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Lab Safety Training

Laboratory researchers require safety training relevant to the risks they face.

Simplified Summary of Training Requirements

Health and Safety training needs vary and can be complex. Some needs are based on a practical need to enhance knowledge, skills, or abilities. Other needs are based on a need to comply with a federal or state regulations, internal UTK policies, or best management practices. Download a PDF of Lab Safety Training Summary here.





General Lab Safety

None yet; recommended every three years. Commensurate to the activities and risk exposures of the lab. EHS provides a broad approach, and ensures basic concepts are covered. Canvas modules; Classroom (as requested)

Lab Specific Safety

As needed, CHP should be reviewed as changes are made. As specific hazards require. Should include review of:

·     Hazards specific to the lab

·     Chemical Hygiene Plan

·     Biosafety Checklist

·     Standard Operating Procedures and Safety Data Sheets

·     Personal Protective Equipment

·     Locations of emergency equipment and exits

·     Any other pertinent safety information

Performed by Principal Investigators or their designees

Specific Programs


Annual Biosafety and Bloodborne Pathogens

Radiation Safety

Annual Any person who will handle or work near ionizing radiation is required to receive training regarding hazards and safe practices.

Animal Use and Care*

Annual American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS): Working with the UT Knoxville IACUC Course

Hazardous Waste

Annual All hazardous chemical users should take at least once. If they generate or handle hazardous waste then they must repeat annually. If the researcher is a non-chemical user they do not have to take this course. Canvas modules; Classroom (as requested)

Special Topics

As needed or indicated by a regulatory standard As needed (e.g. electrical, specific chemicals, equipment, high powered lasers, shipping regulated medical waste, USDA permit training, etc.) EHS Canvas site, Biosafety modules, or Radiation Safety modules (see above links). -or-

Performed by Principal Investigators or their designees (may request assistance from EHS).

*The OLAC and IACUC requirements are not under the purview of EHS. Please confirm with these programs as needed.

Please note that EHS, Biosafety, and Radiation Safety have merged departments as of July 1, 2019. In addition, the training module of the new BioRAFT lab management system is being implemented. Several, but not all, training courses will eventually shift to the BioRAFT platform as a single platform to achieve training. This system will assist in the assignment and tracking of training.

Brief Course Descriptions

General Lab Safety

EHS offers a course usually monthly or on request for large or small groups). Individuals may also access a form of this training in Canvas. It is targeted to all laboratory researchers.
The goal  is to introduce:

  • safety concepts
  • a wide range of potential hazards
  • hazard controls
  • mitigation of consequences of accidents or emergencies.

Laboratory oriented Hazard Communication is included in General Lab Safety Training.

Lab Specific Training

To be conducted by PIs or their designee. New researchers should be introduced to the lab space, conditions, relevant hazards, laboratory policies and procedures, as well as any pertinent documentation or plans, such as the Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Hazardous Waste

Hazardous chemicals used in the lab must be disposed of safely and according to specific regulations. In addition, general hazardous chemical users may encounter or experience a spill or accidental release. When these occur, proper procedures must be followed to protect people and ensure proper handling of the waste generated in the spill.

If you handle or generate chemical hazardous waste, you must take the Hazardous Waste training annually. This can be completed through:

  • Canvas
  • as a standalone course (by request)
  • or as a course in tandem with a General Lab Safety course offered by EHS

Special Topics

Several special topics may apply to laboratory research. While most additional chemical hazards should be trained on through Standard Operating Procedures of your Chemical Hygiene Plan, it may be helpful to take a course.

Such training topics can be facilitated by PIs. EHS also offers some special topics in a classroom setting or in Canvas. EHS periodically adds new special topics to Canvas. (Examples include, Compressed Gases, or Hydrofluoric Acid).

Training Documentation

Training conducted by yourself, other lab personnel, or online should always be documented. EHS has forms available for this purpose, and they can be found here:

These can also be used to document any training that is taken with EHS if no other documentation is provided. All training documentation should be kept in the Lab Safety Manual in your lab.

Important Canvas Records Note:

If taking Canvas Training, you do not need to take all modules, only those assigned. For a record please go to your “Grades” and print or print-to-pdf (save a copy) your grades. This should be submitted to your PI or lab manager.

See the section related to training in the Laboratory Health and Safety Policy here.

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