Occupational Health and Safety

Laboratory research can involve significant exposure to significant hazards to your personal health and safety. It is important to receive thorough safety training before you begin working in a laboratory. State and Federal regulations as well as University policy require that your safety training be documented and that evidence of your training be available for inspection. The safety officer for the Bioengineering Department is Douglas Gurevitch, Senior Development Engineer.

Every laboratory has a safety contact person, a copy of the UCSD Laboratory Safety Guide, a First Aid kit and a fire extinguisher. Each lab or Principal Investigator also maintains lab-specific safety information including a laboratory "Chemical Hygiene Plan", a laboratory "Biological Use Authorization, a laboratory "Radiological Use Authorization", and a file that records the training of all students and personnel.

Extensive safety and injury prevention material is available from the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) on campus (534-3660). Much of this information is also available on-line via the Blink safety webpage.

EH&S offers regular classes on general safety through its Injury and Illness Prevention Program. These classes are very useful and cover basic topics including safety orientation, hazard communication, safe computer use, earthquake preparedness, fire, and preventing back injuries.

Additional specialized training will be needed by many students on topics such as:

  • Radiation safety — all students using radioisotopes must be registered with EH&S and trained
  • Biosafety — all students using the Bioengineering Tissue culture facility must be trained
  • Chemical carcinogens — your principal investigator is responsible for notifying you if you may be exposed to known carcinogens
  • Protective equipment — must be worn when handling dangerous materials or using hazardous equipment

Consult your lab safety contact person, EH&S or the department safety officer for more information.