Information and Training
All laboratory researchers and their supervisors (Principal
Investigators included) must be trained according to the requirements
of the Laboratory Safety Standard. Colleges and non-academic
departments that engage in the laboratory use of hazardous chemical,
physical or biological agents are responsible for identifying such
employees. The employees must be informed about their roles and
responsibilities as outlined in this standard, as well as hazards
associated with their work and how to work safely and mitigate those
DEHS provides web-based training modules on the basic information and
training topics described below on the ‘Training’
page of the DEHS
website. At a minimum, new laboratory employees should complete
the modules “Introduction to Research Safety”, “Chemical Safety”, and
“Chemical Waste Management”.
In addition, each laboratory supervisor is responsible for ensuring
that laboratory employees are provided with training about the specific
hazards present in their laboratory work area, and methods to control
such hazards. Such training must be provided at the time of an
employee's initial assignment to a work area and prior to assignments
involving new potential exposures, and must be documented. Refresher
training must be provided at least annually.
Volunteers conducting research in University laboratories, in addition
to completing the training described below, must complete the Volunteers
and Visitor’s Laboratory Use Agreement. If the volunteer is a
minor, a parent or guardian must also sign the agreement. A minor
who is paid to work in a research laboratory must file an Application
for Child Labor Exemption with the Minnesota Department of Labor
It is essential that laboratory employees have access to information on
the hazards of chemicals and procedures for working safely. Supervisors
must ensure that laboratory employees are informed about and have
access to the following information sources:
The contents of the
OSHA Laboratory Safety Standard
Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories" and its
appendices (29 CFR 1910.1450). A copy of this federal standard can
found in Appendix A of this Laboratory Safety Plan.
The University of
Minnesota's Laboratory Safety Plan
This generic LSP is available to all employees on the Department of
Environmental Health and Safety's web site. Individual department
Laboratory Safety Plans are available within those departments.
Exposure Limits (PELs)
PELs for OSHA regulated substances can be found in Appendix B. Also
included in Appendix B are the ACGIH Threshold Limit Value (TLV) list,
a list of OSHA health hazard definitions, lists of "select carcinogens"
and reproductive toxins, and chemicals having a high degree of acute
Signs and symptoms
associated with exposures to hazardous chemicals.
Laboratory Chemical Safety Summaries (LCSSs) are included on pages
235-413 of the 1995 edition of Prudent Practices. LCSSs are similar to
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), but are tailored to the hazards of
laboratory use of those chemicals. The LCSSs include toxicity
information, and signs and symptoms of exposure to the chemicals.
Material Safety Data
MSDSs are available on line through links from the Department of
Environmental Health and Safety's web site. Hard copies of MSDS for
many laboratory chemicals are also available from DEHS or departmental
safety offices. Individual researchers are encouraged to keep hard
copies in an easily accessible location for materials that are used in
large quantities, which are used frequently, or which are particularly
chemical waste disposal and spill response
The University of Minnesota guidebook, Hazardous Chemical Waste
Management 5th edition provides detailed information on proper waste
programs will include, at a minimum, the following
Methods of detecting
the presence of hazardous chemicals include visual observation,
odor, real-time air monitoring, time-weighted air sampling, etc.).
Principles include toxicity, hazard, exposure, routes of entry, acute
and chronic effects, dose-response relationship, LD50, threshold limit
values and permissible exposure limits, exposure time, and health
hazards related to classes of chemicals.
Prudent laboratory practices include general techniques designed to
reduce personal exposure and to control physical hazards, as well as
specific protective mechanisms and warning systems used in individual
laboratories. Appropriate use of fume hoods is to be specifically
available chemical information;
Container labels, Material
Safety Data Sheets, etc.
Emergency response actions appropriate to individual
Contact Form Lists of emergency phone numbers, location of fire
extinguishers, deluge showers, eyewashes, etc.
of the departmental Laboratory Safety Plan;
Details should include general and laboratory-specific Standard
An introduction to
the Hazardous Chemical
Waste Management guidebook
Update training is required for all laboratory researchers and
supervisors / principal investigators (PI’s) at least annually.
Departmental Research Safety Officers (RSOs) are responsible for
coordinating and tracking update training. Often, RSOs may
arrange for departmental-wide update-training sessions, focusing on
results of laboratory audits, and highlighting issues that may need
from DEHS’s library may be borrowed to supplement these training
sessions. Individual PI’s may conduct research-group-specific
safety reviews to supplement or even stand in place of departmental
update sessions. However, documentation (paper or electronic) of
safety training must be maintained according to the requirements
outlined in Chapter 10 of this Lab Safety Plan.