Health and Safety

A faculty safety committee serves the department chair in an advisory capacity and proposes policies for faculty review. Each principal investigator is responsible for safety within their research group and appoints a group safety representative (GSR). The GSR acts as a liason to the safety manager and committee, and assists the PI in implementing safe practices.

Presently, the safety committee includes several members of the Chemistry and Chemical Biology faculty and staff.

Committee Members

If you have a safety-related concern or need a safety-related consultation, please contact the Safety Committee at

Safety, Chemical Hygiene, and Environmental Compliance

Department safety, chemical hygiene and environmental compliance programs are coordinated by the safety manager. These programs include chemical inventory and surplus management, periodic inspections of all laboratories, shops and other facilities; mandatory safety orientations for new members of the department and continuing training programs.

A library of laboratory health and safety references can be found in 121 Baker Laboratory. Information on department safety policies and practices can be found here.

New User Orientation, Keys and Card Access

Individuals seeking access to department spaces must complete the CULEARN course “PSCFM 7010-WBT-2017.09.01 – Physical Sciences Complex Orientation”.  This course is an on-line survey that will guide prospective users through the training and safety assessments necessary to work safely in the laboratories or offices within the complex.  The survey and safety assessment must be completed with assistance from your supervisor or lab group safety representative (GSR).  A list of the current GSR’s, can be found here.
Based responses to questions in the survey, the user will be provided a list of required training that must be completed prior to beginning work. Once the survey has been completed, a notification will be sent to the department’s Learning Group Administrator (LGA) who will verify the user’s training.
Users who are requesting keys or key-card access to spaces must  provide a completed request form to the key administrator in order to obtain keys or card access.
Explore available training opportunities through CU LEARN

Waste Chemicals

Federal, state and university regulations require that all waste chemicals generated in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology be disposed of properly. The primary responsibility for waste disposal lies with the generator of the waste. Chemicals that may be disposed of in the trash or down the drain are listed in the waste disposal section of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. Properly packaged, identified and labeled waste chemicals not eligible for drain or trash disposal will be picked up by Cornell Environmental Health and Safety. Research groups generating significant quantities of waste are on a weekly pickup schedule; others should complete this form to request a pickup. Information concerning waste disposal is available from EH&S, 607-255-8200.

Safety Newsletter

The Safety Committee publishes department safety newsletters on a quarterly basis. These newsletters summarize recent incidents, give general safety tips, and highlight relevant safety literature. If you have any ideas or suggestions for newsletter topics, let the safety committee know!

Read the Spring 2024 Safety Newsletter, here.

Read the Fall 2023 Safety Newsletter, here

Read the Summer 2023 Safety Newsletter, here

Read the Spring 2023 Safety Newsletter, here.

Read the Fall 2022 Safety Newsletter, here.


University Policies & Manuals

University health and safety policies and manuals can be found on the Environmental Health and Safety website.

Contact Information

Dial 911 from a department phone or use a direct dial emergency phone.
Dial 255-1111 from a cell phone.

Safety Committee Email
For non-emergency safety concerns or consultations

Primary Contacts

Vonnie Ellis, Vertere Chemical Inventory Manager
(607) 255-4132
120 Baker Laboratory
Vertere Chemical Inventory

Facility Contacts
Adam LaLonde, Facility Manager
7:30 - 4:00 M-F: (607) 255-7309

All other times: (607) 255-5322
Facilities Customer Service/EMCS

Other University Contacts
Cornell Police (Fire, Police, Ambulance): 911
Environmental Health and Safety: (607) 255-8200