Laboratory Safety

Course Titles and Descriptions

Biosafety in the Laboratory

No one wants to bring a disease home with them from work, but that risk exists for laboratory employees working with biological hazards such as viruses, bacteria, or select agents or toxins, as well blood, bodily fluids, and human tissues. Working with lab animals may also pose the threat of contamination. However, with the proper training and precautions, a lab employee’s safety and that of everyone else the employee comes in contact with can be protected. This training session focuses on biosafety, including the prevention of infections from bloodborne pathogens for laboratory workers.

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Working with or around chemicals in a laboratory setting may present serious hazards to employee physical safety and health. However, these hazards can be reduced and controlled by following a few simple steps.Safety procedures for a lab work are documented in a Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) required by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) (29 CFR 1910.1450). A Chemical Hygiene Plan is a written document stating the policies, procedures, and responsibilities that protect employees from the health hazards associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace. This training session addresses the provisions of this plan, including the information and procedures that will protect employees while working in the laboratory.

Chemical Safety for Lab Workers

Chemical safety means knowing about the possible dangers of the hazardous chemicals that you use in your job and how to protect yourself against those hazards. Laboratory facilities contain many different chemicals and chemical products, many of which can be hazardous to your health as well as present physical hazards, such as fires and explosions. The law requires that laboratory employees be provided with information about chemical hazards. Lab employees have a responsibility to use the information provided about chemical hazards in order to use chemicals safely. This course helps trainees understand the hazards of the chemicals they work with, interpret hazard information on labels, understand information in the safety data sheet (SDS), take adequate precautions, and respond effectively to emergencies.

Compressed Gas Cylinders in the Laboratory

Compressed gases are commonly used in laboratory operations. Yet, these gases present real hazards. They can lead to fires and explosions, toxic contaminations that adversely affect the health of workers, and even widespread public health emergencies that may lead to an evacuation. Laboratory employees are responsible for using these gases safely. This means not only understanding the qualities and hazards of the gases themselves but also learning the proper procedures for handling, using, and storing the cylinders containing these gases. This online course enables trainees to recognize the hazards, access information about specific gases, use compressed gases safely, and safely transport, handle, and store cylinders.

Electrical Safety in the Laboratory

Electricity is essential to most aspects of modern life, and work in the laboratory is no exception. However, electricity presents real hazards to employee safety and health. It is essential that all laboratory personnel learn to identify electrical hazards and learn to work safely with electricity. Controlling the hazards of electricity in the laboratory is of special concern. This session helps trainees work safely when faced with potential electrical hazards. By the end of the course, trainees will be able to:

  • Understand why and how electricity can be hazardous to humans;
  • Identify the electrical hazards of laboratory work;
  • Recognize the control measures at the facility to protect workers from electrical hazards; and
  • Use safety procedures to ensure the safety of everyone at work.

Ergonomics for the Laboratory

Have you ever come home from work with a sore back, stiff neck, pain in your shoulders, pain or stiffness in your wrist or hands, or aching feet from standing for long periods? Most of us have experienced these aches and pains and may think little of them. However, if allowed to continue, these minor conditions can become severe, leading to chronic pain, lost work time, and even debilitation. We need to take the aches and pains that occur at work seriously and start doing all we can to prevent them. The main purpose of this session is to help trainees prevent injuries by practicing sound ergonomics in the workplace. By the end of the course, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify the risk factors that may lead to musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace.
  • Understand the basic principles of safer work through sound ergonomics.
  • Apply ergonomic principles in laboratory operations and all aspects of your work.

Hazardous Waste Safety in the Laboratory

Hazardous wastes can cause serious adverse effects to human health and the environment. For laboratory personnel, these dangers are particularly significant, as hazardous wastes are produced or generated by some processes in the laboratory. However, these materials can be handled, stored, shipped, and disposed of safely if the proper procedures are carefully followed. This training session introduces trainees to the dangers of hazardous wastes and the methods that can be used to make sure that safety is not compromised in any operations involving these materials.

Introduction to Industrial Hygiene

The main objective of this session is to introduce you to industrial hygiene and explain its importance to your safety and health. By the time the session is over, you will be able to understand what industrial hygiene is; recognize its importance in the workplace; identify ways industrial hygiene helps protect you; and help promote industrial hygiene on the job.

Lab Safety Orientation

Working in a laboratory is interesting and challenging, but it also requires a serious, consistent commitment to safety. This training course is an orientation on working safely in a laboratory. It addresses the hazards lab workers are likely to face in their work, and the steps they can take to protect themselves and others.
Knowledge is always the first step to safety. That’s why the main objective of this course is to make sure that lab workers have the knowledge needed to work safely in the laboratory. By the time this session is over, trainees should be able to:

  • Understand the basic provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Laboratory Standard and the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) in force at the laboratory;
  • Identify laboratory hazards;
  • Protect themselves and others through control measures and safe procedures;
  • And, act effectively and efficiently in an emergency.

