More than 500,000 workers are employed in laboratories in the U.S. The laboratory environment can be a hazardous place to work. Laboratory workers are exposed to numerous potential hazards, including chemical, biological, physical and radioactive hazards, as well as musculoskeletal stresses.
Laboratory safety is governed by numerous local, state and federal regulations. Over the years, OSHA has created rules and published guidelines to make laboratories increasingly safe for personnel. This document is intended for supervisors, principal investigators and managers who have the primary responsibility for maintaining laboratories under their supervision as safe, healthy places to work and for ensuring that applicable health, safety and environmental regulations are followed. Worker guidance in the form of Fact Sheets and QuickCards™ is also provided for certain hazards that may be encountered in laboratories. There are several primary OSHA standards that apply to laboratories and these are discussed below. There are also other OSHA standards that apply to various aspects of laboratory activities and these are referenced in this course.
The Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) was created specifically for non-production laboratories. For those hazards that are not covered by a specific OSHA standard, OSHA often provides guidance on protecting workers from these hazards.
This course is designed to help make employers aware of the OSHA standards as well as OSHA guidance that is available to protect workers from the diverse hazards encountered in laboratories.
To begin your training, click on the module links below. If you are just starting this course, you should start with module 1.
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After studying the course material and answering the quiz questions, it is time to take the final exam. We highly recommend answering the module quiz questions to check your understanding of the course material. The final exam questions are typically developed from these quiz questions.
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1. OSHA 3404-11R, Laboratory Safety Guidance, OSHA, (2011).
2. OSHA Fact Sheet 3464, Laboratory Safety - OSHA Laboratory Standard, OSHA, (2011).
3. OSHA Fact Sheet 3461, Laboratory Safety - Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), OSHA, (2011).
4. OSHA Fact Sheet 3463, Laboratory Safety - Noise, OSHA (2011).
5. OSHA Fact Sheet 3462, Laboratory Safety - Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, OSHA, (2011).
6. OSHA Quick Facts 3405, Laboratory Safety - Autoclaves/Sterilizers, OSHA, (2011).
7. OSHA Quick Facts 3406, Laboratory Safety - Centrifuges, OSHA, (2011).
8. OSHA Quick Facts 3408, Laboratory Safety - Cryogens and Dry Ice, OSHA, (2011).
9. OSHA Fact Sheet 3462, Laboratory Safety - Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, OSHA, (2011).
10. OSHA Quick Facts 3407, Laboratory Safety - Chemical Fume Hoods, OSHA, (2011).
11. OSHA Quick Facts 3409, Laboratory Safety – Electrical Hazards, OSHA, (2011).
12. OSHA Fact Sheet 3462, Laboratory Safety - Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, OSHA, (2011).
13. OSHA Quick Facts 3410, Laboratory Safety - Labeling and Transfer of Chemicals, OSHA, (2011).
14. OSHA Quick Facts 3410, Laboratory Safety - Latex Allergy, OSHA, (2011).
15. OSHA Fact Sheet 3462, Laboratory Safety - Ergonomics for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders, OSHA, (2011).
16. OSHA Quick Facts 3412, Laboratory Safety - Working with Small Animals, OSHA, (2011).
17. 29 CFR 1910 Occupational Safety and Health Standards, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, OSHA, (2011).
18. NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, CDC.
19. Science Reference Guides, Library of Congress.