Laboratory Safety

Who needs training?

All new employees, interns, volunteers and students are required to complete the appropriate Right-To-Know (RTK) training. CBL offers two categories of RTK training: a science RTK developed to provide information for all who work in a lab, and an admin RTK developed to provide information for our admin staff. If an individual will only be doing computer work, the business office RTK will be used instead of the science RTK.

Please provide advance notice to the CBL Safety Coordinator of new personnel in order to get prompt appointments with the Safety Coordinator. No one is allowed to work in the laboratories without safety training.

What training is needed?

Laboratory personnel training consists of a 28-minute video – “Experimenting with Danger”. The Hazard communication standard will be reviewed. The individual will receive this prior to training and is expected to have read it beforehand. An open note quiz is given afterward. Anyone working in a laboratory environment will be given a laboratory safety tour – showers, eyewash, exits, fire alarms, hood use, etc.

Minimum Laboratory Safety Standards

  • Safety data sheets must be kept and maintained in a binder neat the doorway.
  • All exits must be unobstructed.
  • All safety showers, eyewash stations and fire extinguishers must be readily accessible.
  • Spill kits must be available to handle the chemicals in your lab.
  • All compressed gas must be properly chained or strapped to the wall or bench.
  • Gas lines must be labelled.
  • All secondary containers must have GHS labels.
  • Chemicals must be stored properly and below eye level.
  • Emergency phone numbers must be posted near the phones and outside the laboratory door.
  • No food, smoking or beverages in the laboratory or in the laboratory trash cans.
  • Appropriate personal protective equipment is to be provided.
  • Chemical Inventory list must be available and maintained.
  • CBL maintains an online inventory for which you will be given a username and password to view the inventory. You cannot make any changes to the inventory.
  • Emergencies:

In case of fire:

  • Leave laboratory, closing door behind you
  • Pull fire alar
  • Call 911

In case of spill:

  • Leave laboratory, closing door behind you
  • Call x333 for maintenance

CITI training

Required Training on the Responsible Conduct of Research (NSF and NIH)

In response to a mandate in the America COMPETES act, effective January 4, 2010, NSF requires that, at the time of proposal submission to NSF, UMCES’s Authorized Organizational Representative must certify that the UMCES has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. While training plans are not required to be included in the proposal submitted to NSF, UMCES’s plan is subject to review upon request. NIH has enacted a similar policy for all individuals supported through any NIH training, career development award, research education grants, and dissertation research grant.

If an NSF or NIH proposal submitted after January 4, 2010 is awarded, all trainees (undergraduates, graduate students, or postdoctoral researchers) working on the award for any amount of time must receive training in the Responsible Conduct in Research. UMCES strongly encourages that all PIs complete the same RCR training as his/her students and postdoctoral researchers working on the project. Although this latter action is not specifically required by NSF or NIH, the agencies have made it clear that they expect RCR to include a strong mentoring component, so it is important that PIs are familiar with the RCR training that their students and postdoctoral researchers have taken and can discuss it with them.

To meet the requirement for training, UMCES will maintain a membership in the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) web-based training programs. The RCR training is offered in five disciplines: biomedical, social and behavioral science, physical science, humanities and engineering. At the time of registration in the course, new users should associate themselves with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

If you have questions regarding this requirement, please contact Angela Richmond in the Office of Research Administration and Advancement at 410-221-2015 or