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How to be your lab's general safety and hazardous waste trainer

Table of Contents

  1. What training is required?
  2. What can you do in your lab to assure compliance for training?
  3. What can you do in your lab to assure compliance with safety and hazardous waste regulations?
  4. What can we all do together?

1. What training is required for the trainer?

The training that you would need to be a trainer is the same as that needed by all persons working with hazardous chemicals.

This information follows:

All persons working with hazardous chemicals are required to have initial training and annual retraining in their safe use and disposal. This training is specified under MERKTA (Minnesota Employee's Right to Know Act), the Laboratory Safety Standard (Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA), and the Hazardous Waste Management Standard (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, MPCA). While MERKTA allows certain individuals to be labeled as "technically qualified individuals" (or TQI), the Laboratory Safety Standard and Hazardous Waste Management Standard do NOT allow this. Therefore, ALL individuals working in a University laboratory are required to have initial training and annual retraining. This training must be documented, with the training records put on file in the department (e.g. Biochemistry) or unit (e.g. BPTI) office.

For more information on personal safety (MERKTA and Laboratory Safety Standard), call the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) at 626-2330.

For more information on environmental safety (Hazardous Waste), call DEHS at 626-1604.

All persons working with ionizing radiation are required to have initial training and annual retraining in their safe use and disposal. This training is specified under the Radiation Protection Standard (Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NRC), with records kept centrally at DEHS and locally with the licensed user. For further information on this training, call Radiation Safety (a division of DEHS) at 626-6764.

Persons working with biological hazards (e.g. human pathogens, human secretions or tissues) are required to have initial training and annual retraining as required under the Blood borne Pathogen Standard (OSHA) and the Infectious Waste Control Standard (Minnesota Department of Health, MDH) ), with records kept centrally at DEHS.

For further information on this training, call DEHS at 626-5621.
The rest of this meeting addresses the training required for MERKTA, Lab Safety Standard, and Hazardous Waste Management Standard.

2. What can you do in your lab to assure compliance for TRAINING

Initial training

College will provide training sessions in the fall, but these must be followed by lab-specific training in each lab (see training documentation sheet)

At other times, here are some choices (choose ONE)

  1. You can have the new employee be trained through the DEHS training program (see the monthly schedule on their website).
  2. Anyone in the lab whose training is up-to-date can train new employees. In practice, it should be someone who is prepared to give the new employee all the information required. To do this you can use the handouts from the College training (available in hard or soft copy from Jane Phillips), send people to library to view safety tapes, and/or borrow video material from DEHS (see website).
  3. Have the new employee do web-based training, followed by lab-specific training. Web-based training:
    First, go visit these websites and go through the training available there.
    Personal and lab safety: www.practicingsafescience.org/
    Hazardous waste training: http://www.dehs.umn.edu/hazwaste_chemwaste_umn_cwmgbk_sec6.htm
    Then, read through the training documentation to see what topics have been covered and be able to ask questions about any missed.
  4. You may attend training offered in Minneapolis by Maureen Scaglia. Initial Safety Training in 3-103 BSBE is the first Thursday of the month at 10 AM and the 3rd Friday of the month at 2 PM. (Call the Info Desk, 6-0911, to make sure the session hasn't been cancelled.) Come to ONE. If you need refresher training, show up about 55 minutes into the training session and be there for the last part. The sessions last for about 2 hrs. 15 min. There is a small charge to departments to pay for Maureen's time for these sessions.

    In all cases, you must follow up with lab-specific training to talk about general and specific operating procedures in the lab and to have a time to ask any questions about any of this. Be sure you document the training. You can use the documentation sheet provided (attached) or devise your own, but be sure you cover the items on the sheet provided.

Annual retraining

Someone in the lab needs to attend a Refresher/Train the Trainer session (like the fall sessions offered by the College) once a year to find out about changes in regulations. These are also offered monthly by DEHS (schedule on their website or call 6-6002). The College plans to offer Refresher/Train the Trainer session annually in the fall.

This trainer can then do the annual retraining as part of a normal lab meeting. Be sure to cover changes in regulations in all the major areas shown on the Retraining documentation . You can either use this as your retraining documentation form OR staple a copy of this to a sheet of paper that everyone who attended the lab meeting has signed and dated. As mentioned earlier, the Chem Safety Audit Check (see pages 102-103 from HazWaste Guidebook) could be a valuable addition to (or core of) your annual lab retraining program. It helps you go over what is going well and what needs improvement in the lab.

Note: While this retraining is required only annually, we assume that safety and hazardous waste discussions will continue to be part of your normal lab meetings as the need arises. Be sure the documentation of the initial training and annual retraining gets to your department office.

3. What can you do in your lab to assure compliance with safety and hazardous waste regulations?

You/your lab should do a Chem Safety Audit Check (see attached.. pages 102-103 from HazWaste Guidebook). This will help you be in compliance for both OSHA and MnPCA regulations.

4. What can we all do together?

Report pollution control measures you have used to Chemical Waste Program at 612-626-1604. They do act as a resource for others trying to control pollution... so this spreads the good word of something that worked for you.