Lab Safety

About Us

The Lab Safety Office promotes a safe research environment by fostering partnerships with faculty, students, and staff to enable them to recognize risks and empower them to learn, discover, and work safely to minimize injuries, illnesses, environmental impact, and regulatory risks. 

We accomplish this by providing exceptional service and leadership through program and policy development, information and training, consultation, periodic reviews of environmental health and safety practices and complying with policies and regulations.

How We Support

We minimize injuries, illnesses, environmental impact, and regulatory risks through the following activities:

  • Development and implementation of safety policies and programs.
  • Administration of safety courses and training.
  • Inspection of research facilities.
  • Conduction of incident, hazard and risk assessments.
  • Identification, evaluation and control of potentially hazardous situations.
  • Implementation of corrective actions plans and suggestion of recommendations.
  • Publication of information that reflects current topics and best practices in safety.
  • Evaluation of emergency preparedness procedures and responding to emergency incidents.
  • Management of hazardous wastes.
  • Operational support of research oversight committees.
  • Collaboration with regulatory agencies.
  • Periodic review and evaluation of safety programs, policies and regulations.
  • Lab Safety Forms and Policies
  • Lab Coat Program
  • Safety Training
  • Regulatory Oversight Committees

Report a Safety Concern Form
(For full form functionality, please download PDF and complete the form outside of your internet browser)

The Lab Safety Office has partnered with Medico Professional Linen Service to provide lab coat services at no cost to research labs. The vendor will barcode, launder, repair, and replace lab coats as needed. The Lab Coat Program is managed by the Lab Safety Office. Refer all Lab Coat Program inquiries to labsafety@chla.usc.edu. These include:

  • New Lab Coat Request
  • Lab Coat Loaner
  • Lab Coat Replacement
  • Lab Coat Laundering
  • Lab Coating Fitting
  • Lab Coat Repair
  • Lab Coat Barcoding
  • LHAT Assessment

To find additional information about the Lab Coat Program please refer to the documents below:

Lab Coat Fact Program Information
Lab Coat Fact Sheet
Lab Coat Request Form (For full form functionality, please download PDF and complete the form outside of your internet browser)

Safety training is essential to communicate the principles and practices of research and laboratory safety.  

  • Training programs are required by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for all employees who work with hazards such as hazardous chemicals and human-derived materials (e.g.,  human blood, body fluids or tissue specimens).

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guidelines requires employers to ensure appropriate training for laboratory staff regarding laboratory safety and implementation of the NIH Guidelines.

  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires personnel generating infectious waste to understand compliance requirements for infectious waste collection, storage, transport and disposal.

  • CHLA institutional policies requires employee training which focuses on the principles and practices for safely performing research.

  • Other research funding and accreditation agencies also require grantees to perform their research in compliance with state and federal safety regulations, standards and guidelines.

Safety training provides that those that participate in laboratory research activities with an understanding of potential hazards and the ability to execute proper protective measures to mitigate potential hazards and associated risks. In addition, safety training ensures that those that participate in laboratory research activities are compliant with:

  • Federal safety regulations, standards and guidelines
  • CHLA institutional policies

Find out what courses you need to take and how to register below:
 

Controlled Substances Training

Prior to the commencement of work activities with controlled substances, all users authorized by the IACUC or  the Lab Safety Office to handle, store and use controlled substances are required to complete mandatory controlled substances training. This training is also a refresher review for current authorized users who have previously  completed this training. This training covers various general topics related to controlled substances including but not limited to: security and storage, recordkeeping, inventory, inspections, transportation, disposal, theft or loss, spills, incident reporting and policy review.

Date: Every Other Monday

Time: 10:00AM – 11:00AM

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIvcuyvpz4rHtKubbC1kYuzWFrBOEjnq7_g

Meeting ID: 862 5579 5146 | Passcode: 194246
 

Lab Safety Training

Prior to the commencement of work activities within a research laboratory, all newly hired classes of laboratory workers (i.e. post-doctoral researchers, staff researchers, undergraduate/graduate students) including volunteers, visitors and minors are required to complete mandatory Lab Safety training. This training is also a refresher review for current research staff.

This training covers various general topics related to Lab Safety including but not limited to: identifying laboratory hazards, controlling the hazards, chemical hygiene, regulatory oversight, hazardous waste management and  emergency response.

Date: Every Other Tuesday

Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcldumsqT0pG9M-nhtqWutnsczPrwMQTMIx

Meeting ID: 838 1047 6317 | Passcode: 626588
 

OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Training

The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP) Standard (8 CCR 5193) applies to all individuals​ who could "reasonably anticipate", as a result of performing their job tasks, risk of exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). This Cal/OSHA standard requires OSHA BBP training for all applicable individuals initially and annually thereafter. This mandatory self-paced online training is readily available daily at any time through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program.

