New OSHA Lab Safety Guidance Publication

The standards covered in the Laboratory Safety Guidance publication include:

  • General Duty Clause
  • Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450)
  • Hazard Communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Bloodborne Pathogens standard (29 CFR 1910.1030)
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard (29 CFR 1910.132)
  • Eye & Face Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.133)
  • Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Hand Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.138)
  • Control of Hazardous Energy standard (29 CFR 1910.147)

Both the Laboratory Standard and the Hazard Communication Standard are concerned with hazardous chemical safety and require the management of MSDSs, labeling and a written compliance plan. The Laboratory Standard says Material Safety Data Sheets must be accurate and readily accessible to laboratory workers.

The Laboratory Standard consists of five major elements:

  1. Hazard identification
  2. Chemical Hygiene Plan
  3. Information and training
  4. Exposure monitoring
  5. Medical consultation and examination
Employers must assess tasks to identify potential work site hazards and provide and ensure that workers use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as stated in the PPE standard, 29 CFR 1910.132.

Employers must require workers to use appropriate hand protection when hands are exposed to hazards such as sharp instruments and potential thermal burns. Examples of PPE which may be selected include using oven mitts when handling hot items, and steel mesh or cut-resistant gloves when handling or sorting sharp instruments as stated in the Hand Protection standard, 29 CFR 1910.138.

Specific safety hazards include the following:
  • Autoclaves and Sterilizers
  • Centrifuges
  • Compressed Gases
  • Cryogens and Dry Ice
  • Electrical
  • Fire
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Trips, Slips and Falls
In order to ensure the 500,000 workers employed in laboratories in the U.S. remain safe, National Safety Compliance continues to provide up-to-date safety training materials to comply with OSHA Regulations. NSC's Laboratory Safety Series was updated this year to ensure its compliance.