Laboratory Clean Rooms

Clean rooms are extremely challenging work environments. Not only do operations need to be performed with precision and efficiency, clean room conditions must be maintained at all times, with levels of contaminants carefully controlled. Successful clean rooms rely on the knowledge, professionalism, and responsibility of all personnel. This training session is designed to prepare trainees to become a part of the community of clean room workers and do their part to ensure safe operations.
Knowledge is always the first step to safe operations. That’s why the main objective of this session is to make sure that laboratory clean room workers know how to help keep the clean room they’re working in functioning safely and efficiently. By the time this session is over, trainees should be able to:

  • Understand the essential nature of clean rooms, including the definition of clean rooms, how they are classified, and some of their design features;
  • Do their part to prevent contamination through the use of control measures ranging from wearing protective clothing to practicing good housekeeping;
  • Practice the principles of laboratory safety in clean room environments.

Laboratory Hazard Identification

When working in a laboratory, safety is always the prime concern. An essential initial step when performing any laboratory operation is identifying the hazards that employees may face. This requires knowing the job well enough to break it into components and accessing all the information and knowledge available to recognize the hazards that may be encountered for each step of any process. This training session addresses hazard identification. Hazard identification skills enable trainees to protect themselves AND also create a safer workplace for everyone at the laboratory. By the time the session is over, trainees should be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of hazard identification and its function in the risk assessment process;
  • Identify the myriad sources of information about hazards in the laboratory; and
  • Identify the hazards involved in laboratory operations.

Laboratory Hoods

Laboratory hoods, also called fume hoods, play an important role in the overall safety of the laboratory and those who work there. Some may use laboratory hoods on a daily basis while others seldom or never use them, but it is important that all lab workers understand their function and the factors that may impede their performance or create a safety hazard. The main objective of this session is to teach laboratory workers about laboratory hoods, their purpose, the types, and how to use them properly. By the end of this session, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify what is and is not a laboratory hood;
  • Explain the purpose of lab hoods in the laboratory;
  • Discuss different types of hood design;
  • Explain face velocity, air flow, and sash height and their importance;
  • Understand why location is an important factor in hood use;
  • Outline basic safety procedures for using lab hoods;
  • And finally, discuss emergency procedures for lab hoods.

Laboratory PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) provides a barrier between the human body and the hazards of working in a laboratory. The right PPE, properly used and maintained, can protect laboratory workers from the hazards involved in any task they perform. However, it is up to lab workers to take PPE requirements seriously and do all they can to protect themselves and work safely. The main purpose of this course is to familiarize laboratory personnel with the basics of PPE use in laboratory work. By the time the session is over, trainees should be able to:

  • Recognize the benefits of PPE in the laboratory;
  • Identify the items of PPE used in laboratory work;
  • Recognize the importance of using PPE correctly;
  • Learn how to properly care for and maintain your PPE; and
  • Consistently use PPE to protect yourself from hazards.

Laboratory Recordkeeping for Supervisors

This training course on laboratory recordkeeping for supervisors covers all the basic laboratory safety records that must be maintained concerning the use of hazardous chemicals in the lab. The course addresses how to comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules for recording workplace injuries and illnesses; maintaining safety data sheets (SDSs) and chemical inventories; maintaining employee exposure and monitoring records related to occupational chemical exposures; and certifying that you have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) training, to employees who use PPE. These records must be on hand if an OSHA inspector visits your facility.The course also covers some laboratory recordkeeping guidelines that, though not required by law, will help trainees document compliance with other OSHA rules related to laboratory safety. The main objective of this session is to ensure that trainees ensure their workplace is in compliance with federal recordkeeping rules for laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used. By the time the session is over, trainees will be able to:

  • Properly document your Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP);
  • Properly record work-related injuries and illnesses;
  • Maintain SDSs and chemical inventories, and ensure employee access to them when needed;
  • Maintain employee exposure and monitoring records related to chemical exposures;
  • Maintain written certification that employees have been trained to use PPE; and
  • Keep good compliance-oriented records of laboratory inspections, employee and supervisor training, safe work practices and procedures, and other inventories such as an inventory of usage for high-risk hazardous chemicals.

Laboratory Safety

This session is designed for lab workers in general industry. Laboratory work requires knowledge, skill, and attention to detail. Laboratories have a variety of safety and health hazards. Employees need to understand each hazard and take proper precautions to protect themselves and coworkers at all times. The purpose of this online laboratory safety training course is to teach employees lab safety requirements to ensure that they know how to prevent accidents, injuries, and illnesses on the job. The main objective of this session is to make sure that employees know what they need to do to protect themselves and others on the job. By the time this course is over, you should be able to understand the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), identify laboratory hazards, take proper precautions to protect yourself, and act effectively in an emergency.

Laboratory Safety: The Supervisor’s Role

While all workers in the lab are responsible for contributing to a safe working environment, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires supervisors to play an important role in identifying and avoiding hazards, maintaining a clean and safe lab, training employees, preparing for emergencies, and keeping records. This training session will help laboratory supervisors understand the specifics of their role in implementing and demonstrating safe lab procedures.
This training session will help trainees gain a better understanding of their role as a supervisor in implementing and maintaining chemical hygiene and safety in the laboratory. Trainees will be able to identify the relevant OSHA standard for laboratory safety and discuss major components and requirements. By the end of this session trainees will be able to:

  • Describe the supervisor’s role;
  • Identify the appropriate OSHA standard;
  • Discuss key components;
  • Identify hazards and how to avoid them; and
  • Relay lab safety procedures to others.

