Isothermal Community College

Learning College Manual

Emergency and Safety Plans

III. Safety Rules and Procedures


The rules and procedures set forth in this section of the Safety Manual were established and designed to safeguard the well being of the students, faculty, staff, and visitors to the campuses of Isothermal Community College.  As was stated in the first section, no set of rules or procedures can foresee every eventuality; however, the rules and procedures contained in this section, along with the commitment by everyone on campus to be vigilant and safety conscious, will aid in the prevention and/or reduction of many of the accidents and injuries found in today’s workplace. The rules and procedures will be monitored and applied as necessary by those staff and faculty in the various areas of the campus for which they have responsibility.

All staff and faculty are urged to report any situation or condition that could present a safety hazard. Note: except for computer labs, labs cannot be utilized without direct supervision. Incidents or other suggestions should be made to the Vice President of Administrative Services (ext. 202) or to the Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance (ext. 398).

These safety rules and procedures are reviewed annually and anyone should feel free to submit suggestions or recommendations for revision at any time.


The following section contains written safety plans, some of which currently are under revision. Other written plans as listed below are available by contacting the Director of Plant Operations and Maintenance at 828-287-8001 or extension 398. Pending plans will be available as completed.

Safety Plans
Written Plans        Pending Plans
Campus Safety for Students   Art Classroom
Chemical Hygiene      Basic Law Enforcement Training
Confined Spaces            Dam Safety
Exposure Control   Driver’s License Review Policy
HAZCOM Gymnasium
Hearing Conservation Nursing
Lock Out/Tag Out Pool Procedures
PPE – Personal Protective Equipment Sexual Assault Response Team Policy
  Weight Room


  1. No smoking, chewing or dipping in lab areas or classrooms. 
  2. Food and drinks in designated areas only.
  3. Safety glasses must be worn in lab areas at all time – no exceptions.
  4. All outside projects must have instructor’s approval.
  5. Safety procedures as outlined in instruction must be followed.
  6. No one will be permitted to work in lab unsupervised by an authorized college official.
  7. Respirators must be worn when spraying. Sign Disclaimer/require breathing exam.
  8. Materials will be furnished, except for paint, for one student owned vehicle per semester.
  9. Student vehicles will not be left on campus over 30 days without instructor’s approval – no exceptions.


  1. Notify your instructor immediately if you are pregnant, colorblind, allergic to any insects, taking immunosuppressive drugs, or have any other medical condition (e.g. diabetes, immunologic defect) that may require special precautionary measures in the laboratory.
  2. Locate, and when appropriate, learn to use exits, fire extinguisher, chemical shower, eyewash, first aid kit, broken glass container, and cleanup materials for spills.
  3. In case of fire, evacuate the room and assemble outside the building, at the designated assembly area.
  4. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in the laboratory.
  5. Confine long hair, loose clothing, and dangling jewelry.
  6. Wear shoes at all times in the laboratory.
  7. Cover any cuts or scrapes with a sterile, waterproof bandage before attending lab.
  8. Do not perform unauthorized experiments.
  9. Do not use equipment without instruction.
  10. Report all spills and accidents to your instructor immediately.
  11. Never pipette by mouth.  Use mechanical pipetting devices.
  12. Wash skin immediately and thoroughly if contaminated by chemicals or micro-organisms.
  13. Never leave heat sources unattended.
  14. When using hot plates, note that there is no visible sign that they are hot (e.g., a red glow).  Always assume that the hot plates are hot.
  15. Use an appropriate apparatus when handling hot glassware.
  16. Keep chemicals away from direct heat or sunlight.
  17. Keep containers of alcohol, acetone, and other flammable liquids away from flames.
  18. Do not allow any liquid to come into contact with electrical cords.  Handle electrical connectors with dry hands.  Do not attempt to disconnect electrical equipment that crackles, snaps, or smokes.
  19. Upon completion of laboratory exercises, place all materials in the disposal areas designated by your instructor.
  20. Do not pick up broken glassware with your hand.  Use a broom and dustpan and discard the glass in designated glass waste containers; never discard with paper waste.
  21. Place glassware and plastic ware possibly contaminated with blood or other body fluids in the “To Be Autoclaved” container or place them directly into a 10% bleach solution.
  22. Wear disposable gloves when working with blood or other body fluids, or mucous membranes.  Change gloves after possible contamination and wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  23. Place gloves, swabs, toothpicks, etc. that may have come in contact with body fluids in a disposable autoclave bag.
  24. Leave the laboratory clean and organized for the next student.
  25. Wash your hands with liquid or powder soap prior to leaving the laboratory.


