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Laboratory Safety Manual

Discover the Laboratory Safety Manual for policies, procedures, and services for campus research and teaching laboratories.

The UC San Diego web-based Laboratory Safety Manual, which includes the Chemical Hygiene Plan, is a series of pages assembled as a comprehensive resource of laboratory safety policies and procedures.

Cal/OSHA mandates that all employees be informed of the contents, know the location, and have ready access to the employer's Laboratory Safety Manual & Chemical Hygiene Plan.

Be ready for the inspector

Learn what to expect from inspectors and how to make your lab inspection-ready:

Biological safety

Chemical safety | Chemical Hygiene Plan

Compressed gases

Controlled substances

Electrical safety

Emergency procedures

Emergency phone numbers:

  • Call 9-1-1 from campus phones
  • From other phones:
    • UC San Diego Police (858) 534-HELP (4357)
    • Medical Center Security (619) 543-6111
    • Poison Control (800) 222-1222

Important! Chemistry-Biochemistry personnel must:

  • Report serious incidents immediately: Call 9-1-1
  • Immediately secure any incident scene from all access and preserve all evidence for no less than 24 hours.

Hazardous materials spills:

Emergency preparedness:

Equipment and supplies

Fire safety

First-aid kits


Fume hoods | Engineering controls

Hazardous materials & hazardous waste

Human subjects

Lab design

Where hazardous, biohazardous, radioactive materials or animals are used, each laboratory must contain a sink for hand washing. The sink drain must be connected to building plumbing.
Exposure to hazardous materials and/or pathogenic organisms can occur by hand-to-mouth transmission. Handwashing is required after working with potentially hazardous materials and before leaving the laboratory.
The sink should be located close to the egress. The handwashing sink must be accompanied by a paper-towel dispenser and a soap dispenser.

See below for more resources and guidance:

Laboratory ergonomics

Laboratory relocation, closure, and clearance

Laboratory safety responsibilities

Laboratory personnel duties and responsibilities include:

  1. Complete all required health, safety, and environmental training.
  2. Review and follow relevant laboratory authorizations and safety manual(s).
  3. Follow oral and written laboratory safety rules, regulations, and standard operating procedures (SOP) required for assigned tasks.
  4. Keep your work areas safe and uncluttered.
  5. Review and understand the hazards of materials and processes in your laboratory prior to conducting work.
  6. Take appropriate measures to control identified hazards, including consistent and proper use of engineering controls, personal protective equipment (PPE), and administrative controls.
  7. Understand the capabilities and limitations of PPE issued to you.
  8. Get prior approval from your PI/laboratory supervisor for the use of restricted chemicals and other materials.
  9. Consult with PI/laboratory supervisors before using highly hazardous materials or conducting certain higher risk experimental procedures.
  10. Report accidents and unsafe conditions immediately to the PI/laboratory supervisor.
  11. Participate in the medical surveillance program, when required.
  12. Inform the PI/laboratory supervisor of any work modifications ordered by a physician as a result of medical surveillance, occupational injury, or exposure.
  13. Follow basic laboratory security requirements for hazardous or controlled materials

Related links:

Laboratory security

Laser safety

My Research Safety Web portal

Read about My Research Safety, a Web portal for centralized access to your Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) audits, inventory, and authorizations.


Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Related links:

Principal investigators

Radiation safety

Report injury, illness, or exposure

Report all work-related injuries, illness, or hazardous material exposures immediately:

Important! Chemistry-Biochemistry personnel, follow special incident reporting instructions:

Research Assistance Program

Shipping Materials & Export Control


Vivarium safety

Warning signs | Labels

Learn about hazard and caution signs and labels you may see at UC San Diego and what they mean.

Learn about the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS-compliant labels that include a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard and precaution statements for each hazard class and category will begin to appear in our chemical inventories soon.

UC Lab Safety Resources

Policies and regulations


UC San Diego

Questions? Contact the EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist assigned to your building.
Note: This page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: