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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Safety Information

*A complete listing of Safety Information for Rice University can be found here.*

Procedure for Lab Accidents

Graduate Students classified as a Fellow, Teaching Assistant (TA) and/or Research Assistant (RA) injured in the lab at Rice University are covered under Worker’s compensation. Rice Student Health Center does not provide medical services for workers compensation care. Therefore students injured in the lab should not go Rice Health Services. The following protocol should be used for all lab injuries. 


Call Rice University Police Department at 713-348-6000 (Do not call 911)
  • RUPD will dispatch officers to the scene and Rice EMS if needed
  • In case Houston Fire Department trucks or ambulances are needed, RUPD will meet them at the entrance gates and guide vehicles to the location
  • Be sure to tell the RUPD dispatcher of your location, and clearly describe the incident
If the incident involves chemicals, biological material, or radioactive materials your supervisor or someone in the laboratory should contact Rice Environmental Health and Safety at 713-348-4444
  • When injury or illness involves a chemical, Safety Data Sheet (SDS) should accompany the victim to the hospital.
  • A First Report of Injury Form must be filed with the Director of Risk Management, VP for Administration (MS-670)
  • An Accident/Incident Report must be submitted to your Department head and Environmental Health and Safety. The form is available on the Environmental Safety website at http://safety.rice.edu/ 
Administer First Aid, if necessary
Evacuate the area, if necessary.


Minor medical injuries/illness occurring in the workplace should be reported immediately to the injured party’s supervisor. The supervisor should fill out a First Report of Injury Form (available from Risk Management http://riskmanagement.rice.edu/workerscomp.cfmt or Environmental Health and Safety http://safety.rice.edu/).
Submit this form to either Renee Block at rab@rice.edu or Ana Robledo at arobledo@rice.edu as soon as possible. You can also fax the report to 713-348-5496. 
 If non-emergency medical attention is needed, the student should seek treatment at NOVA Clinic (workers compensation care) located 9563 Main Street. Contact Risk Management for an appointment. If transportation is not available, a request can be submitted to NOVA to provide transport.

Procedures for Evacuating Rice Buildings

In the event of a fire alarm, all persons including faculty, staff, students, RA’s and visitors are expected to immediately evacuate academic, athletic and residential facilities as quickly and safely as possible. Never use the elevator during the evacuation. Exit the building utilizing the most direct and closest evacuation stairwell available. If you smell smoke or see a fire in the building, activate the fire alarm system and exit the building closing doors along the exit path when possible to contain the spread of flames and smoke. At no time should the closing of doors or the activation of the alarm delay the exit from the building. Person should never ignore a fire alarm or remain in the building longer than is necessary to exit. Never re-enter the building to retrieve any items or personal belongings. Re-enter only when emergency responders, Rice Police or EHS advises the emergency is cleared. The alarms may be silenced prior to giving the all clear.
In residential facilities, evacuation maps are located near elevators and/or stairwells throughout the buildings. Students are expected to assemble at their college evacuation point and await further instruction.
In academic or athletic facilities, building occupants should assemble outside the building away from roadways and entry points.

You may find additional Environmental Health & Safety Procedures here: http://safety.rice.edu/Fire_and_Life_Safety/Fire_Splash/ 

Weather Event Preparation

Preparation for an inclement weather event in the laboratory should begin as soon as storm enters or forms in the Gulf of Mexico. Anytime a Storm hits the coast and moves northward Rice University could see wind damage, significant rainfall and possible campus flooding. Below are some guidelines that should be followed prior to landfall.

  • Check the accuracy of emergency contacts and telephone numbers on the lab door. Update this information at: http://safety.rice.edu/Chemical_Safety/Laboratory_Door_Sign_Generator/ 
  • Ensure all chemical and materials are marked with a waterproof marker.
  • Cap all chemicals and seal all open containers. Best practice is to use a container with a water tight sealable lid. Make sure there is no chemicals being stored on the floor or low areas.
  • Place all flammable or combustible chemicals in cabinets.
  • Secure all radioactive sources, radioactive isotopes, and DEA regulated drugs. Make sure all inventories of these materials are up to date.
  • Shut down all laboratory equipment which is not essential. Ovens, solvent stills, stir plates, biohazard hoods, incubators, pumps, and lasers. Instruments that are sensitive to power fluctuations should disconnected from the wall to prevent unwanted power surges.
  • Ensure that refrigerators and freezers with sensitive materials are on the emergency power circuit.
  • Stop all experiments, reactions, or anything that may still be running in the next 48 hours. Ensure all biological storage dewars are filled with liquid nitrogen in case of prolong outage.
  • Shut off the Natural Gas manifold in the laboratory where available. 
  • Move all electronic equipment from windows, and elevate all equipment and cardboard boxes 2-3” from the floor. This is critical in basement laboratories and flood prone areas.
  • Secure all cylinders by ensuring they are strapped or chained to the wall or bench and close the valve, remove the regulator and cap the cylinder stem.
  • Close the sash on all chemical fume hoods.
  • Make sure that all exits and corridors are clear.

Someone from the Environmental Health and Safety Department will be walking through the buildings prior to the event to ensure compliance. If you have any questions, please contact your building administrator or Environmental Health and Safety at x4444 or cavender@rice.edu.