Wildfire and Smoke Preparedness
Wildfire Safety
With the peak wildfire season upon us in the Central Valley, it is timely to initiate your respective departmental wildfire smoke preparedness plans. The campus and surrounding areas may experience worsening air quality during wildfire smoke events. Please take this opportunity to ensure that quantities of N95s are sufficient for distribution to all outdoor workers in the event of a wildfire event impacting your work locations.

N-95 masks are available for purchase: Any employee who works outdoors or in non-filtered buildings and/or vehicles for more than one hour per shift must be trained in wildfire smoke protection.
  • Training is available here.
  • For monitoring of local Air Quality, please use this link.
  • Additional wildfire smoke information and resources are available here.
Alerts will be sent through Safety Services during wildfire smoke conditions and should the need for N95 distribution present itself. If you wish to subscribe to these alerts, please email a request to Outdoor Safety.

Find out more about building ventilation and filtration at UC Davis, as well as more information about the specific ventilation and filtration levels of the HVAC systems serving campus buildings.  
UCD Laboratory Safety
Laboratory Safety

This month, the Laboratory Safety Review team worked with the College of Engineering to bring UCD Laboratory Safety 201 to Bainer Hall.

Participants had an opportunity to apply the information they received in the pre-requisite course, UCD Laboratory Safety 101. They learned to identify common findings noted during the laboratory safety review program and received guidance on completing self-inspections and preparing for internal and external laboratory safety audits.

The Lab Safety Review team will be working next with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The goal is to collaborate with each of the schools and colleges to bring the course to their areas, making it more convenient for the lab members to participate.

Microtome Safety Item Coming to Lab Safety Review Checklist

In an effort to eliminate microtome-related injuries, an item related to microtome safety training will be added to the lab safety review checklist and the self-inspection checklist in 2023.

If your lab has a microtome (including a cryostat), prepare your lab by:

Please contact with any questions.
 Mercury Spills

Safety Services receives several calls a year regarding mercury (Hg) spills in laboratories. Common laboratory items that contain mercury include glass thermometers (500-3000 mg Hg typically), compact fluorescent lights (approximately 4 mg Hg), as well as gauges and other scientific equipment (e.g., manometers).

Oftentimes, mercury spills are noticed after the fact, when lab members observe shiny, silver-white metallic beads in a drawer, fume hood, or along the floorboards of a wall or cupboard. Safety Net #16, “Guidelines for Mercury Spill Control” provides information on what to do when a mercury spill occurs.

  • Small spills of mercury, such as broken thermometers, must be cleaned up immediately by laboratory personnel. Short-term exposures to low level mercury vapors present little hazard and respirators are usually not required. Mercury spill kits are available from AggieBuy to help in the clean-up of small spills: search for product numbers 1233J97 (Thomas Scientific) or 634506 (Millipore Sigma) on AggieBuy
  • A large spill is generally any amount of mercury larger than a few milliliters (or what is contained in a few laboratory thermometers). The UC Davis Fire Department must be called for large mercury spills. The Fire Department will contact EH&S to assess the spill and help determine a proper course of action for cleaning. Outside contractors may be necessary for clean-up.

Read a Lesson Learned about a mercury spill on campus and how researchers responded.

Action items for labs:

  1. Replace equipment containing mercury with less hazardous counterparts. Spirit-filled thermometers are available in AggieBuy for only $2.85 (item 1139C80, partial immersion thermometer for temperature ranges -10 deg to 150 deg C).
  2. Dispose of mercury-containing thermometers and equipment through WASTe.
  3. If mercury containing equipment is required, purchase a mercury spill kit and complete training on handling mercury spills. Use SafetyNet #16 as a guide.
  4. Know how to identify a mercury spill and call EH&S for help if needed.
Meet Kristina Zumstein

Kristina is the newest member of the Laboratory Safety Review program at Safety Services.

Kristina takes over the role of Laboratory Safety Professional (LSP) for the College of Biological Sciences and half of the School of Medicine. John Lomas previously held that position and retired at the end of June.

Read more about Kristina

Lisa Dalbeck Promoted
Lisa Dalbeck
Since joining EH&S in November, Lisa Dalbeck has received a promotion to the role of Associate Biosafety Officer.

In her new role, Lisa will be a biosafety support resource for researchers on campus, the Veterinary School and the Medical School. 

Read more about Lisa
Airgas Liquid Nitrogen Service Changes
Airgas, UC’s main supplier for liquid nitrogen for cryogenic storage, has notified UC that Airgas delivery drivers can no longer perform certain high-risk functions that fall outside of contracted services.

Effective October 7, 2022, Airgas drivers can no longer perform these services for high-risk samples/research:
  • Connection/disconnection services for high-risk sample applications
  • Inventory management for high-risk sample applications
  • Filling of open-mouth dewar flasks, if they contain samples.
Learn more about this change and training resources coming soon.
Upcoming Trainings

UCD Laboratory Safety 101: Overview

This class is designed to guide laboratory personnel managers and Principal Investigators on how to develop, implement and maintain laboratory safety programs. It will cover a range of topics related to the laboratory safety review program and how these topics relate to underlying regulation and improving laboratory safety culture. Taught by the Lab Safety Professional Team.


Wednesday, October 5
9 - 11:30 a.m.
Register on the LMS

Online Lab Safety Tools Seminar

This interactive class will teach you how to use the UC Online Lab Safety Tools: Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT), Chemicals, Inspect, WASTe and Profile. 

Wednesday, October 12
9 - 11:30 a.m.
Register on the LMS

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