Laboratory workers require varying levels of training dependent upon the materials they may contact and their duties. General awareness training typically covers broad topics of biosafety to help inform laboratory workers regarding the risks and controls needed to safely handle biohazardous materials. The University requires all PIs, Instructors, Supervisors, and Laboratory Workers complete applicable online biosafety training provided by CITI. For additional information about the CITI program, log on information, and training requirements please refer to the Office of Research Compliance website. Additional laboratory safety training is required by Environmental Health, Safety and Sustainability.
The PI, Instructor or Supervisor must ensure their laboratory workers receive lab-specific training to communicate specific procedures and hazards of the laboratory.
It is essential the PI, Instructor and Supervisor ensure compliance with training and maintain training records.
Universal precautions is the principle that all blood and body fluids are treated as infectious. Safeguards need to be designed to prevent the transmission of blood-borne diseases, respiratory conditions, or dermal conditions within the lab. Precautions may include specific recommendations for where the work will be completed and specific use of gloves, lab coats, masks and protective eye wear. Appropriate use of these methods will help to protect individuals working in the lab, and prevent cross contamination to others leading to increased infection control.
General Work Practices
Specific procedures may be written for high risk tasks occurring in the lab. For all other tasks, safe work practices must be followed. These practices should include but are not limited to:
- Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- No food or drink in the lab
- Aisles clear and benchtops uncluttered
- Life Safety Equipment in good working order and accessible
- All workers are compliant with their required training
- Limit cross contamination potential
- Waste is managed
- All materials are well labeled, including full chemical names not formulas
- Emergency signs are posted and visible
- Biological sharps are stored in red rigid containers, when 2/3rd full can be discarded in the biohazardous waste storage room
- Non-biological sharps such as pipette tips are placed in rigid containers, taped closed and discarded in the regular garbage
- Vacuum lines need to be protected from biohazardous pathogens and toxins. The lines shall be protected with liquid disinfectant traps and high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which are checked routinely and appropriately maintained