CfA Safety: Working Alone

Note: Harvard University prohibits laboratory workers from working alone in laboratories; therefore, working alone at 60 Garden Street is prohibited. The Smithsonian does allow working alone in laboratories in their buildings (160 Concord Ave., 1 Hampshire St. and CDP).

The following are the S.I. rules concerning working alone in S.I. buildings.

In the initial S.O.P., the safety coordinator, with guidance from the Chemical Hygiene Officer, shall determine whether special provisions shall be made for a person to work alone on any phase of the planned experiment. A facility security guard shall be notified when anyone is working in laboratories during off-hours. No person shall be allowed to work alone in the following situations unless prior written approval has been granted by their supervisor and arrangements have been made for periodic safety contact:

  1. Use of highly flammable materials, e.g. liquids with a flash point of 73°F (22.8°C) or lower and having a boiling point at or below 100°F (37.8°C).
  2. Highly exothermic reaction systems such as polymerizations, oxidations, or hydrogenations.
  3. Work involving pressure vessels and pressurized systems operated at more than one-half their maximum rated pressure.
  4. Work with equipment having exposed circuits of over 50 volts.

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