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UC Laboratory Safety Policies

The University of California is making a major commitment to improve laboratory safety.

UC systemwide laboratory safety policies

3 new policies

UC San Diego and all other UC campuses and medical centers are implementing new UC systemwide laboratory safety policies for:

The policies establish minimum requirements for all UC laboratory workers that individual campuses, departments, and work groups may exceed as necessary.

By maintaining proper workplace safety standards, we protect our staff, students, visitors, and the integrity of UC San Diego research.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Minimum lab attire and PPE equipment required at all times for lab workers is full length pants (or equivalent) and closed toe/heel shoes.

The Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) helps PIs to survey their labs for hazards and comply with PPE requirements. LHATs are required for research spaces containing hazardous materials/equipment. Your completed LHAT provides a summary report of hazards present in the lab and specifies PPE required for workers.

Additional PPE (flame resistant lab coat, face shield, chemical splash goggles) may be required, based on the lab hazard assessment.

Personnel in adjacent areas with the potential to be exposed to chemical splashes or other hazards, as determined by a hazard assessment, must wear lab coats (or equivalent protective garments) and safety glasses.

UC San Diego has a centrally-funded PPE Distribution Program to provide campus laboratories with minimum PPE.

Worker is defined in the UC policy as one “who actively performs work functions with hazardous materials or equipment in a laboratory. A ‘worker’ may be faculty, staff, student volunteer assisting in a non-academic class, or visitor/visiting scholar.” Individuals passively participating in tours, lectures, conferences, etc., are excluded.


Lab Safety Training

  • All UC laboratory workers are required to complete the UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals online course.

At UC San Diego, all laboratory workers are required to complete 2 web-based courses on UC Learning Center to meet UCSD's basic lab safety training requirement:

Additional training requirements apply at UC San Diego.

Worker, as defined in the UC policy, is an individual who actively performs work functions with hazardous materials or equipment in a laboratory/technical area. A “worker” may be faculty, staff, student volunteer assisting in a non-academic class, or visitor/visiting scholar.


Minors in Laboratories and Shops

  • Minors under the age of 14 are not permitted in UC laboratories or shops, except when participating in an approved and supervised tour.

This prohibition extends to the minor children related to laboratory personnel.

Minors are not permitted in UC vivaria unless their participation has been reviewed and approved by the campus Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and the responsible vivarium facility manager based upon criteria established by the campus.

Minors between the ages of 14 and 18 are allowed in laboratories when they have parent or guardian's written consent and are at all times under the direct supervision of a qualified adult designated for this responsibility. They must follow campus safety training and PPE requirements.

Other restrictions and requirements apply at UC San Diego.

Minor is defined in the UC policy as an individual under 18 years of age (California Family Code §6500-6502).