Table of Contents


1 Scope and Purpose of this Document

This document is intended to provide a general overview of the activities and safe work practices for the M&IE machining laboratories located in the "Innovation Alley" of Norm Asbjornson Hall.

Due to the changing and broad aspects of these activities, this document may not cover all possible risks at any one time. This safety manual is best used as a guide and cannot be expected to be comprehensive in defining all risks. Common sense and knowledge of safe work practices will be needed in ensuring safety for areas not covered by this document.

It is mandatory that all individuals who perform work in the laboratories are familiar with and understand this document as well as other training requirements set by the M&IE Department, their instructors and shop supervisors. Fulfilling these requirements is a shared responsibility of the instructors, shop supervisors, teaching assistants, students and researchers, according to the specific work performed.

When unsure about a laboratory activity or situation, students are required to seek guidance from the instructor, teaching assistant or shop supervisor.

2 Obtaining Laboratory and Equipment Use Authorization

Before students can work in the machining or welding shops and operate any equipment outside of scheduled classes and laboratories they must

  • Read and understand this document.
  • Read and understand the policies and instruction published on the M&IE Laboratories web page.
  • Submit an electronic signature for having read and acknowledged the policies and safety rules where required.
  • Obtain a Safety & Operation training for the equipment and the laboratories they intend using. (Training is provided by an M&IE instructor or shop supervisor.)

3 General Safety

Safety procedures for all laboratories follow the University’s centralized plan and policies, located at

The M&IE Department general laboratory procedures and safety requirements are included in Sections 4 & 5 of this document. Machine operation specific safety requirements are published at the Machining Lab's Home page.

3.1 What is an Emergency? (Definitions) 1) a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action; 2) a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event Sudden, unexpected, or impending situation that may cause injury, loss of life, damage to the property, and/or interference with the normal activities of a person or firm and which, therefore, requires immediate attention and remedial action. An incident, to be an emergency, conforms to one or more of the following, if it: Poses an immediate threat to life, health, property, or environment; has already caused loss of life, health detriments, property damage, or environmental damage; has a high probability of escalating to cause immediate danger to life, health, property, or environment.

3.2 What to do in Case of an Emergency?

In the event of an emergency,

  • Get out of immediate danger!
  • Report situation to police, dial 911 or (406) 994-2121 on campus phone.
  • Explain the nature of the emergency.
  • Provide your name and location.
  • Provide the phone number from which you are calling.
  • Answer all questions and do not hang up the phone until the operator is finished.

If the emergency has cause injury to a person,

  • Provided it is safe for yourself, stay with the victim!
  • If the victim is conscious, ask what the problem is.
  • If the victim is unconscious, check for breathing and bleeding. Do not move the individual until trained personnel arrive or an immediate threat to life exists. Only trained individuals should administer first aid and CPR.
  • Keep the victim still, comfortable, and warm.
  • Protect the victim from any disturbances.
  • Search for any emergency identification (i.e. ID bracelet)
  • Wait for emergency help to arrive. Never leave the victim alone if possible.
  • Once the emergency responders have arrived, stay out of the way of emergency personnel and emergency vehicles!

If the emergency is not life threatening, contact your lab supervisor followed by Campus Safety & Risk Management at 994-2711. In all cases, Campus Safety & Risk Management should be notified of any incidents. In certain situations, defined by Safety & Risk Management, laboratory supervisors are required to file an incident report.

If necessary, also contact:

  • Facilities Services Office – (406) 994-2107
  • Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students – (406) 994-2826
  • Student Counseling /ADA Services – (406) 994-4531
  • Student Health Center – (406) 994-2311
  • Poison Control Center – (800) 222-1222
  • Human Resource Department – (406) 994-3651
  • Switchboard/Communications – (406) 994-2511
  • Residence Life – (406) 994-2661

3.3 What to do in Case of Fire or Smoke?

All alarms should be taken seriously. If you hear an alarm, evacuate the building!

If fire or smoke is discovered anywhere on or about the campus:

  • Leave the area where the fire is located, isolating it as well as possible by closing doors and windows around it.
  • DO NOT attempt to retrieve valuables or use elevators.
  • Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  • Find a safe location and call 911 (or 2111 on campus phone). Then, call Campus Safety at ext. 2711 or Facilities Services at ext. 2107.

Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size. Even a small fire can generate enough smoke to cause serious injury. Never attempt to fight a fire by yourself. Call for help. Always stay between the fire and the exit.

