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Revision as of 06:31, 9 July 2009 by Saizai (talk | contribs) (Safety in the chemistry lab: Mercury)
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In Case Of Bad Things


From a cell phone, call SF dispatch directly at 415-553-8090, rather than 911. (Program it into your phone.) Cell phones may route to Vallejo, where wait times often exceed 1 hour.

From the VoIP pay phone call SF dispatch directly at 415-553-8090. That line is not certified for 911 service.

From a mythical land line

Police: Dial 911 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, call 415-553-0123. Never attempt to take matters into your own hands, our insurance doesn't cover that.

Fire Department: Dial 911 for emergencies. The designated meeting place in case of evacuation is at the northeast corner of Weise and 16th (the Taqueria.)

San Francisco City Services (graffiti, street conditions, alley cleaning, utilities, etc): 311

Water (flooding): Call the landlord.

Minor Medical (< 10 hit points): There's a first aid kit on the wall above the trash can. Unlike in Doom, you have to use it, you can't just stand on it.

Major Medical (>= 10 hit points, shop accident, gunshot wound, etc): Dial 911 for emergencies. The closest hospital is the level 1 trauma center at San Francisco General Emergency. Google thinks there's a hospital very close by on 18th, but it's just a drug clinic and does not have emergency services.

To learn more about emergency preparedness, take the local Red Cross online course

Lab Safety Protocols

See Noisebridge Lab Safety and Ethics Page.

Safety Committee

Schoen proposed a safety committee, which was brought up at the 10/7 meeting. Add your name here to join! Please also list days and times that would be OK with you for a safety committee meeting.

Seth Schoen - evenings (except Tuesday until Oct. 28)

Meredith L. Patterson - evenings generally, prefer 8pm or later

Greg Albrecht - weekends & evenings that aren't monday or wednesday

Jacob Appelbaum - evenings

Christie - Monday, Tuesday or Thursday before 8(difficult), weekends.

Rigel 00:50, 29 October 2008 (PDT) I would like to sit in, i'm generally free most evenings except for friday and saturday

Al Sweigart - evenings

... looks like a Thursday evening might be plausible? ... +1 thursday evening. gba 10:32, 10 October 2008 (PDT)

... how about first meeting on Thursday the 16th at 20:00? Schoen 00:22, 12 October 2008 (PDT)

.... and a SECOND MEETING on Thursday, March 12, at 19:00? Schoen 22:33, 9 March 2009 (PDT)

Fire safety

We currently have two smoke detectors (one upstairs and one downstairs). We have two fire extinguishers (downstairs rated 3-A:40-B:C, upstairs rated 10-B:C). It would be nice to have a kitchen-oriented extinguisher in the kitchen, and an extinguisher in any lab space that is appropriate to kinds of fires that might occur in that lab space and that won't damage the equipment kept in that lab. If we have any activity, materials, or apparatus in the space for which our fire extinguishers are not suitable, we should get new fire extinguishers that are compatible with them.

We have no sprinklers or other automated fire suppression (right?) and we have only one exit. We should consider whether to do anything to improve the marking of the exit and the fire extinguishers.

It would be helpful for safety to ensure that we always have at least one phone available that doesn't depend on power and Internet access to make calls (a land line or cell phone). Schoen 20:37, 1 October 2008 (PDT)

First aid

We have a first aid kit on the wall next to the kitchen. We could encourage Noisebridge members to obtain First Aid and CPR certifications. Schoen 20:37, 1 October 2008 (PDT)

Trying to organize First aid and CPR class for Noisebridge. If we have 8 people interested, we can schedule it when we want it instead of the 8AM on a Saturday when they schedule it. Christie 00:29, 30 March 2009 (PDT)

Safety for projects, materials, and equipment

  • Training
  • Rules or procedures
  • Documentation (e.g. MSDS)
    • Standard operating procedure at every lab I have ever worked at has been to have a binder containing MSDSs for all materials used in the lab. Some labs also had an electronic version in a CMS; we could add MSDSs to the wiki, as many MSDSs are available on the web. If someone wanted to spring for it, we could also get an account at or someplace similar. Mlp 23:00, 1 October 2008 (PDT)
  • Safety equipment or apparatus (e.g. protective clothing or eyewear, eyewash, ventilation, etc.)

