Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

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Vivi's Safety Corner - March 2011

by: ESD Safety Coordinator Vivi Fissekidou (x5610)

Shipping, moving and/or transporting samples and hazardous materials  

Shipping samples and hazardous materials by common carrier (FedEx, UPS, USPS) to off site locations must be done by the LBNL Shipping Department (X5404).   

LBNL Shipping will package and provide required documentation for the shipment of hazardous materials in accordance with DOT CFR49 regulations prior to pickup by LBNL Transportation. LBNL Transportation requires at least 24 hours notice for all pickups. 

Requesters must make arrangements for the pickup of all shipments containing hazardous or infectious materials through LBNL Shipping. LBNL Shipping will coordinate shipments through LBNL Transportation. Hazardous materials shipments must contain the following to be transported to Shipping: 

• printed Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) attached to the material 

• DOT approved packaging 

• Point and Ship traveler with:

o detailed description of the item(s) 

o proper scientific name 

o quantity of material 

o recipient’s phone number and address/contact information 

Moving small quantities of hazardous materials for short distances within a building or between adjacent buildings: LBNL Staff may move small quantities of hazardous materials for short distances within a building or between adjacent buildings, provided that it can be done safely and without spilling the materials. Individuals must use handcarts and drip trays.  

Transporting small quantities (<0.5kg or <0.5L) of research samples and hazardous materials. (This policy DOES NOT apply to biological materials and materials that are radioactive, self-reactive, pyrophoric, explosive, water reactive, acutely toxic by inhalation, or a hazardous waste.)

LBNL Staff can transport research samples and hazardous materials (e.g.,flammable liquids, corrosives, oxidizers, nano materials)  between (i)non-adjacent buildings at LBNL; (ii) the main LBNL site and other LBNL sites (e.g., Donner, Potter, JBEI, JGI); (iii) any LBNL site and other collaborating research parties (e.g., Berkeley campus); (iv) and to/from field locations not readily served by common carriers.

Materials must be less than 0.5 kg or 0.5 L and properly packaged.  The LBNL Staff must maintain possession & control of material at all times, transport directly to destination, when using a vehicle materials must be kept in the car trunk or truck bed. The use of shuttle buses & public transit is prohibited.

For more information see the Chemical Hygiene and Safety Plan

To determine hazard class, consult a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

For Transportation and shipping of biological materials review the Biosafety Manual Appendix H;

import, export, and transfer restrictions are covered in Appendix I


Driving, biking, and walking on site

To ensure safety, staff should use caution when driving, biking and walking on site. Decreased visibility, fallen tree debris, and hilly terrain, along with ongoing construction, creates challenging driving, biking and pedestrian conditions at the Lab. The speed limit on Lab or university property is 25 mph unless otherwise posted. Temporary conditions such as road repair, wet weather, poor visibility, and pedestrian traffic require a reduction in speed. Because of peak traffic periods, limited parking, and general congestion, it is recommended that the Lab shuttle bus and transportation services be used whenever possible.

Do Not Pass Buses or Cross Yellow Lines: Vehicle drivers  must  stop and wait for shuttle bus passengers to board and get off the bus, and unload their bicycles, before proceeding.


Earthquake Safety Tips

How safe is your home in the event of a major earthquake? Is it true that you should stand in a doorway during an earthquake? What should you do if you are outdoors? Find the answers to these and other questions in “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country,” an online handbook produced by the USGS. The publication also lists “Seven Steps to Earthquake Safety,” which include the creation of disaster kits, creating a preparedness plan, and identifying and fixing potential hazards in your home. Employees are also encouraged to sign up for the EHS 116 First Aid Safety class, scheduled for April 5 and 19, and May 3 and 19.

Earthquake Response

• DUCK - Drop to the floor

• COVER - Seek sturdy overhead protection such as a desk, table, work bench, or room corner away from windows

• HOLD - Hold on to the protection you’ve chosen and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops

• Do not panic or run.

• Damage and falling debris may block exits and cause injury.

 Evacuation at LBNL

• Evacuate immediately. Use the evacuation routes and assembly area posted in your building

• Take car keys and small personal items, as reentry to your building may be delayed for days

• Follow Building Emergency Team instructions

• Do not attempt to re-enter any buildings until instructed to do so

• Do not try to drive off the Lab until road conditions are declared safe

Some of the things you can do at home:

• Make sure your water heater is fastened down.

• Prepare a disaster supplies kit, recommended Items include:

–  Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation

–  Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food

–  Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both

–  Flashlight and extra batteries

–  First aid kit

–  Whistle to signal for help

–  Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

–  Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

–  Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

–  Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

–  Local maps

–  Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

• Prepare an emergency plan for your family.

• Discuss with all family members the

–  location of supplies,

–  utility shutdown procedures,

–  emergency phone numbers and who to call should the family be separated when disaster strikes.

• Safeguard or prepare copies of important papers such as

–  insurance policies,

–  titles and deeds, and

–  personal documents such as birth certificates and marriage licenses.

• Store copies in a safe location other than your home

Other personal preparedness information sources are listed below:


American Red Cross --

Collaborating Agencies Responding to Disasters --