Content that belongs in Safety in Laboratories section (safety/lab)

Contamination Problems in the BSC

Most BSCs (except Class I) are equipped with HEPA filters that supply clean air to the working area. If the supply filter is damaged or leaks, dirty air may be supplied to the BSC, contaminating the area. Schedule a certification with a specialized technician to check the performance of your BSC.

Biological Safety Cabinets and Clean Benches

While all types of biological safety cabinets protect personnel and the environment from exposure to contaminants within the cabinet, clean benches do not. In clean benches, contaminated air is directly blown towards the user and surrounding environment. For this purpose, clean benches should only be used to conduct work that requires sterile conditions (such as preparing sterile solutions) but that does not involve manipulation of biohazards, chemical hazards or radioactivity. 

Safe Use of Volatile Chemicals and Radioactivity in Biological Safety Cabinets

Work with biohazardous materials involving the use of volatile chemicals and/or radioactivity should exclusively be conducted in a biological safety cabinet that is vented outside the building.

Ducted Class II Type A2, Class II Type B1 and B2 (always hard-ducted), and Class III BSCs may be used with different amounts of chemicals/radioactive materials. Please review the following table for more specific details:


Ergonomics, Back Safety & Injury Prevention in the Lab


According to the Center for Disease Control, ergonomics is the scientific study of people at work. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks.

Safe Lifting Techniques

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Working at Heights & Roof-Top Research

Risk of and injuries from falls is a huge focus of injury prevention in all of our environments - working, learning and living.  The need to consider safety measures and protocols when working at heights begins once a person is four feet above the next landing surface.  Although falls have been taken both from lesser and greater distances and either resulted in an injury or not, OSHA is clear that four feet is the height where fall protection needs to be considered to prevent injuries.  

Material Storage & Ladder Safety

Material Handling & Storage

Because the variation of materials, methods for moving them and locations for storage are so diverse across campus, the best comprehensive guide to evaluating needs departmentally and training affected faculty, staff and students is the OSHA Material Storage and Handling publication.


Machinery & Equipment

Hand & Power Tools and Equipment

Recommendations for the safe use of hand and power tools is reviewed in the Hand & Power Tools online training. Login to take this training here.

Machine Guarding

While there are many different types of machine guards, there are a few things that they all have in common. Effective guards:

Biological Safety Cabinets


Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs) are primary containment devices utilized in laboratories for the handling of biohazardous agents. They are routinely used for a wide variety of applications, such as human and animal tissue culture, bacterial and viral work, transfection or infection of cells with recombinant DNA (rDNA), clinical sample manipulation, and animal care (some examples pictured).

Permissible Exposure Limits

Our Laboratory Safety Plan is intended to limit laboratory workers' exposure to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)-regulated substances.

The plan sets a threshold for exposure: lab workers must not be exposed to substances in excess of the permissible exposure limits (PEL) specified in OSHA rule 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances or threshold limits values set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

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