't be a recurring practice.
You are solely responsible for the safety of your students. However, your prep-room attendant is your safety back up. They will help you enforce the policies if needed. It is difficult to keep track of 24 students at a time. If we notice that safety regulations are not being followed, we will let you know.
In the event that a student(s) repeatedly fails to follow safety protocol after being told to do so, they will be asked to leave the laboratory and attend a make-up session.
Checking In To Lockers
In most cases, you will receive 24 locker cards. Count them. If there are not 24 cards, inquire with the prep-room attendant.
You must return the same number of cards to the prep room at the end of your lab. DO NOT LET ANY OF YOUR STUDENTS LEAVE WITH A LOCKER CARD. We need to maintain the integrity of the count for administrative purposes.
Once a student fills out a locker card, initials it, signs it, and returns it to you, they are OFFICIALLY CHECKED IN. From this moment on, they are required to check out of the locker by the date specified on their locker card. Failure to do this will result in a $10 service fee in addition to anything missing or broken. This policy includes those who drop the course after the first day.
Students should check to make sure that all of their equipment is present and in good working order. Pictures on the inventory sheets are NOT indicative of the quantities required. They need to consult the lower half of the sheet for the quantities and prices of each item shown in the picture. Glassware and plastic bottles should be checked for cracks. On check-in day, the prep room will replace broken and missing items free of charge. After the student signs the locker card, they have assumed financial responsibility for all of the items in the drawer. An excuse of, "it wasn’t there from the beginning" will not waive a replacement fee. If anyone is uncertain of a particular piece of equipment, they should consult their prep room attendant. Please DO NOT tell them, "it should be fine."
Some of the laboratory classes will have shared lockers, however most of the classes will not. If someone suspects their locker is being used by someone other than themselves (i.e. they find an additional set of goggles and an apron in the drawer), they should notify the prep-room attendant immediately. Missing equipment is not evidence of a shared locker. Although we do our best to check to make sure all lockers are actually locked at the end of each lab, the student is responsible for this. We will affix a note to their locker if we find it open, in hope that they will not forget again. Leaving equipment or leaving lockers unlocked is the quickest way to have equipment stolen. For this, they will be charged. However, there is a Lost and Found drawer in each lab. During change-over, we will put glassware that has been left out in that drawer.