Fire Estinguisher Training is available form MSU staff located within the Safety and Risk management Department and/or online. Information can be found here:


  • P * PULL safety pin from the handle
  • A * AIM at the base of the fire
  • S * SQUEEZE the trigger handle
  • S * SWEEP form side to side

3.4 What if You or Other People are Trapped in a Burning Building?

  • The universal sign for a person trapped in a burning building is to hang clothing or a sheet out the window of the room where you are trapped. The firefighters then will know where you are trapped.
  • If you are aware that someone is trapped in a burning structure, inform the firefighters immediately.
  • Do not re-enter the building alone.
  • If you are trapped, stay low to the ground as you try to exit. Do not open any doors that feel hot. Use wet towels or clothes to protect you from flames and smoke.
  • If your clothes catch fire, STOP, DROP, AND ROLL!!!

3.5 Working with Chemicals (Any MSU Laboratory)

Before working with chemicals, read the SDS sheet in order to make yourself familiar with the nature of the chemical, its hazard level and emergency response recommendations.

Additional training options may be located via MSU's Safety and Risk Management website and can be found here":

When working with chemicals the minimum training requirement is to complete GHS/Hazard Communication Training which may be completed by following the previous link or contacting MSU’s Chemical Safety Officer, Ryan Brickman at (406) 994-7760 or email at [email protected]  

3.5.1 What to Do if Your Body has Gotten in Contact With a Chemical?

  • If you are not sure how dangerous the chemical contact is, call 911 and/or Safety & Risk Management at (406) 94-2711.
  • The treatment of a chemical exposure takes precedent over spill cleanup, spill containment, or property damage including water damage from the use of an eyewash or safety shower.
  • In the event of chemical contact with skin or eye, flush the affected area for a minimum of 15 minutes using the eyewash station or sink in your lab. If possible, obtain assistance to remove contaminated clothing after flushing has begun.
  • If contact is made through inhalation, immediately move to an area away from the exposure.
  • After immediate treatment for the exposure has been completed, the laboratory supervisor, course instructor or teaching assistant must contact MSU Safety & Risk management at  (406) 994-2711.

3.5.2 What to Do in Case of a Small Chemical Spill

A small spill is defined as a spill less than or equal to 200 ml or 200 g and not of an extremely hazardous substance and within the cleaning capabilities and comfort level of the laboratory or laboratory workers.

  • Inform your course instructor/teaching assistant/laboratory technician or supervisor and others in the area of the spill immediately.
  • If the instructor or teaching assistant is not sure how to proceed with the cleanup, they should contact Joe Eldring, M&IE Operations Engineer (406) 994-3260. If not available, contact MSU Safety & Risk Management at (406) 994-2711.
  • Turn off any gas burners without putting yourself in harm's way.
  • Retrieve the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Review applicable SDS and determine controls, PPE, and need for assistance.
  • Put on necessary protective clothing (gloves, safety goggles or glasses, and lab coat).
  • Cover small spills with absorbent towels. Clean spill area working from outside toward the center.
  • Rinse spill area with water. Label and retain spill materials for proper disposal.

3.5.3 What to Do in Case of a Large Chemical Spill

A large spill is greater than 200mL or 200g or any amount of a hazardous substance or beyond the cleaning capabilities or comfort level of the laboratory or laboratory workers. If you are unsure of the spill severity, immediately call 911. Otherwise take the following steps:

  • Inform others in the area of the spill.
  • Turn off any gas burners without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Retrieve SDS without putting yourself in harm’s way.
  • Evacuate the area, closing the doors behind you.
  • Post a warning outside the area and lock doors if possible to prevent re-entry.
  • Contact your supervisor; then call MSU Safety and Risk Management at (406) 994-2711, and inform the S&RM director (406) 994-4146.

3.5.4 Chemical Storage

Proper chemical storage requires that chemicals are stored to meet the following criteria:

  • Chemicals are stored only with other chemicals they are compatible with.
  • Some chemicals must be stored in special cabinets that provide proper ventilation or flammability protection.
  • Some chemical require storage at certain heights.
  • Chemicals are best stored in their original containers.
  • Some liquid chemicals must be stored with appropriate secondary containers.
  • Never store any chemical in a container that is incompatible or does not properly label its actual content.
  • In order to ensure proper chemical storage, return chemicals to their original place of storage at the end of the lab session.

3.5.5 Chemical Labeling

  • An unlabeled chemical can create substantial problems due to uncertainty about how to safely handle, store or dispose of it.
  • Therefore, all chemicals, including those stored in temporary storage or process containers, must be properly labeled.
  • Never use any chemical or substance that is not clearly labeled or identified!

