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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chemical Laboratory Safety Training

The OSHA laboratory standard requires that all individuals working in laboratories attend laboratory safety training and hazardous waste training.  Laboratory directors, research directors, and supervisors are responsible for seeing that employees (especially new employees) attend a class, either at the start of the academic year in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry or with USC Environmental Health & Safety (EHS).  This training covers general chemical laboratory safety, proper chemical handling and storage, emergency procedures, personal protective equipment, and fire safety.  A separate session of training is also held on proper procedures for handling and disposing of hazardous waste (see section below).  Classes are typically held in the JM Palms Center for Graduate Science Research at the start of each academic year, or on other occasions as demand requires.  Individuals that do not take the training provided in the department will have to take a class taught by staff from USC EHS. These classes are taught in the Physical Science Center at monthly intervals and you must register in advance by email with Jocelyn Locke (  The laboratory safety class schedule and information on other safety topics (radiation, biohazards, etc.) is posted at the USC EHS website.

OSHA also requires that safety training records be kept and be available for inspection. Maintenance of documentation for safety training conducted beyond that in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is the responsibility of research directors or supervisors in conjunction with the individuals undergoing training. If you take part in safety training at other times conducted by personnel from USC Environmental Health & Safety, you should have received a training certificate or documentation. If you do not have such documentation and need it, send an email to Jocelyn Locke ( for lab safety training, or to Jeffery Bannon ( for hazardous waste training. This documentation should be placed in your laboratory's copy of the chemical hygiene plan.

In addition to the hazardous waste training, other safety-related training might also be required (e.g., blood borne pathogens, radiation or laser training, etc.) depending on the work conducted in your laboratory.

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