Lab Safety & Chemical Hygiene Program

Lab Seismic Hazard Reduction

Earthquakes have occurred and will continue to occur in the Santa Barbara area. This is of particular concern in UCSB laboratories.

Campus policies:

All furnishings and equipment over 48 inches in height must be fastened to a wall or floor in a manner to prevent falling in an earthquake.

  • Storage of large, heavy items must be kept below head level
  • All compressed gas cylinders must be secured individually to a solid structural member with 3/16 inch welded chain or equivalent bracing. At least one chain must be used to secure each cylinder at a point two-thirds up the cylinder’s height. C-clamp bench attachments and fiber/web strap attachments will not be allowed.
  • Chemical storage shelving must have shelf lips or other restraining devices (e.g. lip, wire or bungee cord along edge) installed to prevent chemicals from falling
  • To prevent accidental mixing of chemicals, incompatible materials must be segregated properly.

Recommended practices:

  • While not a safety issue, there are often expensive pieces of lab equipment, e.g. electronics, that you may wish to seismically anchor.
  • Based on earthquake experiences at Cal State Northridge, UCLA and UCSC it is recommended that researchers maintain extra copies of irreplaceable files such as research data in a separate location.

Earthquake Restraint System for Optical Tables

Seismic Protection Methods for Lab Instruments and Appliances