3.5.6 Definition of Chemical Waste

A variety of solid and liquid wastes can be generated in the laboratory. All lab workers that work with chemicals are required to understand how to safely handle, store, and dispose of these materials.

Once you determine a material:

  • cannot be reused,
  • cannot be used for its intended purpose,
  • has exceeded its shelf life,
  • has no known owner or generator,
  • is no longer wanted or needed
  • is an end product of a process or experiment that cannot be used as feedstock in an existing process,

Please remember that maintenance fluids must, in most cases, be disposed of as waste.

3.5.7 Illegal Disposal of Waste

Examples of illegal waste treatment include:

  • Leaving solvent wetted wipes in a hood or on the bench top to air dry.
  • Leaving a container open to allow the waste to evaporate.
  • Pouring an unapproved waste into a drain.
  • Diluting a waste to render it non-hazardous.
  • Venting a pressurized aerosol can solely to remove the propellant.
  • If you are in need of chemical waste disposal, contact your laboratory supervisor, or MSU Safety & Risk Management at (406) 994-2711.

4 General Conduct

4.1 Entering the M&IE Laboratories

  • All machine shop or welding lab users MUST check in with the shop supervisor before working in either facility.
  • Work can only be performed in the shop during the designated shop user hours. Work outside the designated shop user hours must be scheduled with the shop supervisor.
  • Do not enter the shop facilities if you are under the influence of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (prescription or not). Operating the equipment within these facilities requires your full attention and should not be compromised for any reason.
  • Do not bring any tobacco, alcohol or drugs into the shop facilities.
  • Do not bring any weapon into the shop facilities.
  • Never operate equipment or work alone in the shop.

4.2 Behavior in the Laboratories

  • Act in a professional manner at all times.
  • No horseplay and practical jokes.
  • MSU visitors must be escorted.
  • Obey all posted signs, warnings, posters and special instructions.

4.3 Personal Habits

  • The use of any music players, including your cell-phone music player, is not permitted.
  • The use of cell phones is not permitted while operating machines or being in close proximity of a machine that is being operated.
  • Food and Drink must stay in designated areas away from machinery.
  • No glassware or utensils that are used for laboratory operations shall be used for storage, handling, or consumption of food or beverages.
  • Food containers (soft drink cans, water bottles, food boxes etc.) shall NOT be used to store any materials that could be ingested by mistake. Putting a label on it DOES NOT make it okay.
  • Hands should be washed before using the restrooms and before eating. Areas of exposed skin, i.e. forearms, should be washed frequently if there is potential of contact with chemicals, lubricants or solvents.

5 General Machine Shop and Welding Lab Safety Rules

  • Students must be aware of the location and proper operation of laboratory safety equipment, i.e. fire extinguishers, flammable cabinets and fume hoods, First Aid cabinets, eye-wash stations, and personal protective equipment.
  • While working in the shops, be aware of your surroundings. That means, be aware which machines are being operated, and who is operating them. Be aware of what chemicals, lubricants, solvents (flammables!) and materials are being used, and who is using them.
  • Be alert to unsafe conditions. It is the responsibility of each individual to assure a safe working environment for themselves and other workers in the laboratories.
  • If you see other shop users engaging in unsafe behavior or operating procedures, do not hesitate to approach them and make them aware of their unsafe situation.
  • Report any unsafe or unhealthy shop user behavior to the shop supervisor on duty.
  • Report all injuries to the shop supervisor on duty.
  • Do not conduct any unauthorized experiments.
  • If you have not worked with a particular material before, check the hazardous materials data sheets folder (SDS) for any specific precautions to be taken while working with the material. Also, ask the shop manager or supervisor before cutting or welding any unusual material.
  • Do not conduct work in the labs if you are feeling tired or otherwise impaired.
  • Before starting equipment or a machine process, always check it for correct setup.
  • Inspect equipment, machines and hand-held tools for safe operation before each use.
  • Check the power cords and plugs on portable power tools for save operation before using them.
  • Report defective machinery, equipment or any hazardous condition to the shop supervisor on duty.
  • Inspect cutting tools for safe operation before each use. I.e., do not use dull or chipped cutting tools. Do not use chipped or broken cutting blades or grinding wheels.
  • If you are unsure about the safe condition or operation of machinery, equipment or tools, contact the shop supervisor.
  • Think through the entire job before starting. Ask the shop supervisor if you are ever unsure about your fabrication requirements for any reason.
  • Even though you are not allowed to operate a machine or work alone in the shop, always make sure that only one person operates one machine at any time!
  • Keep your hands off moving or operating machine parts, such as tables, spindles, chucks, work pieces, and cutting tools, i.e., drills, end mills and saw blades.
  • Always keep a safe distance from all moving parts of a machine under operation.
  • Unless you are the operator, stay at least 3ft. away from any operating machine.
  • Be aware that work pieces that are machined, sawn, ground, polished or welded can heat up to temperatures that cause injury (burns) when touched, or can cause the ignition of flammable materials that come into contact with them.
  • Welding, heavy sanding or grinding, and painting must only be done in well ventilated areas.
  • Always engage the ventilation systems in the welding lab before staring any welding work.
  • Follow all appropriate precautions when working with solvents, lubricants, paints, adhesives or other chemicals. Use appropriate personal protective equipment.
  • Always store oily rags in an approved metal container.