Following the safety procedures listed below reduces the risk of infection in the laboratory and provides training for proper procedures in handling potentially infectious agents in the work environment.

  1. Follow the step-by-step procedures demonstrated in laboratory and lecture for handling potentially infectious agents.
  2. Do not keep the laboratory source supply of microorganisms at your desk.  Have only the number needed and only for the time necessary for inoculations.
  3. Note the organism label on the supply culture tube and be certain you have labeled the receiving containers by the same name.
  4. Do not eat, drink, smoke, store food or apply cosmetics in the laboratory.
  5. When no longer needed, place all used instruments and containers in the designated site for autoclaving.
  6. Do not reach or lean over flames and culture containers.
  7. Do not wear clothing that is excessively loose so as to come in contact with flame or microorganisms (e.g. unbuttoned sweater, jackets or large loose sleeves).
  8. Use mechanical pipetting devices; mouth pipetting is prohibited.
  9. Wash hands every time you leave the laboratory.
  10. Students who are pregnant, taking immunosuppressive drugs or have any medical condition should inform the instructor.
  11. Decontaminate work surfaces at the end of every lab period and after any spill of microorganisms and inform the instructor of all spills.

Cleaning Microbiological Spills

  1. Pour 70% isopropyl alcohol, household bleach, or 100% Lysol on any broken glass or contaminated surfaces.
  2. Cover spill area with paper towels, and saturate with additional disinfectant.  Wait 30 minutes.
  3. Wearing rubber gloves and using tongs, pick up all glass or residue along with paper towels and place in a Biohazard bag.
  4. Seal Biohazard bag and autoclave contents.
  5. Wash hands thoroughly.


  1. Eye Protection
    1. Approved safety goggles are to be worn at all times in the laboratory while the class is meeting.  Even if you are finished with your experiment, you must wear eye protection as long as you are in the laboratory.
    2. Failure to comply with this rule results in the following steps being taken.  
      1. The first time in a lab session the student is reminded to put on safety goggles
      2. The second time in a lab session the student receives a deduction of 5 pts. From his/her lab grade.
      3. The third time in a lab session the student is asked to leave and is not permitted to complete the lab.
    3. Safety goggles are provided for student use free of charge.  The student may purchase a pair of safety goggles from one of the local stores if they wish
  2. Clothing and Personal Items
    1. Shoes must be worn at all times in the lab.  No open toed shoes are permitted.
    2. If shorts are worn, they must come down to the knees.  Lab aprons are available for those students wishing to wear them.
    3. Hair should be tied back to keep out of the way of flames and other possible spills.
    4. Jewelry should not dangle loosely because of possible reactions with chemicals in the lab.
  3. Handling Chemicals
    1. Due to the danger of chemicals entering the mouth or lungs, smoking, drinking and eating are forbidden in the laboratory.
    2. Treat all chemicals in the lab as toxic.  Keep them off your skin or clothes.
    3. Do not taste anything in the laboratory.  This applies to food as well as chemicals.
    4. Do not place your mouth on any chemical equipment.
    5. Keep your hands and face clean.  Flush any spill on your body with cold water for at least 15 minutes.  Wash your hands with soap and water before leaving the laboratory.
    6. Avoid inhalation of fumes of any kind.  To test an odor, fill your lungs with air and cautiously sniff the vapors as you waft (fan) them from the source.  Never inhale fumes directly from a chemical substance.  All odorous and/or fuming chemicals must be kept in the dispensing hood.  Any reaction that emits a fume must be carefully set-up to trap the fumes or to direct them into the hoods or towards the exhaust fans.
    7. Never leave excess or spilled chemicals on equipment (in particular, the handling surfaces of glassware); wipe clean with a damp towel immediately and dry with a towel.
    8. Avoid violent splattering by always pouring concentrated solutions (e.g. acids) INTO water or less concentrated solutions while stirring.
    9. Do not point the mouth of a reaction vessel containing chemicals toward yourself or someone else.
    10. Never leave a reaction in progress.
    11. Most organic substances are flammable.  Sparks, flames or other ignition sources should be kept out of the laboratory.  Heat organics in a sand bath, water bath, with a hot plate or heating mantle.  CAUTION:  Chemicals spilled on hot plates can result in fires.
    12. For additional information on the properties of laboratory chemicals, you may consult the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) file, which is available during laboratory hours.
    13. Before making any changes in the chemicals to be used (or the procedures to be followed), always discuss the changes with your instructor.
    14. Read the label on the reagent bottle three (3) times carefully before using the substance.
    15. Never use a greater amount of a chemical substance than the maximum suggested by the instructor.
    16. Wet all matches before discarding them.
    17. Safety glasses are to be worn at all times in the laboratory.
    18. No open-toed shoes or bare feet allowed in the laboratory, feet must be enclosed.


