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Laboratory Safety Programs


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Graphic depicting the word Safety, safety goggles, and a danger laser radiation sign
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

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.


Taking the Course

Starting the course. Select the top link in the navigation on the right.

Navigating the course. We recommend you go through the course page-by-page using the Forward and Back buttons at the bottom of the page. You may skip around and select lessons using the navigation on the right.

PDF Version of this Course

There is a PDF version of this course available. View the Full Course PDF version.


Information addressed in this interactive training program is delivered in two modules. Select a module below to begin.



Safety Requirements

Components of a Safety Program

Works Cited & Online Links