Environmental Health & Safety

Laboratory Safety Training

Revised: February 17, 2017


Laboratory Safety is a very important aspect of science. Without it, experimentation could result in very serious injury, if not death. To reduce the risks involved with experimentation, there are certain procedures that we should all follow as individuals and as a member of a group. It is important that the correct procedures are used in various situations, when handling hazardous or biological materials, when preparing, executing or cleaning up an experiment. It is also essential that you understand how to identify and use emergency equipment and protective gear.

Many laboratory guidelines are written based on experience – notably when things have gone badly wrong. Remember, you could be dealing with extremely dangerous and hazardous materials, so caution is required at all times.

Many laboratory accidents and problems are due to haste. In the lab however, it’s important to take your time - not only for safety reasons, but also to avoid wasting samples, money and time.

This training module is provided to guide you through and develop your understanding of Laboratory Safety. It is important to take your time to understand the procedures, concepts and reasons to make your laboratory as safe as possible.



good housekeeping poor housekeeping

Fire Safety

safe workplace

Hazardous Communication (HazCom)

Recognition and Evaluation of Hazards

small toxic hazard sign  small flammable sign  small corrosive hazard sign  small oxidizing hazard sign  small biohazard sign

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)


Chemical Safety

The chemical safety program provides guidance and protocols to prevent injury to personnel, loss or damage to property, and ensures compliance with environmental regulations. Adherence to the basic principles of chemical safety reduces the risk of injury or chemical exposure.

toxic hazard sign  flammable sign  corrosive hazard sign  oxidizing hazard signs 

Chemical Materials - Common Types

Chemical - Incompatibilities

chemical storage document

(Click or tap image for expanded view of table.)

Chemical - Storage

Chemicals of Special Concern - Peroxide Forming

A wide variety of organic compounds can spontaneously form peroxides on exposure to air. Peroxides are sensitive to heat, friction, and shock.

Chemical - Engineering Controls

Chemical Fume Hoods are an important tool used to minimize exposure.

chemical fume hood

Prior to Using a Fume Hood

Chemical - Waste Disposal

Chemical - Spill Response

Biological Safety

Biosafety is the application of combining laboratory practices, procedures, facilities, and safety equipment to protect human health and prevent release of biological materials into the environment.

Biological materials are defined as any biologically-derived materials which, either by accident or design, contain biological agents.

bio-hazard sign

Biological Materials - Common Types

Biological Safety - Institutional Biosafety Committee

Biological - Exposure

Most common types of exposures:

Needle Stick  Eye Exposure  Bioaerosols 

Biological - Engineering Controls

Biological Safety Cabinets (BSC) are an important tool used to control bioaerosols and minimize exposure.

biological safety cabinet

Biological - Waste Disposal

Biohazardous waste includes the following general categories:

Never place chemicals, chemical bottles, radioactive materials, or other trash in biowaste containers.

Waste containers for:

bio-hazard box  sharps container

Biological - Spill Response

Radiological Safety

Radiation Safety is the science of protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation, which includes both isotope particle radiation and high energy electromagnetic radiation.

Ionizing radiation can only be used in approved licensed laboratories.

radiation hazard sign

Radiological Materials - Common Types

Radiological - Institutional Radiation Safety Committee

Radiological - Exposure

Radiological - Incompatibilities

Radiological - Engineering Controls

shielding images

Radiological - Waste Disposal

Radiological - Spill Response

Personal Protective Equipment


latex gloves  vinyl gloves

Splash Goggles and Face Shields

goggles  Face Shield


N95 respirator  Half Face respirator  N9Full Face respirator 

Lab Coats

Lab Coats must be worn when there is potential exposure to:

lab coat image

Storage Method

Personal protective equipment should be stored in a manner that protects the equipment from:

improper storage

Eyewash and Shower Stations

eye wash station  emergency shower 

Compressed Gas Cylinders

gas cylinders

Liquid Nitrogen/Cryogenic

nitrogen cylinder

Thank you