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Lab Safety Training Q&A

Does OSHA require employees to receive lab safety training?
Not specifically, but lab safety is promoted through many of OSHA’s other standards and their respective mandatory training programs. To date, compliance directives have not been issued for the Laboratory Standard; however, employees are required to receive relevant training that fall under other standards (i.e. hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens, lockout/tagout, and so forth) typically associated with laboratory settings and work procedures.
What OSHA regulations are relevant to laboratory environments?
There are a number of OSHA standards that apply to laboratories and to various aspects of laboratory activities. OSHA standards that best apply would be: General Chemical Hazards (1910.1450, 1910.1200), Specific Chemical Hazards (1910.1000, 1910.1048), Biological Hazards (1910.1030), Other Hazards (1910.147), and PPE (1910.132, 1910.133, 1910.134).
How does OSHA define a laboratory?
OSHA defines a laboratory as: "a facility where the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals occurs". In this facility, employees use comparatively small quantities of hazardous materials on a non-production basis. "Laboratory use of hazardous chemicals" refers to situations which entail the following conditions: (1) one person can easily handle (chemically manipulate) substances; (2) the use of multiple chemicals and/or chemical procedures; (3) procedures are of a non-production process; and (4) the availability and use of respective protective equipment.
Does OSHA require eye wash stations in laboratory environments?
No, unless there is potential risk of employee exposure to corrosive materials. According to 1910.151(c), "where the eyes or body of any person may be exposed to injurious corrosive materials, suitable facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body shall be provided within the work area for immediate emergency use."
Are we required to have a "chemical hygiene plan" for our laboratory?
Yes, if the Laboratory Standard applies. A CHP must address all aspects of the standard (procurement, handling, storage, and disposal of chemicals being used in the worksite), and must be developed and written by the employer.

Lab Safety Training Videos - Sample Clip

Lab Safety Training Videos


Training Format Comparison Chart

Price DVD Kit
Online Training
In-Person Training
  • DVD cost effectively trains and retrains an unlimited amount of employees.
  • No trainer required, just pop in and play.
  • Video content keeps trainees engaged.
  • Very convenient, multiple employees don’t need to be pulled off the floor at once for a training session.
  • Includes both video content and an interactive quiz element to keep workers engaged.
  • More engaging than traditional training formats.
  • Can be customized to fit a companies specific work environment and equipment.
  • The only training option that can cover the "hands on" and "evaluation" portions of the training in addition to the "classroom" portion of the training.
  • Can be difficult to pull multiple workers off the floor at once to watch the video.
  • The DVD can get lost or scratched.
  • DVD can only train workers at a single location.
  • Due to the per person pricing format, it’s expensive for large companies that need to train hundreds or thousands of employees.
  • By far the most expensive training medium.
  • Administering refresher training as well as initial training for new employees can be a logistical nightmare.

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