Lab Safety

The College of Engineering is committed to maintaining a safe learning and work environment.

All members of the campus community—including faculty, students, and staff—are required to abide by federal, state, local, and university policies, as well as the College of Engineering Health and Safety Policy below.

Immediately report safety or health incidents to Safety Officer Chibuzo Obiefuna at 562.985.4544 or notify the University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office at 562.985.2283.

For unlawful acts or other types of emergency, call University Police at 911 from any campus phone, or 562.985.4101 from cell phones.

Students should report any safety or health incident to their professor or instructor. Before working in labs, students must pass the safety quiz, which will be administered by your professor. To prepare for the quiz, read the Lab Safety Training presentation (pdf).

Per CSULB Regulations, graduate assistants and other students in the laboratory after normal business hours must possess written permission and approval from the appropriate department administrator.

Lab Regulations

If you’re working in a lab, you must:

  1. Put away equipment after experiments
  2. Place chemicals in separate, labeled containers
  3. Know how to read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  4. Pass the Safety Quiz (administered by professor)
  5. Complete the Hazard Communication Program if you work with chemicals
  6. Wear closed-toe shoes
  7. Wear safety goggles/ear protection
  8. Keep food and drinks outside
  9. For chemicals needing waste pick up, place in proper container, attach label, and contact Chibuzo Obiefuna phone: 562.985.4544 or email

Safety Policy

This policy is intended to: help prevent accidents, illnesses and injuries; increase safety awareness; meet requirements of environmental, occupational health, and safety laws and regulations; reduce liability; and establish safety responsibilities for members of the college community and visitors to college-owned or occupied property. All members of the College community are expected to be thoroughly familiar with their safety responsibilities, strive to follow safety practices at all times, act proactively to prevent accidents and injuries, communicate hazards to supervisors, and be prepared for emergencies that may occur in the workplace.

The College of Engineering strives to maintain a safe learning, and working environment. Faculty, staff, and students must conduct college operations in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and university Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) requirements.

1.1 Entities Affected by the Policy

All individuals and departments.

1.2 Who Should Read this Policy

All members of the college community.

Department Chairs in consultation with the Dean and Safety Officer shall:

  1. Implement the Health and Safety Policy and communicate its requirements to faculty, students, and staff.
  2. Designate and empower a safety team as necessary to address and coordinate safety efforts.
  3. Direct individuals, including but not limited to principal investigators, supervisors, regular and temporary employees, visiting professors, and students, to obtain any required safety training before they work with hazardous chemicals, biohazardous agents, radiation, or physical/mechanical hazards in their working or learning environments.
  4. Report all accidents, job-related illnesses, and work site injuries to the office of Safety and Risk Management.
  5. Determine whether safety needs for the department are met (e.g., training, personal protective equipment, and corrective measures including non-mandated items identified in safety inspections).
  6. Incorporate workplace safety requirements and responsibilities into each appropriate job description and ensure that workplace safety expectations are communicated to each student and employee.
  7. Ensure that periodic safety self-audits of work areas and/or facilities are conducted.
  8. Ensure that emergency action preparedness plans are communicated to all personnel in order to ensure familiarity and coordination between facility personnel and emergency responders.

Faculty, Principal Investigators, and Supervisors shall:

  1. Implement the university's Health and Safety Policy and all other university safety programs in work areas under their supervision/control.
  2. Require all staff members and students under their direction to attend and maintain current required safety training.
  3. Maintain workplaces and equipment under their control in a safe, well-kept condition. Ensure compliance with the university IIPP and Health and Safety Policy in these workplaces.
  4. Assure that hazards are proactively identified and corrected by implementing engineering or administrative controls, or by assuring use of necessary personal protective equipment.
  5. Dispose of waste properly and in accordance with university, state and federal requirements.


  1. Comply with this policy and all other university health and safety programs.
  2. Attend required health and safety training.
  3. Inform a supervisor or instructor of any safety or health hazards in the workplace on college property.
  4. Know your role in an emergency.


  1. Comply with CSULB Safety Requirements for Contractors and Subcontractors program.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (Title29 CFR 1910.1200) and Title 8 of California Code of Regulations requires all employers to determine the hazards associated with their chemicals and to make this information available to employees who utilize the chemicals. Employees and students who use hazardous chemicals in the course of their work are now covered under this standard. The standard requires that any employee who comes in contact with hazardous chemicals as part of his or her job functions must have Hazard Communication Program training. The department chairs shall be responsible for ensuring that each employee has received the proper training. The training includes, but is not limited to the following:

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS):

  1. How to read and understand a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
  2. Departments are responsible for obtaining an MSDS for each hazardous chemical used.
  3. Department Chairs are responsible for keeping the MSDS file updated.
  4. Employees will be trained on how to locate information on an MSDS.
  5. An MSDS must be readily available for employee's review.

Proper labeling of chemicals:

  1. Common name and trade name of chemical
  2. Hazard warnings
  3. Name and address of manufacturer
  4. Labels must not be removed or defaced

Safe work practices:

  1. Personal protective equipment
  2. Chemical handling
  3. Chemical incompatibility
  4. Chemical storage
  5. Chemical disposal
  6. Housekeeping procedures

Physical and health hazards of chemicals:

  1. Routes of exposure
  2. Corrosive chemicals
  3. Flammable chemicals
  4. Reactive chemicals
  5. Toxic chemicals
  6. Compressed gases

The goal of the Hazard Communication Program is to keep all employees informed of the hazards associated with the handling and storing chemicals.

Each Department Chair has the following responsibility:

1. Ensuring that materials are properly labeled within their work areas.

2. Ensuring that MSDS's are obtained with any new materials received.

3. Ensuring that each employee is trained on any non-routine chemicals that may be used in their work areas.

4. Ensuring that a Hazardous Chemicals Inventory List exists for the hazardous chemicals used in the department.

5. Ensuring that a copy of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS's) are available for each chemical listed.

6. Ensuring that an adequate supply of hazard warning labels is maintained.

7. Ensuring that general hazard communication training is provided to all applicable employees and students.

8. Maintaining training records.

If a student is seriously injured or ill in your teaching laboratory and needs medical assistance please follow the procedure below. If a student has a minor injury the most treatment we are allowed is to provide a bandage. The student should always be referred to Student Health Services (SHS) for professional evaluation. Injured students should be informed that they are responsible for all medical costs incurred through treatment at any location other than the CSULB Student Health Services. This includes treatment sought for severe injuries (necessitating off-campus treatment) or injuries that occur when the Student Health Services is closed; EVEN IF THE STUDENT WAS INJURED IN CLASS. Please inform your students that supplemental medical insurance is available through the Associated Students.

Please note: If the injured person is an employee of either the University or the Foundation and the injury is work-related, different procedures must be followed. The injured employee must immediately contact their supervisor/faculty member and College of Engineering Safety Officer Chibuzo Obiefuna at ext. 54544 or

Steps after an injury:

1. Get Help

2. Student Health Services - Student Health Services is used for the student's initial treatment when possible. If the student needs to be transported to the SHS or elsewhere, campus Public Safety will make the arrangements.

3. Blood - If anyone is injured and any blood or human body fluids are involved, please notify medical services or Campus EH&S (X5-2283). Certain protocols should be followed anytime anyone is exposed to human body fluids. Campus EH&S personnel have received special training in the handling and clean-up of infectious materials and are the only personnel who should clean-up a spill of that nature.

4. Reporting - The supervising faculty and students in the area must file an Student Injury Form. Do not have the injured student fill out the Student Injury Form; the supervising faculty is required to complete the report. Scan and e-mail form to