Laboratory Security

Laboratory security is an especially important issue for laboratories, since labs often have hazardous materials that could be appropriated and misused by people with violent intentions, such as terrorists. No matter how secure the laboratory areas are, employees must be trained to ensure that unauthorized individuals do not gain access to our facility and that hazardous materials are not released, endangering employees and the public. In this training course, trainees learn all the ways to help keep a laboratory secure to protect themselves, their coworkers, and the public from harm. The main objective of this session is to provide trainees with an overview of laboratory security so that they can help maintain security in the facility and protect themselves from security risks. By the time the session is over, trainees should be able to:

  • Identify security risks;
  • Understand the facility’s security plan;
  • Take proper precautions to prevent security breaches;
  • Deal effectively with threats of violence and violent incidents; and
  • Report security problems and incidents promptly.

Laser Safety in the Laboratory

This course on laser safety in the lab explains the hazards and protective measures associated with the operation of lasers. The main objective of this session is to protect lab workers from being exposed to laser hazards. By the time the session is over, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify the primary hazard classes of lasers;
  • Identify hazards of operating lasers;
  • Work with engineering controls that prevent exposure;
  • Implement safe operating procedures;
  • Select and wear appropriate personal protective equipment; and
  • Report accidents and near misses.

Radiation Safety in the Laboratory

This online lab safety training course addresses the general hazards of ionizing radiation and ways to protect laboratory workers from exposure. By the time this session is over, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify the sources of ionizing radiation, such as radioactive materials and equipment.
  • Identify the hazards and risks of exposure to radiation and radioactive materials and recognize the symptoms of exposure.
  • Follow administrative controls, warnings, and other measures to manage and maintain radiation doses “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA).
  • Use radiation monitoring and survey devices.
  • Select and use personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Respond to emergencies and properly report radiation accidents or exposures.

Respiratory Protection in the Laboratory

From harmful dusts to fumes, vapors, and toxic gases, respiratory hazards in the laboratory are real and can be serious. Laboratories that use, handle, or produce materials that may present respiratory hazards are required to comply with the Occpational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134). This standard is designed to protect employees from all the respiratory hazards you may face. In this training course, we will discuss this standard and what it means for people who work in laboratories. The main purpose of this session is to help trainees work safely when they face potential respiratory hazards. By the end of the session, lab employees will be able to:

  • Identify and understand the respiratory hazards you may face;
  • Know how to find information about these hazards;
  • Identify the control measures used at your facility to protect against respiratory hazards; and
  • Know how to protect yourself by using respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE).

The OSHA Laboratory Standard

Because of the hazards involved in laboratory work, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted the OSHA Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450), which is designed to minimize exposure to hazardous chemicals and foster a safe work environment for any facility that uses hazardous materials. The main purpose of this course is to make lab workers aware of the contents and requirements of the OSHA Laboratory Standard. By the end of this session, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify the purpose of the OSHA Laboratory Standard;
  • Recognize and understand the elements of the Standard;
  • Identify the actions required to comply with the Standard;
  • And finally, do your part to comply with the Standard and ensure the safety of all personnel.

Working Safely with Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical compound that is commonly used in laboratory operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted a Formaldehyde Standard to protect workers from contamination or hazardous exposure. This training session addresses this Standard and how lab workers can protect themselves on the job. The provision of the OSHA 1910.1048 Formaldehyde Standard that applies to laboratories covered under the OSHA Laboratory Standard (1910.1450) is the provision to limit employee exposure to the listed exposure limits. If employee exposure is above the action level, permissible exposure limit (PEL), or short-term exposure limit (STEL), periodic monitoring and medical surveillance may be required. The main purpose of this session is to help trainees work safely with or around formaldehyde. By the end of the session, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify the hazards posed by formaldehyde;
  • Know how to access information about the hazards posed by formaldehyde and how to control them;
  • Understand the toxicological effects of formaldehyde exposure;
  • Identify engineering control measures used at the facility to protect workers from the hazards posed by formaldehyde; and
  • Know how to protect yourself through means that include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and compliance with safety procedures.

Working with Flammables and Reactives in the Laboratory

This course covers lab safety as it relates to the safe handling of flammables and reactives in the lab. Workplace fires and explosions are not only common—but also deadly. By virtue of the type of work conducted in laboratories—including working with hazardous chemicals, mixing chemicals, high heat, and intense pressure—the risk of fire or explosion can be high. It is essential that lab workers know how to identify these hazards; how to properly handle flammable, reactive, and combustible materials to avoid fire and explosions; and how to respond should one occur.
By the end of this session, trainees will be able to:

  • Identify flammable and reactive hazards in the laboratory;
  • Define flammables, reactives, and combustibles;
  • Outline safe handling and storage for these materials;
  • Discuss methods of prevention; and
  • Discuss emergency response measures, safety equipment, and evacuation procedures.