Familiarize yourself with the UCLA Policy 905, concerning Research Laboratory Personal Safety and Protective Equipment. The rules in there are to be followed strictly and with no exception.
When in lab, no skin can show below the waste, ie closed-toed shoes and long pants (or equivalent) are required always.
When working with a saline solution that contains no toxic substances you are fine without PPE.
PPE is required when eg. pH-ing even a saline solution since you are dealing with fairly concentrated acids and bases.
When working with hazardous substances as defined here you must at least wear lab coat, gloves & safety goggles and remember that in the case of e.g. PFA the rules are stricter.
Note that the hazard depends on the concentration of the substance. If the substance is a listed carcinogen but at a concentration below 0.1% by weight or volume or if it is at a concentration but below 1% then that material does not have to be assumed to be “particularly hazardous".
My personal take: inform yourself about the risk of the substance. Err on the side of too much protection, but keep in mind that a sweaty glove might pose more risk than a very dilute toxin.
Realize that even if a substance is not on the list, it is not 'safe'! It might still be carcinogenic or neurotoxic, but it might just be that nobody checked. So inform yourself about the compounds you are working with!
Standard Operating Procedures can be found under documents, once you log into the site.
UCLA Environmental Health and Safety has a lot of additional safety information. The UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry also posted many useful safety links.
For Material Safety Datasheets, check in the Lab Safety Manual or on the web: http://www.ucmsds.com/
List of hazardous substances: http://ehs.ucla.edu/Pub/CompleteToxinsList.pdf
In the case of an accident, however minor, you must inform the PI Felix Schweizer, ext 4-5733 or email felixs at ucla dot edu.
In case of a serious accident seek medical treatment from the Occupational Health Facility or from the Arthur Ashe Student Health Center.
- OHF is located at CHS 67-120 Phone 310-825-6771. 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.
- After-Hours Care: treatment can be obtained at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Emergency Medicine Center. UCLA Emergency Room: (310) 825-2111.
- make sure that EH&S is informed within 8 hours of the incident (310-825-9797).
In case of a MEDICAL EMERGENCY, call 911 or 310-825-1491 or go to the Emergency Room.