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MCZ Collections Operations

Health & Safety

All collection staff, researchers and professional visitors should be familiar with the various safety protocols in the MCZ.  Each individual has an interest in a safe learning and working environment and, therefore, shares responsibility with the University for establishing and maintaining this environment.

MCZ safety protocols are developed with guidance from Harvard’s Environmental Health and Safety Department (EH&S) and in collaboration with the MCZ administrative department.  Departments should be familiar with both these website as health and safety resources.  See the links below for some quick references.

Museum-wide safety initiatives are coordinated through Collections Operations.  Each collection department, however, is responsible for maintaining their respective collection and staff records of compliance, including training certificates and relevant Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) sheets for chemicals.

Visitors & Volunteers/Interns

Non-Harvard personnel (including volunteers and interns) using Harvard research, laboratory or collection facilities are required to register pertinent information.  This data is acquired by filling out two forms, the Acknowledgement of Risk and Release and Emergency Contact Information.  These documents are kept on file in OEB Administration.  Minors require a special form allowing for parental or guardian approval.

Chemicals & Staff Training

All collection and laboratory staff that work with chemicals should be trained in awareness and possibly advanced specialized instructions.  Harvard safety training is conducted by the EH&S Department and specific training programs can be found via their website.

Specific training is required for the handling and shipping of Dangerous Goods/Hazmat materials (including specimens in alcohol and formalin) and/or of Biological materials (defined as specimens that are untreated with preparation or chemicals) for compliance with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).  To facilitate this required training, MCZ Collections Operations coordinates group-training sessions as needed.

The MCZ has four designated satellite accumulation areas for chemical disposal.  No other areas are permitted to store chemicals for disposal.  If unauthorized chemicals are inadvertently found, contact EH&S or Collections Operations.

Quick EH&S references