Health and Safety Information

a staff member using a fire extinguisher
A staff member practices using a fire extinquisher as part of Safety Day Training.

The Department of Earth Sciences strives to maintain a safe and healthy working environment for everyone. In addition to the resources provided by the University of Toronto Environmental Health and Safety Office, our department plans a "Safety Day" at the beginning of the fall/winter semester each year to ensure all new students and staff receive training specific to the laboratories and spaces in the deparment. For those who are working and learning in the field, locally or in remote areas, please contact your supervisor for safety training information.

The Earth Sciences Health and Safety Committee oversees general safety issues in department and members of the committee can be contacted if there are questions or concerns within our spaces.

Announcements about the timing of Safety Day will be made by email and posted in FRED, the departmental e-newletter.

Feeling distressed? Safety and Support information is available.

For general U of T safety information you can visit the University of Toronto Environmental Health and Safety website

The St. George Campus Safety Special Constable Service website provides informatio and services to members of the U of T community. 

  • Campus Safety Communications Centre (24/7)
    • Non-urgent: 416-978-2323
    • Campus Urgent: 416-978-2222 or 911

For Health and Safety procedures specific to the Department of Earth Sciences, see the tabs below and the Health and Safety Manual.

Contact Colin Bray 416-978-6516 (Office ES3104) or Mike Gorton 416-946-5309 (Office ES3118) regarding safety concerns.


Name Office Phone  Email
Colin Bray (co-chair, worker) ES3104 416-978-6516
Mike Gorton (co-chair, management) ES3118 416-946-5309
Jörg Bollmann (management) ES4115 416-978-2061
Mike Hamilton (management) ES1061 416-946-7454
Hong Li (worker) ES4096 416-978-0369
Yanan Liu (worker) ES3114 416-978-5420
Heidi Tomes ES2127 416-946-7148
Sara Vaezafshar (Graduate Student Rep, CUPE) ES3146



Name Office Phone  First Aid Station
Michael Hamilton ES1061 416-946-7454 Basement - Room B160
Xu Chu ES2120 416-978-2975 Basement - Room B160
Heidi Tomes ES2127 416-946-7148 First floor - Main Office area - Rm 1066
Karyn Gorra ES2123 416-978-2060 First floor - Main Office area - Rm 1066
Hong Li ES4096 416-978-0369 Third floor - Room 3119
Weibin Chen ES3099   Third floor - Room 3119


Chemical Inventory

U of T has implemented a chemical inventory system to keep track of chemicals and their locations on campus. Each research lab is required to maintain their inventory and training on how to do this is available.

  • All chemicals must be recorded into the U of T Hechment chemical inventory system using a hand held barcode scanner.
  • If your lab does not have a scanner, contact Colin Bray to sign one out.
Chemical Spills

Chemical spill kits are to be used only for very small spills. The spill kit should be clearly identified in all labs that use chemicals.

In the case of a major chemical spill:

  • evacuate the laboratory and close the door.
  • call Hazardous Chemical Control (416-978-7000 or 416-978-2222 after hours).
  • identify the chemical(s) involved, if possible, and the approximate amount and location.
  • it may be necessary to evacuate the building.
  • In the case of very small chemical spills:
  • chemical spill kits can be used for small spills.
  • kits should be clearly identified in any lab that uses chemicals.
  • become familiar with the location in all labs you work in.


Chemical Waste

There is a chemical waste disposal facility located in the northwest part of the Earth Sciences Centre in the Forestry wing on Willcocks Street, near the loading dock area — Room ES1101.  All chemical waste must be disposed of in this facility.

Access to the room is obtained by signing out a key from the Earth Sciences reception desk, room ES1066. 

In case of fire
  1. Activate the nearest wall-mounted fire alarm.
  2. Phone the university emergency Centre at 416-978-2222.
  3. Close the door behind you.
  4. Evacuate the building.
  5. Do not re-enter the building until authorized to do so.
Important notes
  • Do not attempt to extinguish fire unless you can do so safely.
  • Propping or wedging open fire doors is prohibited by the ifre code.
Working alone

Sometimes you may find you are alone in your office or lab. U of T has a Work Alone program to create a safer environment.

  • Make sure someone knows if you intend to work alone and/or late and that the lights are on in areas where you are working.
  • Keep your room/lab door locked when working alone on weekends, evenings, or nights.
  • A 'buddy' system in which voice ontact is maintained every half hour is advised.
  • You can let the Campus Safety office know the room you plan to work in. Call 416-978-2323 - the non-emergency number.
  • Do not leave laboratory or offices unlocked while unattended.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended.
  • Never compromise building security by propping open exterior doors. Be aware that FOBs are required to open the doors on evenings and weekends.
  • In an emergency, call Campus Safety at 416-978-2222 if you can safely access a phone.
  • When leaving the building you can make use of the TravelSafer Program — 8SAFE (416-978-7233) operated by the University.