The UAB Department of Occupational Health & Safety's mission is to ensure that our customers have a safe workplace by providing them with the service and knowledge necessary to protect themselves, the UAB community, and the environment.

image of a glass of water
cc icon attribution small 2.0cc icon noncomm small-2.0image by Joost Nelissen
Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Temperatures are rising across the country and many cities are feeling the heat of 100 degrees or more. With the addition of humidity, some areas will begin to experience extreme heat. During extreme heat, it is important to stay cool.

Extreme heat causes more deaths than hurricanes, tornados, floods and earthquakes combined. Heat related illnesses occur when the body is not able to compensate and properly cool itself. The great news is extreme heat is preventable by following a few tips:

OHS has recently updated the Lab Closeout Procedures.

All labs must be "closed out" as part of the process for either leaving UAB or moving the laboratory to a new locaiton. This relatively straightforward process is designed to prevent chemicals from being left behind and waste materials or biological components from potentially endangering those who may come into the lab for renovation work.

Once you have a move date scheduled, you can download and start to complete the lab closeout and decommissioning checklist. Once this checklist is complete, contact OHS to set up a time convenient to have the lab decommissioned and closed out.

Safety release tags should be placed on equipment and the equipment moved prior to the closeout.

The lab should be completely empty at the time of the closeout unless previous arrangements have been made with OHS, Department Chairs, and other Principal Investigators intending to reoccupy the space.
Like most other activities, working in a research laboratory has a dress code. Since many of the materials used in research can cause injury or disease if they contact the skin, proper attire is for protection instead of fashion.

The basic "ensemble" consists of a shirt, long pants or skirt which reaches the ankles, closed toe shoes made of nonabsorbent material, nitrile gloves, and a buttoned lab coat with long sleeves. Sadly, the shorts and sandals that make our Alabama summers more bearable, don’t provide the protection necessary for safe work around potentially hazardous materials. A set of economical scrubs and work shoes stored in your desk or gym bag may be the answer.

PPE examples 453x300
Examples of improper personal protective equipment (PPE), left, and proper PPE, right

This basic outfit should be "accessorized" with additional personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the task and agents being used.