Getting Started with Lab Safety

Whether you are faculty, staff, or a student researcher working in a lab, Environmental Health & Safety’s research safety division provides support through its safety programs, trainings, and lab inspections and evaluations. EHS supports labs across the BU campuses and at Boston Medical Center.

This page provides an overview of key EHS systems, recommendations, and compliance tasks for everyone working in labs.

Contact EHS

Do you have a research safety question or concern? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for guidance and support.

EHS Systems & Training

BioRAFT is the EHS compliance software used for training, inspections, waste pick-ups, chemical inventories, and other key safety related tasks. All laboratories must have a profile in BioRAFT.

When you begin work in a new lab, be sure your lab safety coordinator or PI has added you to your lab and assigned your job role. This will ensure that you are asked to complete role-appropriate training and that your training compliance is accurately documented.

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Lab Safety Coordinator

EHS recommends that PIs assign a lab safety coordinator. The coordinator is the point person for all safety-related issues and can assist the PI in managing information, responses, and other tasks that are performed in various EHS systems (i.e., BioRAFT).

If you are assigned to the lab safety coordinator role, please keep lab members up-to-date, respond to EHS emails, and ensure that you are familiar with the Lab Safety Coordinator Toolkit.

Other Compliance Tasks

Research Occupational Health Program (ROHP): ROHP serves BU and Boston Medical Center laboratory researchers and those who support research labs, including faculty, staff, students, and sometimes visitors. Visit the ROHP webpage to learn about any medical clearance you and your staff may require.

Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC): If your research involves recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules or biohazardous research protocols, you will require IBC approval and oversight. Visit the IBC webpage for more information on obtaining IBC approval.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC): If your laboratory will be conducting animal research that requires IACUC approval and oversight you will need to work with IACUC.

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