OSHA publishes new materials on protecting lab workers from hazards

On October 13, 2011, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published new educational resources that will aid laboratory managers in keeping their workers safe from a number of hazards.

Included in the materials is the Laboratory Safety Guidance, which details how electrical, fire, explosion, and fall hazards can be kept to a minimum if employers follow safety plans, make a commitment to worker training, install engineering controls, and enforce the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

"These educational materials will help employers identify hazards and measures to ensure safe and healthy conditions for their workers and promote a robust safety culture in the workplace," Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels stated.

In the past several years, numerous laboratory incidents have led to fatalities and injuries from fires, explosions and equipment.

In OSHA's Laboratory Safety Guidance document, a PPE standard is established. This standard requires that employers provide and ensure that workers are using safety products that protect the eyes and face, such as safety glasses and shields, as well as hand protection, which includes work gloves that protect against skin absorption of harmful substances.

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