Supervisor's Guide to Lab Safety
Laboratory Safety Manuals
Ensure that all laboratory personnel are familiar with and know how to access the University's Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), Biosafety Manual (BSM), and Bloodborne Pathogens Exposure Control Plan (ECP), as applicable.
Visit the EH&S safety and policy manuals for all plans.
All faculty, staff, and students who work in, or supervise, labs or stockrooms must receive laboratory safety training. View the training offered by EH&S to fulfill some of your requirements.
- General lab safety training: EH&S conducts general laboratory safety training that covers laboratory safety regulatory requirements, and general chemical and biological laboratory safety principles. This training is required for all laboratory personnel, including the PI/lab supervisor.
- Laboratory specific training: Supplement general training with the specific training that is applicable to your laboratory, including incident response. Conduct on-going training when new hazards are introduced into the laboratory. Each laboratory is responsible for documenting this training (topics, dates received, person trained, instructor, and signatures).
- Bloodborne Pathogens training: Presented by EH&S and required for all personnel who work with human blood, body fluids, unfixed tissues, and cultured cells of human origin.
See the laboratory safety training matrix for other topics that may be applicable to your lab.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
The University Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and Biosafety Manual (BSM) contain SOPs that provide guidance on common laboratory hazards. Each laboratory must supplement these SOPs with laboratory-specific procedures that cover health and safety issues present in that particular laboratory. Ensure that all personnel work according to SOPs and University policies.
Projects involving biological agents (microorganisms, recombinant DNA, cell cultures, biological toxins, human blood and unfixed tissue) require submittal of a Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (MOUA) to the Institutional Biosafety Committee for approval. Additionally, use of Select Agents requires registration with the CDC. Contact EH&S for more information.
Ensure that lab personnel know how to access Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and other safety information related to chemical and biological agents used in the laboratory (as well as applicable physical hazards).
Incident Response Planning
Preplan your laboratory’s response to incidents such as fires, spills, and personnel contamination. Preplanning should include response actions specific to your laboratory and may be included in SOPs, however, response actions must be compatible with your department or building emergency plan.
Chemical and Biological Inventory
EH&S maintains an inventory of laboratory chemicals. Empty chemical containers with University bar codes must be deleted from the inventory by disposal through EH&S or submitting bar code numbers to EH&S. Each laboratory group is expected to maintain an inventory of their biological agents.