Laboratory Safety


Chapter 7

Section: 7:400

Laboratory Safety

ADOPTED:                            12/20/2021

REVISED:                                n/a

RESPONSIBLE OFFICE:         MU Environmental Health & Safety


The University of Missouri (MU) is responsible for developing and implementing programs and policies to ensure that MU is in compliance with all applicable environmental health and safety regulations and provides a safe work environment for faculty, staff, students, and visitors as outlined in the Collected Rules & Regulations.

For laboratory safety, MU follows best management practices for establishing a safety culture as the foundation of the academic safety program, with a critical component the collaborative and trusting interactions among the faculty, staff, and environmental health and safety professionals.


  • Laboratory. An area owned by the University of Missouri where relatively small quantities of chemicals and other substances are used on a non-production basis for teaching or research (or diagnostic purposes at a teaching hospital) and are stored and used in containers that are easily manipulated by one person. Laboratory is inclusive of photo laboratories, art studios, field laboratories, chemical stockrooms, and preparatory laboratories that provide a support function to teaching or research laboratories (or diagnostic laboratories at teaching hospitals).



  • Statutory Compliance. Develop programs and policies to ensure that MU is in compliance with all laws and applicable regulations; to ensure the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff; and to ensure the proper use, storage, and disposal of biological, chemical, radioactive materials, and any other hazardous materials.
  • Training & Documentation. Providing faculty, staff, and students with the relevant rules, the necessary training, and the appropriate resources to comply with standards and regulations, to maintain an appropriately safe work environment, and to maintain appropriate documentation that standards and regulations are being met.

For Laboratory Safety, this includes but is not limited to:

  1. Investigate incidents, near misses, and complaints related to laboratory safety.
  2. Conduct periodic laboratory safety inspections and report findings to the Department Chair or designee.


  • Comply with Rules and Regulations. Faculty, staff and students at the University of Missouri have the responsibility and obligation to act in accordance with all applicable federal and state regulations.
    • It is the responsibility of individual faculty, staff, and students to be informed of applicable rules and regulations and to comply with these rules and regulations. Failure to comply with these rules and regulations constitutes possible grounds for dismissal of students and termination for cause of faculty and staff.
    • In unusual situations where the University is exempt from regulatory jurisdiction due to its status as a government entity, faculty, staff, and students still have an obligation for knowledge of the risk and meeting the intent of the regulations.
    • It is also the responsibility of individual faculty, staff and students having actual knowledge that the actions of visitors are in violation of applicable rules and regulations to inform the visitor(s) of that known fact and to take reasonable steps in an effort to stop such action.
  • Deans / Directors / Department Heads and their Designees.
    • Comply with Health & Safety Responsibilities policy which includes but is not limited to Fiscal, Notification, Training, and Planning, Design & Construction.
    • Comply with Minors in Laboratories (EHS) policy.
    • Maintain a current roster of laboratory workers and identifying all to EHS.
    • Communicate with EHS when there is any accident or “near miss” incident in the laboratory space.
    • Provide Personal Protective Equipment per PPE policy. NOTE:  Minors are not permitted to wear respirators.
    • Model and maintain a culture of laboratory safety, including but not limited to:
      • Maintaining laboratories and their equipment.
      • Reviewing and correcting inspection findings.
      • Encouraging laboratory personnel to question matters related to safety.
      • Comply with EHS policies on Biohazards / Chemicals / Radioactives.


Federal Policy:


MU Policy:

  • BPPM 7:001 Environmental Health & Safety (2021)
  • BPPM 7:100 Health & Safety Responsibilities (2021)
  • BPPM 7:410 Minors in Laboratories (EHS) (2021)
  • BPPM 7:500 Personal Protective Equipment (2021)
  • BPPM 7:600 Biohazards / Chemicals / Radioactives (2021)


For additional information about any safety or health related policy or guideline, refer to the EHS web site or contact us at / (573) 882-7018.