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Because chemicals are present in every lab, all lab staff must read this chapter and participate in the lab safety training program.

1.1 Training in Standard Lab Procedures Must Be Provided

In addition to understanding the Fred Hutch chemical hygiene plan, supervisors must inform workers of hazards present in the lab that are not covered in this chapter. Principal investigators (PIs) or supervisors are responsible for identifying hazardous techniques not addressed here, and for ensuring that employees are trained to perform them safely. Safety instruction for the use of chemicals must satisfy the requirements in the Hazard Awareness Policy listed below. EH&S can work with your lab to provide this training during a staff meeting or other convenient time.

1.2 Hazard Awareness Policy

Employees must know the following information about each chemical or chemical group prior to its use:

  1. The name of the chemical and its hazardous component(s);
  2. The health and physical risk(s) associated with the chemical;
  3. Signs of release and symptoms of exposure;
  4. How and when to use engineering controls and personal protective equipment;
  5. Labeling and storage requirements;
  6. Disposal procedures;
  7. Emergency procedures for spills and exposures; and
  8. Standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Principal investigators (PIs) or their appointees must provide lab workers with hands-on chemical safety instruction and information that is specific to the lab or task. This instruction must be documented by the lab as job-specific training. Training documentation should be available for review by EH&S.

All lab staff (including full-time, part-time, temporary staff, volunteers, work study, graduate students, visiting scientists, post-doc fellows and persons paid under stipends) working in a lab must attend a two-hour general laboratory safety course. The training schedule is available from EH&S and is on the EH&S website.

1.3 How to Prepare to Work with Hazardous Chemicals

  1. Take time to read this chapter and its appendices before handling any hazardous chemical. This chapter contains information on safe handling and storage of chemicals, recommended personal protective equipment, and health/physical hazards of many specific chemicals and chemical groups. Additional information is available on the EH&S website or from your material safety data sheets.
  2. Read Chapter VI, Hazardous Waste Directory, which contains information covering safe and proper disposal of hazardous chemicals.
  3. Read the Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement for any chemical carcinogen you may be using in your work. Section 4 covers the Carcinogen Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement (CMUA) in more detail. If your lab doesn't have a current CMUA, submit one to EH&S prior to using carcinogens.
  4. Know the location of the nearest eyewash and emergency shower.
  5. Read the spill and exposure response information in the Emergency Guide located within the lab.
  6. Become familiar with the health and physical hazards of the chemicals you will be handling in your work.

The required general lab safety training offered by EH&S covers the following information:

  1. The Chemical Hygiene Plan (this chapter);
  2. Brief overview of lab safety regulations;
  3. Safe handling practices and use of engineering controls;
  4. Personal protective equipment;
  5. Disposal of hazardous chemicals;
  6. Emergency equipment location and operation; and
  7. The Fred Hutch Emergency Guide.

In addition to the training above, the PI or supervisor must introduce new lab staff to operations and safety requirements unique to their work. The new employee is responsible for becoming familiar with the hazards of the chemicals he or she will be handling through material safety data sheets, hazard labeling, and other forms of information prior to using the chemicals. Use the New Lab Employee Training Checklist in Section 12.16 or an equivalent tool to document such training.