CfA Safety: Laboratory Safety Training at the CfA

Safety training is arguably the most effective step that can be taken to protect laboratory personnel. For this reason, general and specific training is greatly encouraged and is provided through the Safety Office upon request.

In addition, potentially hazardous procedures should be identified by lab supervisors and safety measures should be integrated into instruction about the procedures given by lab supervisors. Supervisors are responsible for making sure that all personnel in their labs know the operation and location of eyewashes, showers, spill kits, fire extinguishers, etc. The CfA Safety Office is available for help and consultation in achieving effective training. Request training by calling the Safety Office at 5-7478 or by email:

Routine Training
Everyone working at the facility is required to receive Hazard Communication ("Right to Know") training during the Orientation provided by the Human Resources Office. All those working with or around chemicals are additionally required by OSHA to receive training about the OSHA Lab Standard, as well as chemicals safety training, both of which are available from the Safety Office.

Specialized Training
Principal Investigators and other supervisors are responsible for making sure that those whom they supervise know the hazards in their laboratory and are trained in methods to protect themselves. The Safety Office has films and information available on a variety of laboratory hazards. Training for groups or individuals is available upon request.

Group Training
The Safety Office offers periodic training sessions for all personnel on specific topics such as the use of fire extinguishers, first aid, CPR, etc. Notices of these sessions are distributed to all departments and all personnel are urged to attend.

Individual Resources
Each lab is encouraged to develop and maintain an internal library of laboratory safety books and videos as appropriate. The following books are recommended as good basic references:

  • "Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals" - The National Research Council
  • "The NIOSH/OSHA Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards"
  • "Accident Prevention Manual for Industrial Operations" - The National Safety Council
  • "First Aid Manual for Chemical Accidents" - Marc Lefevre


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