Safety Information for Pitt Graduate Students

Safety Tips

  • Report all crime and any suspicious activity near campus to the Pitt Police Department (412-624-2121)
  • Keep your doors locked at all times, especially when you are alone, sleeping, or your residence is unoccupied (even if only for a few moments). If you think you hear someone breaking in, leave safely if you can, then call police. If you can't leave, lock yourself in a room with a phone and call police.
  • Place items of value out of sight and in locked areas. Do not leave valuables unattended.
  • Take photos of your valuable items; list their serial numbers and descriptions. Check with law enforcement about engraving your valuables.
  • Avoid walking alone at night. Use the SafeRider service when near campus.
  • Vehicular Safety
    • Lock your car.
    • Never hide a spare key on the vehicle.
    • Place valuables in trunk or remove from car.
    • If you have a garage, use it and lock the garage door.
    • Never leave your car running if unattended.
  • Place a wooden or metal bar in the track of any sliding doors. Make sure all windows are secure.
  • Don't hide spare keys in places outside.
  • Arrange for a neighbor whom you trust to watch over your house and/or store your valuables.
  • Take anything of value with you when possible. Don't leave any valuable items near windows.
  • Talk to your landlord if you have poor outdoor lighting, broken locks, blocked exits, or need a carbon monoxide or smoke detector. Detectors can be purchased from local home improvement stores or from Panther Central.

Research Safety

The resources below should be reviewed by all new faculty and staff working in research laboratories. These documents provide important laboratory safety information specific to the University of Pittsburgh.

Always use engineering controls when working with hazardous materials.

Always follow the established Standard Operations Procedures (SOP) for experiments.

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as described in the Guideline 01-011 Personal Protective Equipment. This guideline covers the care and use of lab coats, safety glasses/face masks, glove selection and use, and personal items in the lab.

Use appropriate hand protection (gloves) when hands are exposed to hazards, including chemicals, burns, potentially infectious materials or sharp objects.

Respiratory PPE may be needed for certain research. Visit the Respiratory Protection page for more information.

Hazard Communication

The University of Pittsburgh Hazard Communication Program has been developed to:

  • Identify hazardous chemicals in the workplace
  • Evaluate the potential hazards of chemicals to which individuals may be exposed
  • Communicate information on physical and health hazards of chemicals
  • Identify protective measures for faculty, staff, and students
  • Insure availability of Safety Data Sheets (formally MSDS)

All personnel exposed to chemicals should complete the Hazard Communication training.