University Resources, Operations and Policies


Section 10

Section 10.1: Background on Employee Information and Training
All individuals who work in laboratories who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals must be apprised of the hazard of chemicals present in their work area. THIS INFORMATION AND TRAINING AS OUTLINED BELOW MUST BE PROVIDED BEFORE INITIAL ASSIGNMENT AND BEFORE NEW EXPOSURE SITUATIONS. Equipment necessary for the safe handling of hazardous substances must also be provided. IT IS THE RESONSIBILITY OF THE PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR TO ENSURE THAT ALL LABORATORY WORKERS HAVE BEEN PROPERLY TRAINED.

The Coordinator of Environmental Health and Safety provides mandatory Chemical Hygiene Plan/Laboratory Safety classes at the beginning of each academic semester. This class informs laboratory workers and principle investigators of the general laboratory safety policies and defines the roles and responsibilities of the people in the laboratory. However, training specific for the particular laboratory where an employee works is the responsibility of that particular employee’s supervisor. The Laboratory Supervisor must determine the frequency of refresher information and training. Also, training is mandatory for anyone who will be generating hazardous waste.

10.2 Information
Laboratory workers must be informed of the location and responsibility of the following:

  • “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories” (the OSHA Laboratory Standards- See Appendix I);
  • This Chemical Hygiene Plan;
  • Reference materials on chemical safety (including Material Safety Data Sheets);
  • Permissible exposure limits for OSHA regulated substances, or if there is no applicable OSHA standard, the recommended exposure limits or threshold limit value may be provided;
  • Signs and symptoms associated with exposure to the hazardous chemicals found in the laboratory.

10.3 Training
Laboratory worker training must include:

  • Detection methods that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical. Examples of detection methods include visual appearance, odor, detector papers, and an understanding of chemical monitoring devices;
  • Physical and health hazards of the chemicals;
  • Hazardous waste training;
  • The work practices, personal protective equipment, and emergency procedures to be used to ensure that the employee may protect himself/herself from overexposure to hazardous chemicals;
  • Medical consultations and examinations.

The manufacture’s Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will generally contain much of the above information needed to comply with information and training requirements of the OSHA Laboratory Standard. Laboratory Supervisors and employees should understand the relevant MSDS and/or other comparable literature on the hazardous chemicals that are used or stored in their laboratory. The employee’s supervisor must provide additional training for specific laboratory hazards.


Joseph Landesberg, Ph.D.
Chemical Hygiene Officer
p – 516.877.4148
e –

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