12.0 Safety Training

Departments must provide employees with information and training in order to ensure that they are apprised of biohazards in their work area.  Training may take the form of individual instruction, group seminars, audiovisual presentations, handout material or any combination of the above.  Training should include the specific hazards associated with agents in the work area when generic training is insufficient to address specific hazards. 

Training should be provided at the time of an employee's initial assignment to a work area where biohazardous agents are present and prior to assignment involving new exposure situations.  Employees should receive periodic refresher information and training.  All training must be documented (see below). 

Information and training provided by departments should include: 

  • the location and availability of the written Biological Safety Manual; 
  • the health hazards, signs and symptoms associated with exposures and infections from biohazardous agents used in the work area;
  • the measures employees can take to protect themselves from these hazards, including specific procedures the University or department has implemented such as appropriate work practices, emergency procedures and personal protective equipment; and
  • the location and availability of reference material on the hazards, safe handling, storage and disposal of biohazardous agents. 

Although students are not covered under IOSH (Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration), they should be aware of biohazards in teaching situations and be provided information and equipment to protect themselves from those hazards.  Departments should provide student training at the beginning of each course in which biohazardous agents are used, with specific safety instructions provided at the beginning of each class period. 

Departments are responsible for insuring that their employees and students receive the proper training as stipulated in the Biosafety Manual.  Online, web-based courses are currently available for all training courses through EHS’s Web site.  EHS provides training courses in the following areas:

  • Biological Safety
  • Chemical Safety
  • Ergonomics
  • General Safety
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Radiation Safety including Laser Safety