Safety Update

improvements to CFN safety

Wai-Lin Ng

Wai-Lin Ng

At the CFN, we strive to foster a safe working environment for users and guest researchers when conducting research. In order to provide better services by addressing safety questions and concerns, I would like to introduce Ryan McFadden (, one of Brookhaven Lab’s safety and health representatives, who now has an office at the CFN. We are both happy to help you get information on safety requirements and understand the rules that are meant to protect you and the environment. So, if you need assistance with any safety-related manners, please contact us or stop by our offices on the second floor. Included below are the answers to some commonly asked questions.

Chemical Safety/Hazardous Waste

  • How do I locate the chemical(s) that I need? 
    We have a chemical management system that has Brookhaven Lab’s inventory of chemicals. If you run out of a material that you are using, we can help to locate someone else within CFN or the Lab who might be able to provide it.
  • How do I find the hazard information or Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the chemicals I am using? 
    We are here to provide you with the SDS and consult with you on how to appropriately handle and store the chemicals.
  • How do I complete the hazardous waste forms and labels?
    We can provide you with the necessary forms, help you properly fill out the labels, and transport the waste bottles to the appropriate storage areas.
  • What type of personal protective equipment (PPE)—such as gloves, safety glasses, and goggles—will I need to work with the materials I am using?
    The type of PPE that you need is specified on each lab’s door placards, which contain general lab safety requirements for entry. Additionally, the Experimental Safety Review and User Safety Approval Forms may indicate specific types of PPE (such as gloves) for working with materials with special hazards. We can make recommendations based on data for chemical resistance, cut or puncture resistance, and thermal resistance for various types of gloves that would be appropriate for your work. 
  • How do I store and dispose of hazardous waste?
    As part of your lab-specific safety training from CFN staff, information is provided on the locations of hazardous waste storage areas, referred to as satellite areas, for each lab. We can help you determine how to segregate incompatible chemical hazardous waste and store other waste streams—including batteries, glass, chemicals, oils, and sharps—as well as industrial and recyclable materials. We can direct you to the designated areas where we collect these materials and explain how we dispose of them.

Injury and Illness

  • What should I do if I become injured or ill while doing work at Brookhaven?
    Regardless of how minor the injury or illness seems, you must report it to your CFN point of contact or one of the CFN operations or safety staff members. For minor injuries, we will help you get to the Occupational Medicine Clinic for a medical evaluation before leaving the Lab site and to secure the equipment in a safe condition. For serious injuries, call Fire Rescue at x2222 to get immediate medical attention.


Your attention to what can go wrong and engagement with the CFN staff are essential to maintaining safe operations. Every experiment, event, and project provides opportunities to improve safety, so I encourage your feedback on better ways of doing things.

—Wai-Lin Ng
ES&H Coordinator

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