The OSHA Laboratory Standard requires employers to provide lab personnel with information and training to ensure they are apprised of the hazards of chemicals present in their work area. It also states that such information shall be provided at the time of an individual’s initial assignment to a work area where hazardous chemicals are present and prior to assignments involving new exposure situations. As per the OSHA Laboratory Standard, information that must be provided to employees includes:
- The contents of the Laboratory Standard and its appendices (Appendix A and Appendix B) shall be made available.
- The location and availability of the employer's Chemical Hygiene Plan.
- The permissible exposure limits (PEL's) for OSHA regulated substances or recommended exposure limits for other hazardous chemicals where there is no applicable OSHA standard.
- Signs and symptoms associated with exposures to hazardous chemicals used in the laboratory.
- The location and availability of identified reference materials listing the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of hazardous chemicals found in the laboratory including, but not limited to, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) received from the chemical supplier.
The Laboratory Standard requires that this training shall include:
- 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 employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the employer has implemented to protect employees from exposure to hazardous chemicals, such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to be used.
- The employee shall be trained on the applicable details of the employer’s written Chemical Hygiene Plan.
While the OSHA Laboratory Standard is specific to working with hazardous chemicals, as per the University’s Safety Policy, laboratory personnel must also be provided with the proper training and information related to the other health and physical hazards that can be found in their work environment, including the hazards described within this Laboratory Safety Manual.
It is the responsibility of Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors to ensure personnel working in laboratories under their supervision have been provided with the proper training, have received information about the hazards in the laboratory they may encounter, and have been informed about ways they can protect themselves. For more information, please reference the UO Safety Policy.
Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors have a number of options available to them to ensure individuals under their supervision have received proper training. These options include:
- Training programs provided by EHS
- Training programs provided by outside vendors, including videos, web-based modules, manuals, and booklets
- Lab-specific training (provided by the Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor)
Please note that one training class is usually not comprehensive enough to cover all of the hazards found within a laboratory. Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors will find that it is necessary to use a combination of the options available to ensure their employees are properly trained.
EHS offers a number of trainings on a regular basis in our Franklin Building room 271 as well as upon request. For any “upon request” training class, EHS can come to your building or laboratory and provide the training for your group. All EHS provided training programs and attendance sheets are kept on file at the EHS office and a copy can be provided to lab groups as well. EHS-provided training registration is through the Page Up system; instructions can be found at the end of this section.
Because EHS does not have the capacity or technical knowledge to train lab members on procedures and equipment specific to their areas, EHS-provided training must be supplemented with lab-specific training. In-house training can include department-provided training, and training by Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors. Training sessions can be stand-alone classes, on-the-job training, or short (15 minute) trainings incorporated as part of a laboratory group meeting. It is important to document the training with a sign-in sheet.
The Appendix has templates and checklists that EHS has created to help labs develop a new lab member training matrix.
Outside Vendor Training Programs
Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can provide training programs to their employees through contracts with outside training companies or product vendors. A number of vendors are willing to provide free training programs upon request. If using an outside company or vendor, be sure to ask for documentation including training content, date of training, copies of handouts, and the sign-in sheet. All of this documentation must be kept on file.
Training Manuals and Booklets
Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can utilize training manuals, booklets, webpage downloads, etc., as part of an ongoing training program by simply having laboratory staff review the material, be given an opportunity to ask any questions, and sign off that they read and understood the material.
Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can make use of videos to supplement training of their employees. As with any training, it is important to document the training took place by using a sign-in sheet. When videos are used, the training sign-in sheet should have the date, time, location, and name and running time of the video, in addition to signatures of those people who watched the video.
UO Learning Management System
The University of Oregon uses MyTrack as a platform for training registration and tracking. MyTrack serves as a database to help employees, students, trainers, supervisors, and safety managers track safety training and keep required certifications current and easily retrievable. Using your UO ID to log in, you can access different types of training information. As a user, you can view current classes being offered, register for classes, and keep a record of the training classes you have taken. With supervisor or safety manager access, you can assign specific training courses to your employees and verify their training history, in addition to other features. To access the system, go to: https://uomytrack.pageuppeople.com.