Laboratory Employee Information and Training Program


Laboratory Employee Information and Training Program


 This program outlines the training that will be provided at initial assignmentand training on the standard operating procedures developed by each laboratory or researchunit.


 This policy and program applies to all Western Michigan University employees, including full time, part-time, temporary and student employees who are involved in or supervise the laboratory use of hazardous chemicals.


 Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):The MIOSHA airborne exposure limit for chemicals--either 8-hour time weighted averages (TWA’s) or short-term exposure limits (STEL’s) to which no employee shall be exposed.

 Threshold Limit Value (TLV): An airborne concentration guideline suggested by the American Conference of Governmental Hygienists of a substance for which it is believed that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed day after day without adverse health effects.


 Office of Environmental Health and Safety(EHS):

  1. Provide training as required by the Lab Standard to newly hired employees on the contents of the Chemical Hygiene Plan(CHP).
  2. Maintain a library of manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS), PEL’sand other laboratory and chemical safetyliterature.
Deans andDirectors:
  1. Ensure that each new laboratory worker receives training on the CHPand laboratory-specific standard operating procedures(SOP’s).
  2. Ensure that each laboratory unit develops laboratory-specific standard operatingprocedures.
  1. Develop and update standard operating procedures particular tothe laboratoryexperiments.
  2. Ensure EHS has copies of SDS’s if received with chemicalshipments.
  3. Provide an initial orientation and train employees on lab-specific procedures and chemical hazards.
  4. Forward to EHS the written record stating that each laboratory workerhas reviewed appropriate laboratory/departmental SOP’s and other related health and safety policies andguides.




  1. Follow standard operatingprocedures.
  2.  Attend training on the CHP andSOP’s.
  3. Refrain from the operation of any equipment or instrumentationwithout proper instruction andauthorization.
  4. Request information and training when unsure how to handlea hazardous chemical or conduct a laboratoryprocedure.







  1.  An orientation must be provided at the time of an employee’s initial assignment in a work area where hazardous chemicals are presentand prior to any assignment involving new exposuresituations.
  2. Employees should receive periodic refresher information and trainingto ensure that they are aware of the risks of exposure to hazardous chemicals.



 Laboratory Specific Standard OperatingProcedures:


  1.  Contents of Laboratory Specific Standard Operating Procedures. See Appendix A for forms toassist.
  2. Location and types of available personal protective equipment(PPE).
  3. Location of available spill equipment and instructions foruse.
  4. Emergency phone numbers for the laboratory.
  5.  A list of select carcinogens, reproductive toxins, and substances that have a high degree of acute or chronic toxicity that are stored orhandled in thelaboratory.
  6. The special handling requirements and protocols for highlyhazardous chemicals.



7.      Requirements:


  1. A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of written procedures explaining how to safely work with hazardous chemicals orequipment.
  2. SOP's are required additions to the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) inany laboratories engaging in processes/activities not covered by the CHP. See Appendix A for the form to assist in creating the lab-specificSOP.
  3. SOP's are not needed for processes/chemicals already covered inthe CHP.
  4. All principle investigators must complete the sheet containing basicsafety information specific to the lab even if all other processes are covered by theCHP.

 Content of EHS new hiretraining:



  1. Methods and observations that may be used to detect the presence or release of hazardous chemicals. Examples of detection methodsinclude visual appearance, odor, monitoring performed by EHS and an understanding of chemical monitoringdevices.
  2. Physical and health hazards ofchemicals.
  3. Permissible exposure limits (PEL’s) for MIOSHA regulated substances,or the recommended exposure limits for other hazardous chemicals or threshold limit values (TLV’S) if no applicable MIOSHA standard is available.
  4. Signs and symptoms associated with exposure to thehazardous chemicals found in thelab.
  5. Work practices, PPE, and emergency procedures to be used toensure that the employee may protect himself/herself from overexposure to hazardouschemicals.
  6. The content of the Lab Standard and the Chemical HygienePlan.
  7. The relevant Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information and location ofSDS’s.

Content of laboratory-specific orientation andtraining:


  1. Review of site-SpecificSOP’s.
  2. Review of specific physical and health hazards of chemicals in thework area.


Appendix A:

LaboratorySpecific Standard Operating Procedures Form


Processes not covered under the WMU Chemical Hygiene Plan:


Section 1: Describe Process, Hazardous Chemical or Hazard Class.

Section 2: Potential Hazards.

Section 3: Personal Protective Equipment.

Section 4: Engineering Controls.

Section 5: Special Handling and Storage Requirements.

Section 6: Spill and Accident Procedures.

Section 7: Decontamination Procedures.

Section 8: Waste Disposal Procedures.





Revised 4/19/2018