Shared Facilities Laboratory Safety, Training and Orientation

Laboratory Safety

The University at Buffalo is committed to promoting a safe and environmentally sound campus environment that is conducive to the highest level of education and research. The Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) department anticipates, recognizes, evaluates and controls all safety hazards at the University while striving to protect human health and the environment.

Principal Investigators (PI's) and laboratory managers have responsibility for the health and safety of the individuals they supervise, for safe management of the laboratories or facilities they operate and for the impacts of their activities on the environment and the health & safety of the public. Further, all laboratory users have the responsibility to engage in proper health and safety conduct for their own safety and that of others working around them in the laboratory environment.

Laboratory Safety Training

Research labs where chemicals are in use can pose unique hazards to principal investigators, lab technicians, students and other users. Federal and State regulatory agencies require that anyone who works in a laboratory with hazardous materials/chemicals or performs hazardous operations be properly trained.

All users of university laboratories who handle, or who are exposed to, laboratory chemicals or gases, must be recertified and renew their training card at least once every 12 months.

Training is provided by the University at Buffalo Department of Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S). It consists of 3 modules combined into one 1.5 hour session that covers topics on right to know, proper hazardous chemical handling, storage and waste management, emergency procedures and important contact information. Upon completion of training, participants will be issued a card certifying such. Laboratory users will be required to present their certification card to laboratory personnel prior to their initial use of laboratory facilities, and on an annual basis thereafter.

Laboratory users from other academic institutions, government and industry are also required to have completed laboratory safety training, preferably with the University at Buffalo Environment, Health and Safety department, or to produce certification of completion of training during the 12-month period previous to working in University laboratories. Training must meet requirements of 40 CFR 262 (RCRA Hazardous Waste) and 29 CFR (OSHA Right to Know). In the case of the latter, certification will be reviewed by EH&S to ensure that it meets all necessary requirements.

Safety training sessions are held at approximate three-week intervals, usually alternating between the North and South campus. If you are a user of the cleanroom at the Center of Excellence inBioinformatics and Life Sciences (downtown campus), note that CBLS organizes lab safety training for its occupants annually.

Additional training may also be required for department and/or laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), methods, specific chemical use, etc.

Laboratory Orientation

Staff at each facility provide orientation as well as demonstrate proper usage of the equipment at the start of each project to ensure user comfort and safety. A one-time initial orientation / training fee is assessed to first-time users. See the rates page for details.