Biosafety Tips and Tricks – There is no good science without Safety Training

April 11, 2023

Do you work in a lab or clinic? Let’s talk about training!

According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) more than 500,000 workers are employed in laboratories in the U.S. The laboratory and clinic environment can be a hazardous place to work. Personnel are exposed to several potential hazards including chemical, biological, physical, and radioactive hazards.

Throughout the years, OSHA has published rules and guidance to make laboratories and clinics safer for employees and requires that safety training be offered by the employer.

MSU through the learning platform called Ability ( offers a diverse array of online safety trainings that cover all aspects of this work.

For example, if you are an undergrad or graduate student, a postdoc, staff, faculty or even a volunteer in a lab that works with plants you are required to take several courses that will help you understand all the hazards that you may exposed to and prevent them. In this case, these courses will cover not only how to safely manipulate the plants but also how to be safe using tools and chemicals that may be involved in your research.

Taking the MSU safety training courses yearly is a requirement per OSHA with legal implications therefore every worker must stay current with their annual training.

Training can promote a culture of safety in clinics and laboratories. When employees are trained to recognize and address potential hazards, they are more likely to take safety seriously and make it a priority in their work. Remember: there is no good science without safety!

To help with compliance each personnel receives an email like the one below 30-days before their training expires and should act on it by login into Ability and completing their assigned training.

 Email from the Ability LMS system that lists the courses coming due soon for the email recipient.

In addition, to the emails sent to you (the employee) your supervisor will also be notified once you are overdue with your training requirements. These emails are sent to them every Monday as the “Supervisor report”. Ultimately, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure their personnel are up to date with their safety training.

Ignoring the Ability reminder emails is not an option and being overdue for training is an OSHA violation. So, let’s make sure all trainings are up to date!

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