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Teaching Lab Safety

Ensuring student safety in undergraduate teaching laboratories is a critical component of the responsibilities of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). It is very difficult for undergraduate students entering laboratories for the very first time to recognize all the hazards present in a lab and comprehend how to prevent or respond to incidents. EH&S has established a robust safety training program to prepare students to work safely in the laboratory.

Instructors must conduct a documented risk assessment for all instructor performed demonstrations and student conducted experiments using hazardous materials.



Enrolled Students

All students enrolled in academic laboratory courses are required to take the EH&S offered online safety training course Basic Lab Safety for Teaching Lab.

The training covers:

  • Recognizing hazards
  • Engineering control
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Emergency procedures

Students must also receive lab-specific safety training provided by their TA/lab instructor/professor.


Teaching/Research Assistants

TAs/RAs play a very important role in ensuring the safety of students in the teaching laboratories. Often, they are the individuals responsible for managing the labs and generally the first person students go to for assistance. They must be trained in appropriate safety practices.

Online training can be accessed through the Campus Learning System here.

Training topics include:

  • Recognizing hazards
  • Risk assessment
  • Hierarchy of controls (engineering, administrative and PPE)
  • Injury prevention
  • Emergency procedures and how to get help
  • Lab Safety equipment and how to use them


Hands-On Training

Hands-on training is offered at the beginning of the fall semester. EH&S schedules the training with each department that has teaching laboratories. The training will give TAs/RAs the opportunity to practice how to:

  • Operate safety shower and eyewash
  • Use fire extinguisher
  • Evacuation routes and gathering points
  • Work in a fume hood
  • Managing hazardous waste


Distance Lab Program

All the students taking chemistry lab online are required to take EH&S provided online lab safety training. Training can be accessed here via the Campus Learning System.


Undergraduate Students Working in Research Labs

Students who work or volunteer in research labs with hazardous materials are required to have appropriate training.

Login to the EH&S Training Decision Tree to help determine the EH&S training course(s) you need to complete. Information provided is determined by your Blazer ID. Lab personnel, please see the EH&S Training Chart for help on which training to take.


Visitors and minors

Laboratories planning to have visitors/minors planning to work/visit must follow UAB policy on visitors/minors.

Volunteers will comply with university policy and complete all necessary training for any lab work they will be conducting.


Other Resources

Treatment Providers for On-the-Job Injuries/Exposures

Emergency Response Spill Kit

How to Read a Label