The goal of any laboratory safety program is to minimize the risk of injury or illness to employees by ensuring that they have the training, information, support, and equipment needed to work safely in the laboratory. The guidelines and standards set forth by the existing regulatory agencies assist laboratories in ensuring that this goal is met.
There are a number of regulatory agencies and some private organizations that establish safety guidelines, all of which have differing sets of procedures and/or standards. Some agencies may incorporate a less stringent program, while others establish more rigorous standards. In addition, state agencies may create programs that can be more stringent than the federal counterpart. It is the laboratory safety officer's responsibility to coordinate with the appropriate state and local authorities to ensure that the laboratory's safety program is in compliance with the relevant regulations. Visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website for a list of states that have their own programs.
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