  1. Do not apply voltage to a circuit without the instructor’s approval.
  2. When working on electrical circuits, “KEEP ONE HAND IN YOUR POCKET.”
  3. Remove all jewelry before working electrical circuits.
  4. Do not assume the power is off, measure the voltage with a voltmeter to be sure.
  5. Keep floors and aisles clear.
  6. No “horseplay.”
  7. Never remove the grounding prong of a three-wire input plug.
  8. Know location of fire extinguishers.
  9. When cutting or “nipping” wire, have wire pointed away from other students.
  10. If you don’t know – ask your instructor.


  1. No horseplay will be permitted.
  2. No food or drinks will be consumed in the laboratory.  The use of tobacco products is not permitted in the lab.
  3. Use common sense at all times.  THINK.
  4. Learn to use all tools and equipment safely.  If you have questions, ask your lab instructor.
  5. Be certain all circuits and test equipment are properly connected before applying power.  If you have questions, ask your lab instructor.
  6. Make sure meters are set to proper range and scale before making measurements.
  7. Remove conductive (metal) jewelry such as watches, rings, and bracelets before working on energized circuits.
  8. When working with high voltage circuits, keep one hand behind your back at all times.
  9. Utilize all safety equipment and procedures specified by your instructor.
  10. Disconnect electrical devices by pulling on the connector or plug; do not pull the lead or line cord.
  11. Report all damaged or malfunctioning equipment, components, and tools to your lab instructor.
  12. Discharge capacitors before attempting circuit repairs.
  13. Properly store all tools, components and equipment at the end of each work period.
  14. Take care of your equipment.


  1. Safety glasses must be worn at all times while in lab area.
  2. Safety-type shoes required (no sandals).
  3. No shorts worn in lab.
  4. Wear short sleeve shirts or long sleeves rolled up.
  5. Do not carry files or wrenches in pocket.
  6. Never leave chuck wrench in chuck.
  7. Wipe up oil from floor immediately after oil spill.
  8. Use legs and not back when lifting objects.
  9. If injury occurs, report immediately.
  10. Use brush for cleaning machine and not the air hose.
  11. Do not attempt to measure parts while machine is running.
  12. Be sure unused material or parts are stored properly.
  13. No “horseplay” in lab area.
  14. Watches, rings, gloves or loose clothing will not be worn while operating machines.
  15. Never use a file without a handle on the tang. 


  1. Safety glasses must be worn at all times in shop. Proper lens in cutting goggles and welding helmet must bechecked and in good condition at all times. Eye protection at any price is cheap compared to loss of eye.
  2. Do not operate the torches or machines before checking them out. Check for loose tips or electrical connections.
  3. Never wear loose clothing in the shop, clothing with oil, or flammable materials. May cause serious burns.
  4. No tennis shoes or sandals. Boots or safety shoes required.
  5. Always wear gloves when working with hot metal or when cutting or welding.
  6. Keep work area clean. Keep walkways open and clear.
  7. Horseplay will not be tolerated in shops.
  8. Make sure ventilation system is turned on. Never weld without it.
  9. Always be alert for hazardous conditions. Report immediately to the instructor any violations.
  10. Report any injury or accident to instructor immediately.


