Laboratory Safety Training and Guidelines

​The external links from this webpage provide additional information that is consistent with the intended purpose of this site. NIGMS cannot attest to the accuracy or accessi​bility of a nonfederal site.


Laboratory accidents that result in injury, property damage, and even death are more common than we might think. With NIGMS’ investment in research training and workforce development, taking steps to ensure the safety of our trainees and other laboratory workers is of utmost importance. NIGMS is providing supplements to training grants for developing curricular materials related to safety. Those resources will be added here as they are developed. In addition to physical safety in laboratories, NIGMS is also committed to safety from harassment, be it physical, sexual, or any other inappropriate behavior. The collection of resources below from within and outside of the United States government may be helpful to NIGMS-funded researchers and trainees, as well as others in the research community.

Male scientist in a cleanroom laboratory.
Credit: iStock.

Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Division of Laboratory Systems (DLS) develops and disseminates a growing inventory of educational resources, including online courses, e-learning tools, web-based resources, and print materials:

  • Fundamentals of Working Safely in a Biological Safety Cabinet
  • Fundamentals of Centrifuge Safety
  • Fundamentals of Chemical Fume Hood Safety
  • Laboratory training products offering continuing education credits

DLS Biosafety Trainings

Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL) 5th Edition

Recognizing the Biosafety Levels

National Institutes of Health

Division of Occupational Health and Safety resources include: videos, posters, and brochures about laboratory safety for the NIH intramural community.

Division of Occupational Health and Safety Resources

Anti-Harassment Guidelines.

Anti-Sexual Harassment

Anti-Sexual Harassment: for NIH Awardee Organizations and Those Who Work There

National Library of Medicine web page with links to laboratory safety resources related to nanomaterials, schools, hazard analysis, regulations/standards, waste management, and relevant organizations.

Laboratory Safety

Other Government Agencies

Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB)

A collection of videos from the CSB, which is an independent federal agency that conducts root cause investigations of chemical accidents at fixed industrial facilities. The CSB makes recommendations that, when implemented, can lead to safer plants, workers, and communities.

CSB Videos

National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice

Note: program is free but registration is required

Includes modules about safety requirements and components of a safety program. After completing the program, students will:

  • Be aware of the principal regulatory agencies and their roles and requirements
  • Understand the laboratory requirements for an effective safety program
  • Be aware of the essential components of a comprehensive laboratory safety program
  • Understand the significance and nature of an effective chemical hygiene plan

Laboratory Safety Programs

Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Laboratory Safety Fact Sheets

Laboratory Safety Guidance Booklet [PDF]

Eye and Face Protection eTool

Non-Government Organizations

American Chemical Society

Chemical and Laboratory Safety, College and University Labs: Undergraduate and graduate students must be able to recognize hazards, assess risks, minimize risks, and prepare for proper execution of potentially hazardous processes. This collection of guidelines supports institutions from two-year college programs into graduate programs. The following resources were developed with college and graduate students in mind, using the RAMP framework for scientific safety.

Safety in College and University Labs

Identifying and Evaluating Hazards in Research Laboratories [PDF]

Dow Lab Safety Academy

The goal of the Dow Lab Safety Academy is to enhance the awareness of safe practices in academic research laboratories and to promote a safety-first mindset in the future workforce of the chemical industry.

Dow Lab Safety Academy

Laboratory Safety Institute (LSI)

LSI is a nonprofit organization providing safety education for government, industry, and educational laboratories worldwide. Offers in person, on demand, and online courses for a fee, and 1-minute safety videos free-of-charge.

LSI

OSHAcademy, division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc.

Course designed to help make employers aware of the OSHA standards and best practices available to prevent injury and illness as well as protect workers from the diverse hazards encountered in primarily non-production laboratories, including exposure to chemical, biological, and radiological hazards. Courses are free, but there’s a charge for a completion certificate. Modules include:

  1. The Standards
  2. Related OSHA Standards
  3. Controlling Laboratory Hazards
  4. Chemical Hazards in the Laboratory
  5. Biological Hazards
  6. Bloodborne Pathogens
  7. Research Animal Laboratory Safety
  8. Physical and Other Hazards
  9. Safety Hazards

OSHAcademy

The Safety Net

Safety resources for synthetic chemistry researchers including standard operating procedures; laboratory resources, such as signs and Safe Operating Cards; preferred synthetic procedures; and information about physical properties that synthetic chemists may find helpful. The site is maintained by Professor Alexander J. M. Miller at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Professor Ian A. Tonks at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

The Safety Net

UC Center for Laboratory Safety (UCCLS)

UCCLS was created to improve the practice of laboratory safety through the performance of scientific research and implementation of best safety practices in the laboratory.

UC Center for Laboratory Safety (UCCLS)