Laboratory Safety

Responsibilities

Individuals who work in a laboratory are required to be adequately informed about the physical and health hazards present in the laboratory, the known risks, and what to do if an accident occurs. Every laboratory worker must be trained to know the location and proper use of available personal protective clothing and equipment. The laboratory supervisor is responsible for providing information about any hazards present in the lab. This information must be provided at the initial assignment and prior to any assignments involving new potential chemical exposure situations.

The following lists the information which should be provided by the lab supervisor:

  • Lab specific procedures and training for all hazards in the lab.
  • Awareness of the N.B. Occupational Health & Safety Act and Regulations.
  • The location and availability of known reference material on the hazards, safe handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals found in the laboratory.
  • The permissible exposure limits (PEL) for OSHA regulated substances or recommended exposure limits for other hazardous chemicals where there is no applicable OSHA standard for OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits of some common laboratory chemicals.
  • Signs and symptoms associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals used in the laboratory.
  • Methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of a hazardous chemical.
  • The physical and health hazards of chemicals in the work area.
  • The measures lab workers can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the lab supervisor and/or safety coordinator has implemented to protect personnel from exposures to hazardous chemicals, such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and personal protective equipment to be used. Lab workers must be trained when new chemical hazards are introduced into their workplace, or when new hazards are shown on updated Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), as well as upon reassignment to different workplaces that involve new chemical hazards or protective measures.

Please see the Safety Handbook for more information on the following:

  • Policies & Procedures 
  • Internal Accident Reporting
  • Fire
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Eye Protection
  • Hearing Protection
  • Handling of Cryogenic Material
  • Refrigerators
  • Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • First Aid
  • Flammable Liquids
  • Corrosive Materials
  • Toxic Materials
  • Labelling of Containers
  • Hazardous Waste Disposal
  • Vacating Facilities
  • Disposal of Hypodermic Needles, Broken Glass, etc.
  • Live Laboratory Animals
  • Biohazards
  • Radioactive Nuclear Substances
  • Health & Safety