Before our team began working in the lab, each of us completed the UC Fundamentals of Laboratory Safety online course that is offered by the UC Learning Center. The course covered laboratory safety topics such as biosafety, chemical safety, radiation compliance, blood-borne pathogens, medical waste, and laboratory ergonomics. Next, the laboratory manager personally gave the team our lab's site-specific safety training including describing where the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) were located, evacuation plan, and lab specific equipment and safety protocols. The laboratory specific training also highlighted documented standard operating procedures for any lab or protocol-specific hazards and chemical safety/disposal requirements. We were also directed to the department’s chemical hygiene plan and the Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP), the latter of which includes descriptions about our right to information regarding safety practices, controls, and the resources available to us for getting additional training and information. The IIPP also includes procedures for reporting any accidents, near accidents, or safety violations and outlines our responsibilities and protocols for reporting any of these incidents. Finally, we all attended a two-hour safety presentation given by the UC Davis School of Medicine Safety Officer which emphasized proper protective equipment, waste disposal, engineering safety controls, and active shooter protocols within the lab and on campus. By the end each team member was certified to work safely in a lab at the UC Davis campus.
Our project did not contain any biological components that exceeded biosafety level one. However, the proper precautions were still taken as we sterilized and bleached all items that came in contact with either E.Coli or B.subtillus.
The UC Davis Environmental Health and Safety office reviews the activities of all laboratories on campus as well as organizes inspections, trainings, and ensures adherence to all safety protocols of the university. Their guidelines can be found at http://safetyservices.ucdavis.edu/categories/laboratory-safety.
In California biosafety in research laboratories is governed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their specific guidelines can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/biosafety/publications/bmbl5/BMBL.pdf