From: "Wilhelm, Monique" <mwilhelm**At_Symbol_Here**UMFLINT.EDU>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Thought question: Chemical safety for biologists
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 20:09:28 +0000
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 1109037139E1524980CF9CBEB24766180103EC72BB**At_Symbol_Here**



I also like to use the DOW Safety videos in my trainings - maybe it is a Michigan thing?


Monique Wilhelm

Laboratory Manager

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

University of Michigan - Flint


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**]On Behalf Of Jeffrey Lewin
Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2016 2:40 PM
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Thought question: Chemical safety for biologists


Here are the topics we expect a faculty member/PI to cover with any person working in the lab (paid or unpaid).  As you might guess, the scope of the topics would depend on their role in the lab - a new post doc in the lab would have a different level of responsibility, for example writing a SOP that specifies the appropriate PPE for an activity vs. an undergraduate researcher that would (hopefully) have that SOP as a reference that spells out the PPE for them, or at a minimum has specific instructions on safety protocols for the limited activities they would be involved in.  Similarly, the person working in a molecular biology laboratory will likely have a different slant on these topics vs. someone working in the human physiology laboratory (where the only "chemical" they use is bleach; but they do need extensive training in bloodborne pathogen training, sharps etc.).  The list of topics is in the form of a checklist that both the lab worker and faculty member sign and return to our files.




Complete the safety orientation with the Faculty supervisor of your work area: 

- Importance of safety in your work area 

- Evacuation procedures and routes

- Location and use of safety equipment (eye wash, showers, etc.)

- Location and use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)            

- Location of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

- Chemical handling and storage procedures 

- Methods for disposing of laboratory waste

- Location of Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

- Other research lab safety your supervisor deems necessary   

- Additional training for task specific duties from your supervisor (see the next list of topics)


We also have some specific training program that I or other designated personnel would cover:


- Autoclave

- Bloodborne pathogens  

- Power and hand tools  

- Small boats              

- Centrifuge (as related to our large refrigerated units in a common core)


In addition to the check list above we use our on-line Learning Management System software (Canvas, similar to Blackboard) for:


Departmental Training Required Reading:

Departmental Safety Manual that incorporates the University Safety Manual

Michigan Tech Biosafety Manual

Hazard Communication Plan

Chemical Hygiene Plan

Emergency Guide


Finally we use Canvas to link to show:


On-line video topics including new employee orientation, a general lab safety orientation (who to call in an emergency, use of eyewashes/safety showers),

hazard communication and a link to some of the various videos produced by the Dow corporation. 


Finally we also ask them to look up an SDS for the space they are working in using our subscription to MSDS-online.






On Tue, Mar 22, 2016 at 1:29 PM, Stuart, Ralph <Ralph.Stuart**At_Symbol_Here**> wrote:

I have a question that I'd like input from the DCHAS community on:
The quick version is:
What information about chemical safety do biologists need to know?

The longer version of the question is that I'm working with the KSC undergrad biology lab coordinator to develop introductory lab safety training for biology research students who work with a relatively limited suite of chemicals, some of which are flammables, others of which are significantly toxic, many of which are neither.
- For example, do these students need to hear about all of the GHS hazard classes in the 1.5 hours available for the training?
- What kind of information do they need about chemical resistance of lab gloves?
- How much detail do they need to understand best practices for chemical storage cabinets and use of other lab ventilation devices?

Thanks for any help with thinking this through.

- Ralph

Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Keene State College




Jeff Lewin

Departmental Laboratory Supervisor

Biological Sciences

Michigan Technological University

Previous post   |  Top of Page   |   Next post

The content of this page reflects the personal opinion(s) of the author(s) only, not the American Chemical Society, ILPI, Safety Emporium, or any other party. Use of any information on this page is at the reader's own risk. Unauthorized reproduction of these materials is prohibited. Send questions/comments about the archive to
The maintenance and hosting of the DCHAS-L archive is provided through the generous support of Safety Emporium.