Laboratory Safety

The Lab Safety pages provide department-specific information on Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) issues for people working in MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering spaces, excluding those members working in Building 13 who fall under the MRL EHS program.

For more information relating to EHS, please


Our department requires all lab workers to complete the Institute EHS training on Chemical Hygiene and Managing Hazardous Waste along with lab-specific safety training and Emergency Preparedness training. Additional training may also be required depending on the hazards present in the laboratory space and the type of work being conducted. Details on required and recommended training can be found on the DMSE Training page. DMSE collaborates with the MIT Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office in managing the Departmental safety program.

Lab Safety Responsibilities

The responsibility for implementing and documenting safety procedures and training in DMSE laboratories lies with the faculty principal investigators (PI's) to whom the laboratory is assigned. The PI will typically assign an "EHS representative" for each laboratory to act as the day-to-day coordinator and reporter for that facility.

Additional information on the specific aspects of laboratory safety and the management of this program within DMSE can be found in the DMSE Chemical Hygiene Plan. In addition, the Department has an Emergency Action Plan describing procedures to be carried out in emergencies.


The PI or EHS representative is required to perform a "Level I" inspection of their laboratory weekly. Guidance on inspections and documentation is available online on the EHS website.

Twice each year, DMSE will perform a "Level II" inspection of each laboratory, and written records of these inspections will be retained by DMSE and EHS. It is worthwhile for all laboratory workers to review the EHS guidance for these inspections, and keep their workspace and procedures up to standard continuously.


Injuries to MIT workers (including students) must be reported to Human Resources (HR) and EHS by the PI or supervisor within 24 hours of the injury. This report may be made online. Serious injuries should be reported immediately to EHS at 2-3477.