Each student must watch these safety videos:

  1. Oxyacetylene Safety
  2. Arc Welding Safety
  3. Shop Safety



  1. No one under sixteen (16) years old shall operate mowers, edgers or weedeaters.
  2. Employee must be eighteen (18) years old or older to operate the big mowers.
Safety Equipment
  1. Safety equipment shall be worn as noted in PPE Hazard Assessment.
First Aid/Accidents
  1.  Employees should exercise caution when they are working in areas that contain harmful plants and stinging insects (wasps, hornets, etc.).
  2. If exposed or stung, seek first aid immediately.        
Hazardous Materials
  1. All employees shall be instructed in the proper handling of poisons or other hazardous substances.
  2. Designated agricultural toxins shall be applied to campus foliage by trained and/or licensed personnel.
Lawnmowers and Other Fuel-Powered Tools
  1. All fuel-powered tools shall be stopped while being refueled, serviced, or maintained.
  2. Fuel must be transported, handled, and stored in approved safety cans


  1. All custodial personnel shall observe the safety rules applicable to any    department in which they are working.
Work Safety
  1. All elevated work shall be performed from an appropriate ladder or  personnel lift (i.e. high lift, air lift, lift truck with platform, etc.)
  2. Proper protective apparel such as gloves, masks and/or safety glasses shall              be worn in compliance with the infection control or hazardous materials   procedures, as noted in the PPE Hazard Assessment.
Work Area Safety
  1. Warning signs or devices must be in place while work is being performed. These signs or devices include, but are not limited to wet floor signs or other  appropriate barricades.
  2. Keep all traffic areas free of debris or litter that could cause a fall.
  3. Be aware of wet spots or standing water on traffic areas and take appropriate steps to eliminate these hazards.
  4. Do not leave carts, ladders or other maintenance devices in traffic areas.
  5. Do not block exits with maintenance equipment.
  6. Provide necessary labeling to properly identify chemicals.


  1. All maintenance personnel will observe the safety rules applicable to any department in which they are working.
  2. When an employee must move a heavy or awkward object, he/she should use the correct tools such as pry bars, lever trucks, hand trucks, portable dollies, etc.  If he/she must lift heavy or awkward objects, use proper lifting techniques; use the legs, not the back, get assistance if heavy or bulky objects.
  3. All elevated work shall be performed from an appropriate ladder or personnel lift.
  4. Operating and safety instructions posted on all machines will be strictly observed.
  5. Eye safety protection will be used when welding, grinding, etc.
  6. Public access areas under renovation, alteration, excavation, or modification shall be barricaded from general access by use of traffic cones, yellow caution tape or other warning devices.
Electrical and HVAC
  1. Electrical power should always be off when installing or hooking up equipment in a panel.
  2. Whenever possible, electrical power to HVAC systems should be disconnected before service or repair.
  3. Use a voltmeter or test equipment to check power before working on electrical equipment or control wiring.
  4. Do not stand on wet or damp area when checking power.
  5. Make sure all drills and/or hand tools have a ground.
  6. Close all power boxes before power is applied.
  7. Make sure a fire extinguisher is available when gas or electrical welding.
  8. Use a mechanical striker to light a torch.
  9. Never weld on a closed tubing (low or high with pressure in side line).
  10. When welding next to combustible materials, use a shield of non-combustible materials for insulation.
  11. Make sure all motor pulleys have a guard.
  12. Do not try to stop a fan or motor by gripping the belts.
  13. Power equipment should be plugged into wall receptacles with power switches in the off position.
  14. Electrical equipment should be unplugged by grasping the plug and pulling. Do not pull or jerk the cord to unplug the equipment.
  15. Frayed, cracked or exposed wiring on equipment cords should be replaced.