Technical Safety Topics
Leads to certification
Lab Safety / Lab Safety Management Certificate

Technical Safety Topics

This stream of courses is on four technical lab safety topics. They are, briefly:

  • Biosafety and Biosecurity (inside and outside for BSLs and risk groups 1-4)
  • Chemical Hygiene (flammable, corrosive, oxidative, reactive, asphyxiant, toxic)
  • Physical Hazards (electro-mechanical, noise/vibration, ergonomics, hot/cold, slips/trips/falls)
  • Radiation Health and Safety (both ionizing and nonionizing)

Each of these technical topics represents broad and deep sets of potential learning. The courses focus on helping lab managers and others make better risk decisions in each of these areas.

Curriculum content

  • Biosafety and biosecurity take steps to prevent harm to anyone or anything (animals, plants, research, etc.) by a bioactive material from the lab. Biosafety prevents exposures to lab staff inside the lab. No one gets sick from their work. Biosecurity is preventing exposures to the population and environment outside the lab. What happens inside the lab, stays in the lab. Biosafety and biosecurity use risk groupings and biosafety levels to categorize the pathogenicity risks and required controls. Learning Outcomes: Show the next steps for improved biosafety/biosecurity in their lab, Compare and contrast biosafety/biosecurity at a basic level, Describe the four biosafety levels, List several of the groups of biohazardous materials requiring approvals and oversight, List the hierarchy of hazard controls, in order, with examples, Describe the roles of lab staff as they apply to biosafety.
    • Lesson Biosafety and Biosecurity

  • Chemical hygiene focuses on the hazards and risks presented by the variety of chemicals used in labs, research, and science. Some of these risks are obvious, and others are hidden. The six chemical hygiene categories covered are flammables/combustibles, corrosives, oxidizers, reactives, asphyxiants, and toxins. Learning Outcomes: List and describe each of the major hazard categories, Explain the four routes of entry into the body and at least four different target organ toxicities, including an example toxic substance for each organ, Apply the hierarchy of hazard controls to chemical hazards, Give examples of different hazard control approaches, List the purposes of typical lab safety documents, Describe the roles that contribute to safety, List other useful chemical hygiene resources.
  • Physical hazards include the risks from electrical, mechanical, noise, temperature, vibration, ergonomics, and slips, trips, and falls. Many of these hazard types don’t get sufficient attention—they’re invisible, hidden in equipment, or rare. However, they are critical and can be both a frequent and devastating source of harm. Learning Outcomes: Explain why physical hazards are often overlooked, Describe six types of physical hazards, excluding the most recognized hazards in labs (biological, chemical, and radiation), Determine how to control physical hazards effectively using the hierarchy of hazard controls, Assess how to prevent incidents and injuries involving lesser-known hazards in lab settings, Make the case for cross-training as an effective strategy to prevent ergonomic musculoskeletal disorders.
  • Radiation is a complex and technical topic. This course covers the various types of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, how they differ, and their effects. There are several types of ionizing radiation with significant health effects. It requires greater means of control, including time, distance, and shielding and the concept of ALARA or “as low as reasonably achievable.” Nonionizing radiation also presents risks, mostly to the eyes and skin. The controls needed are focused on our outer bodies and are less complex. Learning Outcomes: Compare and contrast ionizing and nonionizing radiation effects, List the types of ionizing radiation and describe their effects, Explain the different ionizing controls, including time-distance-shielding, List the types of nonionizing radiation and describe their effects, Explain the different nonionizing controls, including eye and skin protection.