Laboratory Chemical Safety

This course covers the fundamental safety practices for working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.

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About this Course

Organizations must collaborate at all levels to develop and implement laboratory chemical safety policies and procedures that support a healthy safety culture and protect personnel. This course discusses the requirements for working safely with hazardous chemicals and provides practical guidance on how to minimize occupational exposure that results in adverse physical or health effects.

This course was written by Michelle Thompson, PhD and Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH and peer reviewed by experts.

Language Availability: English

Suggested Audiences: Laboratory Personnel, Laboratory Supervisors, Principal Investigators

Organizational Subscription Price: $675 per year/per site for government and non-profit organizations; $750 per year/per site for for-profit organizations
Independent Learner Price: $99 per person

Demo Instructions

Course Content

Fundamental Concepts of Laboratory Chemical Safety

Safety is essential when working with hazardous chemicals. This module covers the fundamentals of laboratory chemical safety, including the various roles and responsibilities for maintaining a safe laboratory workplace, the importance of working safely in laboratories, the documents and materials that are needed before work begins, and the requirements for laboratory safety training.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19628 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Chemical Storage and Segregation

Proper chemical storage and segregation helps minimize potential exposures through leaks, spills, or reactions between incompatible materials. This module provides basic guidance on how to store chemicals according to their compatibility groups and hazard classes.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19629 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Emergency Planning

Laboratory personnel must be able to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies such as chemical spills, floods, fires, or severe weather. This module explains the four phases of emergency management, how to assess emergencies that can occur in a laboratory, and steps to follow when different emergencies occur.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19630 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Chemical Fume Hoods

The chemical fume hood is a critical engineering control that helps protect laboratory personnel from hazardous chemical exposures. This module describes the chemical fume hood’s basic design functions and operations, the various types of chemical fume hoods and their specific uses, and how to implement safe work practices for chemical fume hood use.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19631 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

All laboratory experiments present different hazards and risks that must be continually identified, evaluated, controlled, and reviewed. This module discusses the importance of hazard identification and risk assessment, the key information sources that guide hazard identification and risk assessment, the different methods for controlling hazards, and the various health effects of laboratory chemicals.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19632 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) When Using Hazardous Chemicals

Personal protective equipment is the “last line of defense” in the hierarchy of controls. It should be used in addition to other administrative, engineering, substitution, and elimination controls. This module explains the U.S. federal regulations and employer responsibilities regarding PPE, as well as chemical compatibility considerations, PPE that is necessary in the laboratory, and procedures for wearing and removing PPE.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19633 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Laboratory Waste Management

Laboratory waste should be managed using best practices that reduce environmental impact and maximize safety. This module describes the methods to manage hazardous laboratory waste, the various types of waste disposal and treatment methods, the safe and compliant transportation of waste, the different types of waste and hazardous waste generators, and other requirements.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19634 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Transporting Hazardous Chemicals

The person who submits a chemical for transportation or shipment is responsible for ensuring that the packaging, labeling, and transport methods are appropriate based the chemical’s hazards and the applicable regulations. This module discusses how to safely package laboratory chemicals, how to properly label laboratory chemicals, and how to determine the appropriate transportation method in keeping with these requirements.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19635 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Chemical Security

A chemical security program reduces the risk of theft or misuse of hazardous chemicals that could cause harm to people or the environment. This module discusses the regulatory agencies that oversee chemical security, the main elements of a laboratory security program, and the importance of maintaining a chemical inventory.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19636 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH

Compressed Gas Cylinders

Compressed gases can pose a significant risk to laboratory personnel because they can present chemical and physical hazards. The mishandling of compressed gas cylinders can result in disastrous consequences, including asphyxiation, fires and explosions, crush injuries, chemical exposures, and injuries from projectiles. This module explains the special hazards associated with compressed gas cylinders, the various types of compressed gas cylinders, the proper transport and safe storage of compressed gas cylinders, and the proper disposal of empty compressed gas cylinders.

Recommended Use: Required
ID (Language): 19637 (English)
Author(s): Michelle Thompson, PhD; Betsy Matos, PhD, MPH


Who should take the Laboratory Chemical Safety course?

The suggested audiences are laboratory personnel, laboratory supervisors, and principal investigators. The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires that laboratory personnel receive training on laboratory safety practices, including exposure detection, physical and health hazards associated with chemicals, and protective measures.

Why should an organization subscribe to this course?

Organizational subscriptions provide access to the organization's affiliated members. This allows organizations to meet the training needs of learners who work with hazardous chemicals.

Why should an independent learner consider taking this course?

Independent learners can take this course to understand the fundamental safety practices for working with hazardous chemicals in the laboratory. The course covers important topics related to laboratory chemical safety and includes practical examples and case studies.

How does the course work?

The course consists of self-contained, self-paced modules. Each module includes an in-depth discussion along with case studies, practical examples, supplemental resources, and a quiz.

How long will the course take a learner to complete?

Although completion time will vary by learner, each module takes about 25-30 minutes to complete. The modules are designed so that learners can complete them in one sitting or in multiple sittings, and there is no time limit for any of the activities.

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