Physical security

  • A security grate is needed on the smaller window over the door.
  • Bolts on the security grates over the larger windows look somewhat weak. Could use some assessment and possible repair.
  • A stronger solid-core door / access control needed

Safety in the chemistry lab

We're definitely going to need to build a fume hood. ANY reaction that evolves gas must be done with appropriate ventilation, even if it's a relatively harmless gas, and the vent over your average stove won't cut it. (I almost killed myself with carbon dioxide in my kitchen once, so I take this very seriously.) It would really be best if we built a fume hood with an air foil. I have a doc with instructions on how to build one, but it's scanned from a textbook so I really shouldn't upload it here. How much linear space is available near the existing exhaust vent? Mlp 23:02, 1 October 2008 (PDT)

I think it might be useful to set up a timeline for what sorts of experiments we want to be able to do, so that we can acquire lab equipment in sequence of importance, and that maximizes the usability of our equipment for multiple ongoing experiments. it might also be useful to institute some sort of logging application or notebook requirement, so that legal issues can be dealt with as well as allowing others to springboard off of any work that does wind up being done. (this last one is not safety specifically, i know) Rigel 01:38, 29 October 2008 (PDT)

Other things we will need:

  • Fire extinguisher: ABC type for sure.
  • Bucket of sand. Check it once a week to make sure that the sand hasn't accreted into a solid block.
  • Nitrile gloves should always be in stock; they can be had cheap from American Science and Surplus.
  • Keep baking soda around for neutralizing acid spills, vinegar for neutralizing base spills.
  • Paper towels, loads of them.
  • A couple of lab coats. (~$17 at AS&S I think)
  • Safety goggles!!!!!
  • Eyewash bottle (always keep full with clean distilled water)
  • Decontamination shower (we might want to set this up outside in the alley, can make one from PVC)


Mercury MSDS

Mercury Spill Procedures

Mercury poisoning can cause or worsen serious long-term neurological damage and other toxic effects. Mercury vapor cannot be detected by humans. The exposure limit per OSHA is 0.05 mg/m³ in air, depending on form.

In case of significant exposure (e.g. ingestion, touching mercury, or breathing without a mercury specific air filter near a major spill), visit your doctor for testing and possible chelation therapy.

In case of a mercury spill:

1. Isolate the area - remove anything that might get contaminated and isn't yet, and get people (esp. kids) to leave the area to minimize exposure to vapor 2. Don safety equipment - goggles, facemask, disposable gloves (gloves are above the fridge) 3. Identify the source if possible 4. Suck up mercury w/ eyedropper and put in a double-bagged airtight container; use index cards to corral. For large spills, use sawdust. 5. Double check entire area that mercury might have skittered off to 6. Clean area with sodium thiosulphate solution and/or powder (stored in darkroom, also used as photographic fixer) 7. Rinse with water 8. Dispose of all materials used in cleanup (sponges, eyedroppers, containers, paper towels, gloves, etc) as hazardous waste. Do NOT leave them as normal trash; it's harmful to the aquifer and illegal to boot. Put it all in a separate bag, clearly label as contaminated w/ mercury, bring proof of SF residency, and drop off (5lb/day free) at:
 Tunnel Ave & Beatty Rd
 San Francisco, CA 94134
 (415) 330-2872

9. If the source was not located, or there is another reason why you do not know for certain that all the mercury that might have been spilled was in fact securely collected, consider renting a vapor analyzer to conclusively determine whether any remains.

Safety in the bio lab

See Noisebridge Lab Safety and Ethics Page