& Laboratory Safety
Safety in the workplace:
Hazards and Risk Assessment
Who is Responsible for Workplace Safety
Laboratory Safety Management:
operating principals or requirements
related to many areas in addition to safety. Many
safety regulations are voluntary.
operating principals required by law.
Areas that have standards and regulations:
Use and Handling of Animals
Regulation of Radioisotopes
Prudent Practices in the Laboratory. Handling
and Disposal of Chemicals.
Council, National Academy Press. Washington,
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical
Laboratories 4th U.S.
Department of Health and
Human Services, Public Health Service Centers
for Disease Control and National Institutes of
Health. U.S. Government Printing Office 1999.
OSHA web site :
EPA web site:
Other Government Agencies
that have regulatory oversight:
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
OSHA (Occupational Safety
and Health Administration)
Federal Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)
regulates the use of hazardous materials in industrial
workplaces. It focuses on the availability of information
concerning employee hazard exposure and applicable
Right to Know Law.
workplace hazard identification
written hazard communication plan (CHP)
files of Material Data Safety Sheets for all hazardous chemicals
clear labeling of all chemicals
worker training for the safe use of all chemicals
1990 Occupational Exposure to
Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories
Standards (29 CFR Part 1910) :
mandates the development of a chemical
hygiene plan (CHP) for every institution.
The CHP is a written manual that outlines
the specific information and procedures
necessary to protect workers from hazardous
Chemical Hygiene Plan
Items that must be addressed in the CHP:
General chemical safety rules and procedures
Purchase, distribution, and storage of chemicals
Availability of medical programs
Maintenance, housekeeping, and inspection procedures
Availability of protective devices and clothing
Record keeping policies
Training and employee information programs
Chemical labeling requirement
Accident and spill policies
Waste disposal programs
Emergency response plans
Designation of safety officer
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
primary responsibility for enforcement of laws to
prevent environmental contamination with
Clean Water Act
Safe Drinking Water Act
Clean Air Act
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
Provides a system for tracking hazardous waste,
including poisonous or reactive chemicals from creation
to disposal (cradle to grave)
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): designed to
regulate chemicals that pose health or environmental
Establishes chemical inventory and record keeping
requirements. Allows EPA to ban or control
hazardous chemicals in commerce.
Institutions have policies, but these policies
need to be implemented at the individual
Commitment to risk reduction should be a
clear and constant goal for all members of
the laboratory group.
Designation of a safety officer (committee)
safety advisor to laboratory
ensure that safety procedures are documented
act as a liaison with the institutions safety officers
communicate policy changes to co
coordinate internal safety inspections
ensure that equipment is properly maintained
keep records of hazards and problems within the
Labeling and Documentation
Lack of proper labeling is one of the most
common OSHA citations against laboratories.
Labeling should provide identification to new workers
and emergency personnel
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS):
A legally required technical document
provided by chemical suppliers that
describes the specific properties of a
No specific format.
Types of information typically provided:
Composition and ingredients information
Potential health effects
Exposure levels, with specific concentrations and times
First Aid Procedures
Fire fighting procedures
Accidental release procedures
Handling and storage procedures
Recommended personnel protection
Physical and chemical properties
Stability and reactivity
Job Safety Analysis:
a detailed step by step analysis
of each step in a procedure identifying hazards
and outlining accident prevention strategies.
Clean Up after yourself!
Balances, Centrifuges, other common
Freezers and Refrigerators
All Personnel should be familiar with basic emergency
At least one person trained in CPR and basic first aid
First aid kit must be readily accessible and fully stocked
All required protective devices such as fire extinguishers,
fire blankets, and eyewash stations must be well marked
and easily accessible.
Emergency telephone numbers and instructions should be
prominently displayed b y each phone
Evacuation routes should be kept well clear of boxes and
Laboratory Rooms should be labeled
Hazard Diamond System (S&M p614):
chemicals according to their fire, reactivity, and general
Scale of 0
4; 0 being non
hazardous, 4 being very
Biohazard Warning signs
Biosafety Levels (S&M p642)
All associated with : Standard
microbiological practices, special
practices, safety equipment
(primary barriers), and
laboratory facilities (secondary
: “is suitable for work involving well
characterized agents not known to consistently
cause disease in healthy adult humans, and of
minimal potential hazard to laboratory personnel
and the envioronment.”
: “is similar to Biosafety Level 1 and is suitable for
work involving agents of moderate potential hazard to
personnel and the environment.”
