Chemical Safety Training
Human error and low procedure can affect the best of safeguards to protect the laboratory worker. Thus, a safety-conscious staff as well as a student body , well well-versed about the recognition and control of laboratory hazards, is key to the prevention of laboratory acquired infections, incidents and accidents. For this reason, continuous in-service training in safety measures is essential. An effective safety programme begins with the laboratory managers, who should ensure that safe laboratory practices and procedures are integrated into the basic training of employees and students at all levels.
All personnel defined as above, working in laboratories or facilities where chemicals are used or stored must receive Chemical Safety Training before starting work in the laboratory. This training must be renewed annually. Chemical Safety Training familiarizes individuals with common chemical hazards, Alfaisal University’s Chemical Hygiene Program, and safe practices for acquisition, use, storage, and disposal of chemicals.
Training in Instructional Laboratories
Laboratory safety training in instructional laboratories must be provided by the course instructor or Safety Officer. Lab Instructors should have documented training in advance. Material used must be revised and approved by the University Laboratory Safety Committee. Training must include a discussion of the risks associated with the substances used and procedures to be performed, proper techniques for handling and disposing of hazardous substances, safety precautions to be used to prevent exposure or release into the environment, and emergency and spill procedures. The Safety Officer is available to assist course instructors in developing this training and will provide additional laboratory safety training in instructional courses upon request. Training must be document using the waiver form attached (Annex…3).
Training in safety measures should be an integral part of new employees’ and stiudents’ introduction to the laboratory. Employees and students (UG, MSc, PhD) , and post Docs should be introduced to the code of practice and to local guidelines, including the safety or operations manual. Measures to assure that employees have read and understood the guidelines, such as signature pages, should be adopted. Laboratory supervisors play the key role in training their immediate staff in good laboratory techniques.
The Safety Officer will assist in strict cooperation with the University Laboratory Safety Committee in developing and circulating of training aids and documentation. Material organized by each individual College or Dept should receive prior approval by the University Laboratory Safety Committee.
Staff and Students training should always include information on safe methods for highly hazardous procedures that are commonly encountered by all laboratory personnel and which involve:
- Inhalation risks (i.e. aerosol production) when using loops, streaking agar plates pipetting, making smears, opening cultures, taking blood/serum samples, centrifuging, etc.
- Ingestion risks when handling specimens, smears and cultures
- Risks of per-cutaneous exposures when using syringes and needles
- Bites and scratches when handling animals
- Handling of blood and other potentially hazardous pathological materials
- Decontamination and disposal of infectious material.
The University Laboratory Safety Committee will plan, organize and implement through the Safety Officer and ad hoc experts information and training for employees and students (UG PG MSc PhD Postdoc) in order to ensure that they are apprised of bio-hazards in their work area. Training may take the form of individual instruction, group seminars, audiovisual presentations, handout material or any combination of the above. Participation to Courses will entitle a certificate of attendance. Students must receive a safety training in yr 1 or upon entering the UPP. At the end the Student is expected to show evidence of acquired knowledge and will receive a Certificate of Safety Training by the University.
Safety Officer will maintain the updated record of results for HBV vaccination received from Students Affair and provide by the Students at the time of registration.
Training should include the specific hazards associated with agents in the work area when generic training is insufficient to address specific hazards.
Training should be provided at the time of an employee’s initial assignment to a work area where bio-hazardous agents are present and prior to assignment involving new exposure situations. Employees should receive periodic (every three years) refresher information and training. All training must be documented and students will be requested to sign a waiver form (annex 3)
Information and training provided should include all of the following:
- The location and availability of the written Laboratory Biological Safety Manual.
- The health hazards, signs and symptoms associated with exposure(s) and infection(s) with the bio-hazardous agent(s) used in the work area.
- The measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the University or department has implemented such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures and personal protective equipment.
- The location and availability of reference material on the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of bio-hazardous agents.
Students are expected to be aware of bio-hazards in teaching situations and be provided information and equipment to protect themselves from those hazards. Colleges trough the selected College Liaison and the Lab Manager in strict cooperation with the ULSC should provide student training at the beginning of each course in which bio-hazardous agents, tools and equipment, dangerous chemicals are used, with specific safety instructions provided at the beginning of each class period.
Departments, trough the selected Lab Manager, in strict cooperation with the ULSC are responsible for ensuring that their employees and students receive the proper training as stipulated in the Laboratory Biological Safety Manual.