Course 757 - Laboratory Safety

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    Course Homepage     Final Exam      Contact Instructor     Website Homepage
Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Related OSHA Standards

Standards

The Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)

Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), the General Duty Clause, requires that employers:

“shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

This standard is also called the HazCom Standard. It requires evaluating the potential hazards of chemicals, and communicating information concerning those hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees. The standard includes provisions for:

  • developing and maintaining a written hazard communication program for the workplace, including lists of hazardous chemicals present;
  • labeling of containers of chemicals in the workplace, as well as containers of chemicals being shipped to other workplaces;
  • preparation and distribution of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to workers and downstream employers; and
  • development and implementation of worker training programs regarding hazards of chemicals and protective measures.

The standard also requires manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals to provide Safety Data Sheets to users of the chemicals describing potential hazards and other information. They must also attach hazard warning labels to containers of the chemicals. Employers must make SDSs available to workers. They must also train their workers in the hazards caused by the chemicals workers are exposed to and the appropriate protective measures that must be used when handling the chemicals.

For additional training on this topic, be sure to check out Course 705 Hazard Communication Program.

The Bloodborne Pathogens (BPP) Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030)

Bloodborne Pathogens

The BPP standard requires employers to protect workers from infection with human bloodborne pathogens in the workplace. The standard covers all workers with “reasonably anticipated” exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).

It requires that information and training be provided:

  • before the worker begins work that may involve occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens
  • annually
  • before a worker is offered a hepatitis B vaccination

The Bloodborne Pathogens standard also requires advance information and training for all workers in research laboratories who handle human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B virus (HBV).

The employer must develop a written exposure control plan (ECP) to provide a safe and healthy work environment and is allowed some flexibility in accomplishing this goal. Among other things, the ECP requires employers to:

  • Make an exposure determination.
  • Establish procedures for evaluating incidents.
  • Determine a schedule for implementing the standard’s requirements, including engineering and work practice controls.
  • Provide and pay for appropriate PPE for workers with occupational exposures.

Although the OSHA standard only applies to bloodborne pathogens, the protective measures in the standard (e.g., ECP, engineering and work practice controls, administrative controls, PPE, housekeeping, training, post-exposure medical follow-up) are the same measures for effectively controlling exposure to other biological agents.

For additional training on bloodborne pathogens safety, take Course 655 Bloodborne Pathogens in the Workplace and Course 755 Bloodborne Pathogens Program Management.

The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Standard (29 CFR 1910.132)

Proper Dress and PPE/Lab Safety 1

This standard requires employers to provide and pay for PPE and ensure that it is used wherever hazards are encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact. The types of hazards covered include:

  • hazards of processes or environment
  • chemical hazards
  • radiological hazards
  • mechanical irritants

In order to determine whether and what PPE is needed, the employer must assess the workplace to determine if hazards are present, or are likely to be present, which necessitate the use of PPE. Based on that assessment, the employer must select appropriate PPE that will protect the affected worker from the hazards and select PPE that properly fits each affected employee.

Employers must provide training for workers required to use PPE that addresses when and what PPE is necessary, how to wear and care for PPE properly, and the limitations of PPE. Of course, the training should also include why the use of the specific PPE is important.

The Eye and Face Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.133)

Eye

This standard requires employers to ensure that each affected worker uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

The Respiratory Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.134)

This standard requires that a respirator be provided to each worker when such equipment is necessary to protect the health of such individual. The employer must provide respirators that are appropriate and suitable for the purpose intended. The employer is responsible for establishing and maintaining a respiratory protection program that includes the following:

  • selection of respirators for use in the workplace;
  • medical evaluations of workers required to use respirators;
  • fit testing for tight-fitting respirators;
  • proper use of respirators during routine and emergency situations;
  • procedures and schedules for cleaning, disinfecting, storing, inspecting, repairing and discarding of respirators;
  • procedures to ensure adequate air quality, quantity, and flow of breathing air for atmosphere-supplying respirators;
  • training of workers in respiratory hazards that they may be exposed to during routine and emergency situations;
  • training of workers in the proper donning and doffing of respirators, and any limitations on their use and maintenance; and
  • regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.

The Hand Protection Standard (29 CFR 1910.138)

Hand Protection

This standard requires employers to select and ensure that workers use appropriate hand protection when their hands are exposed to hazards such as:

  • those from skin absorption of harmful substances
  • severe cuts or lacerations
  • severe abrasions
  • punctures
  • chemical burns
  • thermal burns
  • harmful temperature extremes

Employers must base the selection of appropriate hand protection on an evaluation of the performance characteristics of the hand protection relative to the task(s) to be performed, conditions present, duration of use, and the hazards and potential hazards identified.

The Control of Hazardous Energy Standard (29 CFR 1910.147)

Often called the “Lockout/Tagout” standard, this regulation establishes basic requirements for locking and/or tagging out equipment while installation, maintenance, testing, repair, or construction operations are in progress. The primary purpose of the standard is to protect workers from the unexpected energization or startup of machines or equipment, or release of stored energy. The procedures apply to the shutdown of all potential energy sources associated with machines or equipment, including pressures, flows of fluids and gases, electrical power, and radiation.

  • When laboratory workers are using large analyzers and other equipment, their potential exposure to electrical hazards associated with this equipment must be assessed by employers and appropriate precautions taken.
  • Worker exposure to wet floors, spills or clutter can lead to slips, trips, falls and other possible injuries. Employers must assure that these hazards are minimized.
  • While large laboratory fires are rare, there is the potential for small bench-top fires, especially in laboratories using flammable solvents.

Foot Protection

Proper Lab Shoes - UCLA

Foot protection is designed to prevent injury and illness from exposure to corrosive chemicals, heavy objects, and electrical shock. Foot protection should also provide adequate traction on wet floors. The most vulnerable portion of the body is feet if a corrosive chemical or heavy object falls on the floor. Therefore, foot protection should completely cover and protect the foot.

Foot protection should be selected to protect against the specific hazards in the laboratory. Caution should be used when wearing fabric shoes because they readily absorb chemical substances. Be sure to remove footwear immediately if chemicals spill on fabric shoes.

The following are recommended types of footwear:

  • Safety shoes protect against crushing injuries caused by impact from any object during work.
  • Treated shoes, rubber boots or shoe covers protect against corrosive chemicals.
  • Insulated shoes protect against electric shock.
  • Rubber boots with slip resistant outer soles provide traction when floors are wet.

Instructions

Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Which of the following requires evaluating the potential hazards of chemicals, and communicating information concerning those hazards and appropriate protective measures to employees?

2. Which standard covers all workers with "reasonably anticipated" exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM)?

3. Which of the following is NOT one of the components of the Respiratory Protection Standard?

4. The primary purpose of the Lockout/Tagout Standard is to protect workers from _____.

5. Foot protection is necessary in the laboratory to prevent injuries from exposure to all of the following EXCEPT:


Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.