Laboratory Specific Training-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Laboratory Specific Training

All of our lab people are required to take the EH&S Laboratory Safety and Hazardous Waste training sessions (offered at least twice every month.)  As far as mandatory training goes, this is just the first part of the OSHA requirements we must follow. 

Equally important is the requirement that laboratory-specific training also be performed and documented by the lab trainer for all laboratory workers.  This training should be done by the laboratory PI or his/her designate, and must address lab-specific rules and handling practices for the hazards in the lab.

The lab-specific training must address these issues (this list is not all-inclusive!)

1.    The specific types of hazards present in the lab, including chemicals, gases, and cryogens.  Special attention should be made to Particularly Hazardous Substances present.
2.    The lab’s requirements for the safe handling of the above-listed hazards.
3.    Restrictions to work permitted in the lab—materials and processes that need special permission of the PI to perform or use.
4.    The laboratory’s working alone restrictions and precautions for unattended procedures
5.    Laboratory working hours
6.    Details of housekeeping duties:  identify people who are responsible for clean-up of certain areas, perhaps a rotating schedule?
7.    The location of applicable safety and emergency response items in your lab(s.)

This laboratory-specific training also needs to be documented by the laboratory; in the event OSHA visits the university, they will ask to see documentation of all training, including the EH&S class (which we retain) and the lab-specific (which you must retain.)  They are also very likely to ask lab employees specific questions in this regard, such as “Where would you find the Chemical Hygiene Plan?”  A response of “what’s that?” would not be a good thing…

Please contact EH&S with any questions regarding the need for Laboratory-Specific Safety Training.  We will be very happy to assist you in this task (and in the all-important documentation.)

By: Mark Banister,, 412-268-1493