5.1 Personal Protective Equipment

  • Wear the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is required by the safety door signs before entering any laboratory.
  • Wear the PPE that is required in designated areas of the laboratories.
  • Always wear safety glasses while being in the shop area, even if you do not operate any equipment.
  • Prescription safety glasses must meet Federal Specifications for safety.
  • Students wearing contact lenses must be informed of the special hazards associated with their use, (i.e., absorption of chemicals from the air) and must inform their supervisors so that appropriate measures can be taken in an emergency.
  • In addition to wearing safety glasses, always wear task appropriate personal protection devices, such as gloves, aprons, ear and hearing protection, face masks, or welding helmets.
  • Before each use, PPE are to be inspected for damage and contamination, i.e., tears, punctures, discoloration. If deficiencies are noted, the PPE should be cleaned, repaired, or replaced before use.
  • Contaminated gloves shall be removed before touching surfaces outside the work area (i.e., doorknobs, faucet handles).
  • Chemical protective clothing must be removed before leaving the work area.
  • If you handle materials, or have to lift materials, equipment or tooling that can cause injury to your feet when falling down, you MUST wear steel capped safety shoes.
  • Appropriate clothing - close toed shoes, long pants, non-loose fitting, non-flammable clothing - must be worn at all times while operating equipment or handling materials in the shops.
  • Laboratory coats shall be worn by laboratory employees whenever a reasonable risk of chemical exposure to skin or street clothing exists or when specified by standard operating procedures. They should be kept in an appropriate clean storage area.
  • Keep your hair away from any equipment in use. Long hair must be tied back or secured with a hair-net.
  • Remove loose jewelry, such as necklaces, wrist watches, wrist bands and loose finger rings before operating any machines and power tools.
  • Hearing protection (noise attenuating ear muffs or plugs) are required whenever employees are exposed to 85dBA or greater as an eight hour time weighted average.

5.2 Housekeeping

  • Keep the floor around machines clean, dry and free from trip hazards. Do not allow any fluids, chips or waste to accumulate.
  • All table tops and machine areas are to be kept clean and uncluttered. This will help prevent spillage, breakage, personal injuries and unnecessary contact with chemicals.
  • Any spills or accumulations of chemicals or hazardous materials on work surfaces and floors must be removed as soon as possible. Do not attempt to clean up a hazardous spill if you have not received proper training. If in doubt about the spill clean-up contact the shop supervisor or call Safety & Risk Management (994-2711). The spill will be assessed by trained personnel who will ensure that proper clean-up techniques are employed.
  • Doorways and walkways within the lab shall not be blocked or used for storage.
  • Access to exits, hallways, emergency equipment, and utility controls shall remain accessible at all times.
  • Equipment, machine and tooling teardown must be completed and inspected by the shop supervisor prior to leaving.
  • All tools and equipment shall be returned to their proper storage location after use.
  • Recycle materials when applicable and not throw garbage into the recycling bins, and vice versa.
  • Chemicals, lubricants and solvents must be stored in proper containers. Containers must unmistakably identify their content.
  • Chemical containers shall be properly emptied and cleaned prior to disposal. If in doubt about the proper disposal of chemical containers contact the shop supervisor or call Safety & Risk Management (994-2711).

E-Signature this document

I acknowledge by my signature below to have read and understood the above General Lab Safety rules. I agree to operate only the equipment for which I have obtained operation instructions, and to abide by all safety rules, procedures, and best-practices for working in the laboratories.

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Phone No.

Emergency Contact Info:

Last Name
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Check completed pre-requisites:

ETME 216/217

ETME 310

ETME 311