Lab Safety Training

Lab Safety Training

Environmental Health and Safety provides regular training programs for UCCS faculty, staff and students. These classes are mandatory for those who handle, manage or come into contact with potentially hazardous materials. To schedule training, or ask if training is required for you, please call 255-3212 or e-mail us

Before entering a laboratory, all new laboratory employees, including teaching assistants, must receive training on the hazards (chemical, physical, etc.) they will encounter in their work area.  The specific training required is clarified below.

General Hazardous Materials Training

General hazard communication training is provided by EHS through the Laboratory Safety Training class. The Laboratory Safety class is offered each fall at the start of the school year. It is also available online (Lab Safety Course -- Lab Safety Review Question -  Lab Safety Quiz (send to EHS after you have taken it).

The on-line course may be taken to satisfy the training requirement. However, the classroom course covers much more safety information than the on-line course does, and EHS recommends that whenever possible all employees take the classroom course.

All faculty and staff who work with hazardous materials are required to have an annual refresher training. EHS offers a classroom course each fall prior to the start of the school year or you may take the on-line course listed above.

Work Area Specific Training

Work area specific training is provided by the principal investigator, laboratory manager and/or laboratory supervisor. This training should focus on the specific hazards in the employee's work area, such as chemical hazards, equipment hazards, biological hazards, etc. Work area specific training should also include the location of MSDSs, the proper use of personal protective equipment, the location and proper use of safety equipment (fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, etc.), the location and use of emergency equipment (showers, eyewashes, fire extinguishers, spill kits, etc.), and the proper response to emergency situations (fires, chemical spills, etc.).

Training should also be provided for new hazards that are introduced into the work area. If new information becomes available for an existing hazard, additional training on that information should be provided.

Training Documentation

Employee safety training must be documented and records maintained for at least five years. Completion of the Introduction to Laboratory Safety Training classroom and/or online course is documented in EHS. A Laboratory Safety Training Record is provided to each person who completes the classroom course. A copy of this record should be maintained in the employee's personnel records. This document lists the specific topics covered in the training and is the document which state auditors will ask for as proof that Laboratory Safety Training has been provided to the employee.

Documentation of Work Area Specific Training should include the date of training, specific topics covered, the name of the person providing the training, and the signature of the trainee.  The employees initial On-the-Job training can be documented on the OJT form.  This form walks a supervisor/PI through the items which need to be reviewed with each new employee.

Student Training

Students enrolled in Laboratory Courses will receive appropriate safety information and instruction if class work involves hazardous chemicals; the instructor or class supervisor will provide this training. Generally for Biology and Chemistry students this training is provided through Blackboard. Please check with Brent Wallace (biology) or Connie Pitman (chemistry) on how to access this training.

Students who do not complete the required training within a reasonable time period shall not be permitted in the laboratory. Students who are doing volunteer work in professor's labs may require additional training. Student's who are employed in professor's labs are treated as employees and do require the training listed above.

Instruction on safe and proper use of laboratory equipment should also be provided to students as needed. Student training is provided and documented through the online blackboard course.

Departmental Oversight of Student Safety

Departments with teaching laboratories should periodically conduct self-evaluations to ensure teaching assistants are enforcing safety rules and students are complying with them. These evaluations should be documented, as should any discrepancies found and steps taken to correct them.