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 hazards.
New Employee Training
HSRM provides web-based training modules on a number of training topics. At a minimum, new laboratory employees must complete the following modules before working in a research lab:
- Introduction to Research Safety
- Chemical Safety
- Chemical Waste Management
Lab-Specific Annual Training
In addition to new employee training provide by HSRM, it is the responsibility of each PI/Lab Manager to train workers upon hire and annually in the following:
- Identify workplace hazards (chemical, physical, and biological)
- Identify affected employees
- Provide employee access to appropriate hazard information (i.e., Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), etc.)
- Provide training regarding the specific hazards present in an employee's laboratory work area, including methods to control such hazards
- Keep training records for five years (see 4.2 Documentation)
Training must include required procedures and personal protective equipment to reduce the risk of exposure. Training must be provided at the time of an employee's initial work assignment, prior to assignments involving new potential exposure situations and annually thereafter. The HSRM lab-specific training document highlights items that may be covered during lab-specific training.
In addition to general training, work with the following materials requires additional training:
- Bloodborne Pathogens training if work involves human blood, human body fluids, human cells (including cell lines), unfixed human tissue, and/or infectious agents (viruses, bacteria, fungi, rickettsia, prions). The training is required annually if you work with human material.
- Biological Safety in the Laboratory training if work involves work with any biological agents, including recombinant or synthetic DNA.
- Implementation of NIH Guidelines if work involves recombinant or synthetic DNA.
- Hazardous Shipping for workers who package and ship hazardous materials, including dry ice, infectious substances or diagnostic specimens.
- Controlled Substance users must complete the online tutorial: Using Controlled Substances for Research
- Animal Users must complete training through IACUC
- Radiation Safety Training is required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for persons who work in or frequent a radioactive materials area.
- Building Access: Some lab buildings (such as AHC RBMS buildings) may require specific training and documentation of in order for workers to be granted building access. Building management will communicate the training requirements to individuals when building access is required.
Employee training programs will include, at a minimum, the following subjects:
- Methods of detecting the presence of hazardous chemicals including visual observation, odor, real-time air monitoring, time-weighted air sampling, etc.
- Basic toxicological principles including toxicity, exposure, routes of entry, acute and chronic effects, dose-response relationship, LD50, Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs), exposure time, and health hazards related to classes of chemicals
- Prudent laboratory practices designed to reduce personal exposure and to control physical hazards (See Prudent Practices in the Laboratory: Handling and Disposal of Chemicals [National Research Council, 2011])
- Description of available chemical information including container labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
- Emergency response information such as emergency phone numbers, fire extinguisher locations, and eyewash/shower locations
- Applicable details of the departmental Laboratory Safety Plan including both general and laboratory-specific SOPs
- Requirements for working in the lab alone or at night
- An introduction to the University of Minnesota Chemical Waste Management Guidebook