Geosciences Onboarding Guide

Pages 9-11




Every year, sometime in the beginning of the Fall semester, the Geosciences department offers a mandatory lab safety training session led by Risk Management & Safety (RMS). All faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff are required to attend. Throughout the year, lab safety training can also be done online through BioRAFT, the new Research Management system, which will record that you completed the training.


Remember that before new graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) can teach in the lab, they must have completed the mandatory “Lab Safety” and “Managing Regulated Waste” training. Graduate students must also have completed these, in addition to any other relevant safety training (e.g. Biosafety Training, Fire Extinguisher Training) before they can obtain keys to their research labs.

BioRAFT offers a variety of safety courses – faculty with research labs should make sure that all students working in the lab have been trained in all relevant areas of safety. This should be documented on each student’s Safety Training Documentation Form.


Every lab should have a safety officer (and ideally a backup safety officer) who is responsible for regularly checking to make sure the lab is safety compliant. Particular attention should be paid to proper chemical storage and waste management.


Food and drinks should not be consumed in the labs. Food and drink containers also should not be disposed of in lab trash cans. Please use the trash cans in the hallway for food and drink items.


Useful links:

Risk Management & Safety – Training page BioRAFT





Chematix is the Chemical Inventory Management System (CIMS) that Auburn University uses for its research and teaching labs. It is used for managing chemical inventories, as well as hazardous waste removal. It can also be used to search the Campus Surplus Chemical Library for chemicals that are available at no charge.


Log in to Chematix here, using your AU username and password. You should have access to your chemical inventory once Risk Management & Safety (RMS) or your research advisor has assigned you to the appropriate lab(s) in Chematix. If you have any questions about Chematix or need to request access to a chemical inventory, email


Useful links:

RMS Chemical Inventory page

Chematix User Manual

Chemical Inventory FAQ





Waste produced in a lab must remain in that lab until it is picked up by Risk Management & Safety. That means if your lab produces hazardous waste, you must create a waste satellite accumulation area in that room.


Please follow these rules:

  • Waste containers should be in a designated waste accumulation area marked with the “Hazardous Waste Satellite Accumulation Area”
  • Waste containers must be labeled with a waste tag stating “Hazardous Waste”.
  • The hazard categories (e.g., flammable, corrosive, toxic, oxidizer, etc.) must be indicated on the waste label.
  • Don’t use abbreviations or formulas when listing contents on the waste label. Write out the entire chemical name.
  • Don’t overfill waste containers (leave at least 1-2 inches of headspace).
  • Waste containers should be stored in secondary containers.
  • Use proper containers for waste. Squirt bottles and flasks are not appropriate containers for waste.
  • When not in use, waste containers should always be capped. Caps should be secure (i.e. threaded).
  • Waste containers and secondary containers should be clean, not covered in spilled chemical residues.
  • Don’t store chemicals and empty bottles in the waste accumulation area.
  • Old vacuum pump oil should be labelled “used oil”, not “oil waste”.


Note that there are only two people picking up hazardous waste from labs all over campus, so please be patient when awaiting waste pickup. They will come pick up your waste as their schedule allows it. Usually they wait until there is enough waste accumulated in our building to make a trip out here. The only way they know there’s waste to be picked up is if you submit the pickup requests through Chematix. So, don’t wait for the waste to accumulate in your lab before submitting the pickup requests. When you have a waste container that is full or no longer needed, go ahead and submit a pickup request.


Hazardous Materials Technicians:


Hazardous Materials Specialist: Tom Hodges


Useful links: