Laboratory and Process Safety

Incident and Near-Miss Reporting Form for CHE Laboratories

Researchers in a multi-university study have developed this assignment focusing on reporting of safety incidents and observations in the unit operations laboratories. The goal of this assignment is to expose you to risk assessment and reporting structures often used in industry, as well as to better understand the frequency and severity of safety incidents in the unit operations laboratories. Your responses will help your lab instructors to more safely operate the unit operations laboratories for future students.
A multi-university collaborative group of lab instructors developed and implemented an Incident Reporting form into their Chemical Engineering laboratories. A copy of this Google Form can be found below for implementation into any Unit Operations/Chemical Engineering laboratory

Copy of the Unit Operations Safety Observations and Incident Reporting Form

American Society of Engineering Education paper about Using Incident Reporting to Integrate Hazard Analysis and Risk Assessment into the Unit Operations Lab.

Videos of Case Studies

After the Rainbow

A reflective CSB video by an accident victim who was severely injured at a high school chemistry lab demonstration accident in Ohio, in 2006. The teacher was demonstrating how different chemicals burnt at different light frequencies without any safety gear like a lab-coat or goggles.

Experimenting with Danger

This CSB video discusses three accidents at university laboratories and research facilities – the 2008 fatal accident at UCLA involving a pyrophoric chemical (4:10), the 1997 death of a professor at Dartmouth College via accidental poisoning (7:48), and the 2010 explosion at Texas Tech University where a graduate student lost three fingers (11:14).

Select Lab Safety Video Snippets

Assignment: After viewing each safety snippet, write down 1 to 3 key takeaways for each video.

Outfit for Safety

A video created by the University of California, San Diego that comprehensively discusses the appropriate pieces of personal protective equipment for different laboratory environments.

The Sloppy Lab

This video, developed by the EECS Department at the University of Michigan, highlights the importance of wearing the proper safety gear in the lab.

Food in the Lab

This video emphasizes the potential consequences of bringing food into the lab and was produced by the EECS Department at the University of Michigan.

Glove Removal Safety

This Iowa State University EHS produced video summarizes the proper way to remove gloves safely in a laboratory.

Safety Gear

This video, developed by the EECS Department at the University of Michigan, highlights the importance of wearing the proper safety gear in the lab.


The EECS Department at the University of Michigan stresses the importance of evacuating the building at the sound of any alarm, even if it may just be a drill in this video.

How to Use an Emergency Safety Shower

This video, produced by EHS at Iowa State University, reviews the proper use of an emergency safety shower.


biohazard labelTemplate Undergraduate Lab Safety Guidelines / Contract
ACS guidelinesAmerican Chemical Society Safety Guidelines
lab safety concept mapIntroduction to Laboratory Safety for Graduate Students: An Active-Learning Endeavor
powerful arrowUniversity of Michigan Active Attacker Information

Safety Information from Other Universities

Lessons Learned at University of California, Berkeley
Emergency Information from University of Auckland, New Zealand