Usage and Policies

Safety and Equipment Training

Safety of students, researchers, and visitors in the MPCF is a high priority. The MPCF has complex research equipment, combining electronic control systems with hydraulic actuators, and students and other researchers must demonstrate mastery of test procedures and understanding of relevant safety issues for each type of experiment or procedure they conduct. Understanding of safety issues regarding high-pressure gas cylinders, use and storage of chemicals, and operation of high-voltage equipment such as induction heaters, for students, faculty, or external visitors is a significant concern that demands proper training for MPCF staff and students. Certain safety procedures must be obeyed at all times in the MPCF, including the use of safety glasses in all MPCF workspaces, hearing protection as appropriate, warning others of any potentially hazardous conditions, proper handling of any potentially hazardous substances or chemicals, and the notification of MPCF staff of any hazard concerns. All MPCF staff members, including the research engineer and lab research assistants, are authorized to enforce MPCF safety guidelines as outlined in this policy document.

All equipment users or frequent visitors of MPCF workspaces (e.g., MaRC Hibay, Bunger-Henry 153, 158, or 173, MRDC 2340), including both undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, and other researchers, need to have completed mandatory Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) safety training before MPCF staff will conduct specific equipment and test procedure training in the lab. These EHS training modules can be completed online. These include

We will need copies of your Basic Lab Safety, Right to Know, and Fire Safety training certificates as proof that you have completed the training, so be sure to save the certificate at the end of the training. You can also save a screenshot of the completed course including the date and your name, in the event that you can not save a certificate.

After a Test Proposal is approved, MPCF technical staff will identify which additional equipment and test procedural training is needed in the MPCF Management System, an electronic record keeping system, and user will be contacted to schedule the training. Users must receive training in order to operate equipment safely, knowledgeably and productively. Safe operation of MPCF equipment is a key issue and is a major objective of the training. Separate certifications must be provided for each MPCF workspace that a user needs to access to highlight EHS issues specific to the workspace. Normally, the training for this awareness certification specific to MPCF workspaces will be conducted by MPCF technical staff. Advanced graduate students or class instructors with acknowledged expertise in usage of an instrument and with the approval of the MPCF Ftechnical staff, may provide specific equipment training, but they still must notify MPCF technical staff of each training so it can be documented in the MPCF Management System. Training must be completed to the satisfaction of the individual conducting the training, including demonstration of knowledge of all basic safety considerations, both for the usage and for general hazards in the laboratory, before user will be certified. Please remember that requests for training impact the programs of other faculty and students involved in the laboratory; accordingly, it is expected that considerable effort will be devoted to the process by the trainee.

An electronic record of the training that each authorized user has satisfactorily received is maintained by MPCF staff. These records of user training, certifications, and awareness of safety concerns are maintained in the MPCF Management System.  All who work in or regularly visit given MPCF workspaces are required to be in the system. This is also a required condition to be provided access via key or Buzzcard.