University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering



Research Safety Officers:

Associate Professor James Van de Ven, 612-625-2499

Radiation Safety:

Seong Chan Kim, 612-245-3828



Initial Safety Training
All new employees in the Mechanical Engineering Department are required to take online Safety Training conducted by University Health and Safety (UHS) and in person laboratory specific training.

On-line Training Modules
Go to and take these three training modules.

  1. Introduction to Research Safety
  2. Chemical Safety
  3. Chemical Waste Management

In person laboratory specific training
Go to Laboratory Specific Training requirements and optional template (pdf).

Common ME lab specific training resources are:

  1. Biosafety
  2. Lasers - online module
    Lasers - fact sheet (pdf)
  3. ME Department - Fluid Power Safety hydraulics fact sheet (pdf), Convergence training video, Fluid Power Safety Institute Safety Alerts and Machine Shop Safety Fact Sheet (pdf)
  4. Compressed gases - Compressed gas sop template (doc), Matheson video, "The Basic of Cylinder Handling"
  5. Nanomaterials (pdf), Article - "Nanoparticles can permeate gloves after 2 hours"
  6. Noise
  7. Ergonomics

ME Annual Refresher Safety Training

  • New Researchers (Faculty, Staff, PhD students, MS Plan A
  • students): Must complete in-class safety training the last week of August. Video recordings of these training sessions are available below.
  • Existing Experimental Researchers: Must participate in one of the safety training seminars held in October and November. The seminars are organized by safety hazard areas.



Anonymously report an incident (



  1. Emergency Information Phone Numbers (pdf)
  2. Department Lab Safety Plan (doc)
  3. New Employee Safety Form (pdf)
  4. Teaching Lab Safety Form (pdf)
  5. Laboratory Audit Checklist (pdf)
  6. Example map of a lab and emergency shutoff diagram (pdf)



For more details about disposing of your chemical waste and preparing your chemicals for collection see the guidebook on the department of environmental health and safety website.

Q. I want to dispose of my chemical waste but I do not have the necessary MSDS data sheets. What do I do?
A. Any hazardous material can be disposed by following the directions at

You are required to be able to access a SDS for your materials. These sheets usually come with the material when it is ordered. However, OSHA is accepting online access, so if you have a digital copy or the supplier maintains them on their webpage you are not required to keep a hard copy.

Q. I have some chemical waste and I am not sure if it is hazardous or not, also what is the proper disposal method for my chemicals?
A. Your MSDS sheets will tell you if the chemical is hazardous or not. You can also check the chemical waste registry at If the chemical has a 05 NH DDC code it is non-hazardous. If you are still unsure, you should treat it as though it is hazardous.

Q. What is the maximum quantity of a combustible or flammable liquid allowed in my lab?
A. Your lab should have been built so that there is not more flammable storage cabinet space than allowed by code. You can use all the space under your fume hoods and any built in flammable storage cabinets.All flammables and combustibles should be stored in flammable storage cabinets. See the Flammable Hazard Class SOP for more information The maximum size for ANY container is 5 gallons (20 L). If you need to store flammables in a container larger than 5 gallons (such as a drum), contact DEHS at (612) 626-6002 for guidance. Small amounts of flammables (<1 L) may be left out in the lab. On a space-available basis, combustibles and containers <1 L should be stored in flammable cabinets. Halogenated organics which are not flammable are not required to be stored in a flammable cabinet. You may choose to put them there to control vapors on a space-available basis.

Q. Do I need to have eyewashes in my lab?
A. A safety shower and eyewash shall be provided in each lab area equipped with a fume hood. An eyewash shall be provided in other laboratories using hazardous chemical or radiological materials. An eyewash shall be provided in a readily accessible location where BSL2 or BSL3 biological agents are stored and used. Regulations on eyewashes are available in the construction standard 13 00 12

Q. I learned there is a complete guidebook about chemical waste disposal, where can I find it?
A. That is true, we have this guidebook and it can be found in this web page:

Q. What do I do in case of a chemical spill?
A. You need to be prepared for such an event. Complete your lab specific emergency plan For planning guidance see: (pdf). (pdf) (pdf) (pdf) (pdf)

Q. Who is supposed to attend the safety training?
A. Attendance at our annual safety training is required for faculty, staff, teaching assistants and research assistants. If you are a new graduate student, you need to attend the initial safety training. In the following years, you still need to attend the annual safety training.

Please visit the entire safety resources site available:, as well as the fact sheet page at


Safety Training August 29, 2019


Safety Training August 30, 2018


Safety Training August 31, 2017


Safety Training September 1, 2016


Safety Training September 3, 2015


Safety Training August 28, 2014