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6.1 Training Options

Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors have a number of options available to them to ensure laboratory employees under their supervision have received proper training. These options include:

  • Training programs provided by EHS
  • Training programs provided by outside vendors 
  • In-house training programs (provided by the Principal Investigator or laboratory supervisor) 
  • Training manuals and booklets 
  • Training videos
  • Web-based training modules

The keys to any training programs are:

  • The instructor providing the training is technically qualified to provide training on the particular subject.
  • The training program(s) address the hazards present in the laboratory and describe ways employees can protect themselves.
  • The training program and attendance must be documented using a sign-in sheet and these records must be readily available and accessible upon request.
  • Training sessions do not have to be hours or half-day sessions, they can be short, 15 minute, half hour, or how ever long it takes to achieve the training objectives.
Please Note: that one training class is usually not comprehensive enough to cover all of the hazards found within a laboratory. Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors will find that it is necessary to use a combination of the options available to ensure their employees are properly trained.

EHS Training Programs

EHS offers a number of training programs on a regular basis – such as the monthly “Laboratory Safety Training” – and offers a number of programs “Upon Request”. For any “Upon Request” training class, EHS can come to your building or laboratory and provide the training program for your laboratory group. All EHS provided training programs and attendance sheets are kept on file at the EHS office and entered into the Cornell Learning Management System.

Outside Vendor Training Programs

Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can provide training programs to their employees through contracts with outside training companies or product vendors. A number of vendors are willing to provide free training programs upon request. If using an outside company or vendor, be sure to ask for documentation including training content, date of training, copies of handouts, and the sign-in sheet. All of this documentation must be kept on file.

In-House Training Programs

In-house training can include department provided training, and training by Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors. Training sessions can be stand-alone classes, on-the-job training, or short (15 minute) trainings incorporated as part of a laboratory group meeting. The key is to make sure the training is documented with a sign-in sheet.

Training Manuals and Booklets

Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can utilize training manuals, booklets, webpage downloads, etc., as part of an ongoing training program by simply having laboratory staff review the material, be given an opportunity to ask any questions, and sign off that they read and understood the material.

Training Videos

Principal Investigators and laboratory supervisors can make use of videos to supplement training of their employees. As with any training, it is important to document the training took place by using a sign-in sheet. When videos are used, the training sign-in sheet should have the date, time, location, and name and running time of the video, in addition to signatures of those people who watched the video.

Web Based Training

Web-based trainings are offered through CU Learn for faculty, staff and students (including undergraduates and graduates).  Blackboard can be used by visitors, guests or CU affiliates (USDA, BTI).