This training is designed to provide a basic understanding of the OSHA BBP standard, hepatitis B virus vaccination, labeling, engineering controls, universal precautions, work practices and emergency response procedures. For instructions on how to complete this training view CITI OSHA BBP Training Instructions.
 

Principles of Biosafety Training

This training is mandatory for all researchers who work with or around biological materials such as infectious agents, human derived materials, recombinant DNA, synthetic nucleic acid molecules, viral vectors and biological toxins. The intent of this training is to provide an introduction to the basic principles of biosafety in the laboratory to protect researchers from occupational exposure and accidental release of pathogens into the environment. Training topics include but are not limited to regulatory oversight, safe practices and procedures, routes of entry, hazard controls, containment  equipment, risk management, waste management and emergency response.

Date: Every Other Thursday

Time: 10:00AM – 12:00PM

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcuc-2grzIuHt1SgOT6LSJPrvIHFeP1OyU9

Meeting ID: 833 4481 9449 | Passcode: 181294
 

Shipping Biological Materials and Dry Ice Training

This mandatory course is designed as initial and refresher training for those who package, prepare shipping documents for and/or ship biological materials such as diagnostic and clinical human or animal specimens, human or animal pathogens, other regulated biohazards and dry ice. This course complies with safe handling and shipping requirements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Completion of this course is required once every two years. After successful completion of this course, you will obtain a certificate to ship the following:

  • Category A Infectious Substances
  • Category B Biological Substances
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
  • Genetically Modified Micro-Organisms (GMMOs)
  • Exempt Animal Specimens
  • Exempt Patient Specimens
  • Dry Ice

Date: Every Other Wednesday

Time: 1:00PM – 2:30PM

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpceqppzkoE9UQtZhG5UpEiqFxJuuVr_mc

Meeting ID: 834 6319 2291 | Passcode: 747638

Contact the Lab Safety Office at labsafety@chla.usc.edu for questions or to request additional training dates.
 

Viral Vectors and BSL2+ Training

This training is mandatory for all researchers who work with or intend to work with viral vectors and/or conduct procedures requiring BSL2+ work practices. The intent of this training is to review the basic fundamentals required   to work safely with viral vectors such as adenovirus, lentivirus, retrovirus and adeno-associated virus and to safely conduct procedures requiring enhanced work practices in a BSL2 lab.

Training topics include but are not limited to regulatory oversight, CDC and NIH guidelines, risk assessment, viral vector design, biosafety levels, risk groups, safe work practices, PPE, containment equipment and emergency response.

Date: Every Other Monday

Time: 1:00PM – 3:00PM

Zoom Registration Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcld-ChpzooGtWVcrl1adD_QWbheE7LlcNp

Meeting ID: 838 0999 1201 | Passcode: 992560

Research activities undertaken at the institute must be conducted in accordance with strict ethical principles and in compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations/policies. Applicable research projects may not be conducted without appropriate regulatory oversight review and approval.

Regulatory oversight committees are mandated to promote the ethical and responsible conduct of research and to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements relating to research involving but not limited to the following:

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Vertebrate animals
  • Biological infectious agents
  • Human Derived Materials
  • Recombinant DNA
  • Synthetic nucleic acid molecules
  • Viral vectors
  • Gene transfers
  • Human subjects
  • Radioactive materials and devices
  • Stem cells

Conflicts of Interest in Research Committee (COIRC)

Minimizes potential bias; protects the interests of researchers and the Institute through the disclosure, review, and support of research.

Contact the Conflicts of Interest in Research Office at ConflictofInterest@chla.usc.edu

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)

Oversees the Institute’s animal care and use program, facilities, and procedures; provides a framework for compliance with federal policies, guidelines, and principles for the use of animals in research.

Contact the IACUC Office at IACUC@chla.usc.edu

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)

Per NIH guidelines reviews/approves research involving recombinant DNA and synthetic nucleic acid molecules; also reviews/approves research involving biohazard materials. Members of the public are welcome to attend scheduled IBC meetings.

Contact the IBC Office at IBC@chla.usc.edu

Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Provides a core protection for human research participants through advance and periodic review of the ethical acceptability of proposals for human research.

Contact the Human Subjects Protection Program (HSPP) Office at HSPP@chla.usc.edu

Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)

Regulates safe use of radioactive materials and radiation-producing devices in research to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.

Contact the Radiation Safety Office at Radsafetyoffice@chla.usc.edu

Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee (SCRO)

Responsible for the review/approval of research involving the use of human embryonic and pluripotent stem cells.

Contact the Stem Cell Research Oversight Office at SCRO@chla.usc.edu