“is applicable to clinical, diagnostic, teaching,
research, or production facilities in which work is done
with indigenous or exotic agents which may cause
serious or potentially lethal disease as a result of
exposure by the inhalation route.”
”is required for work with dangerous and exotic
agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol
transmitted laboratory infections and life
Animal Biosafety Levels: when experimental animals are
Ultimately it is up to you the individual
laboratory worker who is responsible for
his/her safety and the safety of their
after all it is you who has the
most to lose, your health, eyesight, or life.
Personnel Safety Practices
Be sure that you are informed about the hazards that
you encounter in the laboratory.
Be aware of emergency protocols.
When in doubt about a hazardous material or
Use personnel protective wear such as lab coats and
Do not eat, drink, smoke, or chew gum in the
Avoid practical jokes and/or horse play
Use gloves when in doubt
Wash your hands regularly
Personnel Safety Practices
Always wash your hands thourougly before leaving the
Disinfect your workspace before starting work and when
Read the labels of chemicals carefully
Read procedures before performing them and visualize
Minimize use of sharp objects (needles, broken glass) and
know how to dispose of them
Clean up spills and pick up any dropped items immediately
Label everything clearly
Use a fume hood for chemicals and solvents that you can
smell, has known toxic properties, or is unfamiliar to you.
Record everything in your lab notebook
Always report accidents, however minor.
General Safety Guidelines: Chapter 2 “Introduction to a
Safe Workplace” pages 19
32. Physical Hazards: Chapter
28 “Working Safely in the Laboratory General
Considerations & Physical Hazards” pages 595
Chemical Hazards: Chapter 29 “ Working Safely with
Chemicals” pages 613
Biological Hazards: Chapter 30 “Workng Safely with
Biological Materials” pages 639
Seidman and Moore, Basic Laboratory Methods for
Compressed Gas Cylinders
Razorblades and needles
See Chapter 29 Tables 29.1,2,3,5&6.
Guidelines & Regulations pertaining to Biological
Hazards (Table 30.2)
Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical
OSHA Bloodborn Pathogens Standard
Guidelines for research involving recombinant DNA
Biological Safety Manual for Research involving
Guide for Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
USDA 9CFR parts 1,2,3
Risk Assessment for Biological Agents (Table 30.1)
Is this a known human or primate pathogen?
What is the history of laboratory use of this organism or
agent and what are the recognized risks?
Has this agent been associated with a laboratory acquired
infection and if so what were the health effects of that
Is there an effective treatment or preventative vaccine?
Biological Risk Assessment
Does this agent frequently induce
sensitivity or allergies in workers?
What is my potential susceptibility as a
function of age, sex, or medical condition?
How can I limit my exposure to the agent?
What are the recommended safety
precautions for this agent and are they
being practiced in this laboratory?
Is the estimated risk acceptable to me?
Std. Microbiological Practices
Standard Microbiological Practices (Table 30.3)
Access to the laboratory should be limited to trained personnel
Lab coats and Eye protection should be worn at all times
Workers should wash their hands after any work with microorganisms and
whenever they leave the lab
Eating, drinking and smoking in the laboratory are prohibited
Hand to mouth, or hand to eye contact should be avoided
pipetting of any substance in the laboratory is prohibited
Steps should be taken to minimize aerosol production
Work should be performed on a clean impervious bench surface with an
appropriate disinfectant available
Work surfaces should be decontaminated after any spill and at the end of
every work session
All biological materials should be properly decontaminated before
Draw a floor plan of the laboratory showing lab benches, and lecture desks.
Include in your drawing the following:
Eye Wash Stations
Master gas shutoff
Master electricity shut off
Biohazardous waste container
Broken glass containers
Routine garbage containers
Chemical disposal containers
After observing and/or discharging a dry
chemical fire extinguisher answer the
What class of fire extinguisher did you
discharge or observe being discharged?
Could you use this type of fire extinguisher on
an electrical fire? A solvent (chemical) fire? A
combustible metal fire?
Outline the steps you took to operate the fire
Practice using a fire blanket. After using
the fire blanket answer the following
Are there any obstacles to using the fire
How could you rearrange things so that there
is unimpeded access to the fire blanket?
List 3 items of personal protective
equipment available in the laboratory.
What items are found in the laboratory
first aid kit?
Conduct a safety audit of the laboratory listing
any observed safety violations. Discuss these
safety violations with your laboratory partners.
What steps would you suggest to remove or
reduce these violations.