The present document aims to be an introductory guide to the various safety practices essential to laboratory activities. Its purpose is to offer an overview of the subject so as to help create an appreciation of potential hazards within the laboratory environment and so enable their elimination or mitigation. The user is urged to actively refer to the various literature and websites enlisted here as well as others. Since the materials used in each laboratory is likely to be different from those used in another, it is the responsibility of the user in each laboratory to establish and update the essential safety and waste disposal information, and render them available in a form that may be accessed and utilized with ease and promptitude.
The Department of Chemical Engineering at IIT Bombay holds the view that awareness of hazards, and compliance with the best safety and waste disposal practices is integral to the accomplishment of laboratory research. It is also an ethical imperative. The discipline of occupational health and safety is a rapidly expanding field and all those who work in a laboratory environment need to accept the task of pro-actively seeking and documenting all relevant information and implementing practical measures to establish and sustain a safe working milieu.