Laboratory Safety


Course Introduction

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.


Key Topics

  • Laboratory-Related OSHA Standards
  •  Hazard Communication
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  •  Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Respiratory Protection
  •  Hearing Protection
  •  Electrical Safety
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer (CHO) Duties and Responsibilities
  • Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP)
  •  Controlling Laboratory Hazards
  • Specific Laboratory Chemical Hazards
  •  Safety Hazards
  • Specific Laboratory Biological Hazards
  •  Physical Hazards
  • Best Practices When Operating Equipment
  •  Preventing Fires

Target Audience

  • Employee
  •  Supervisor
  •  Manager