Laboratory safety is an area concerned with protecting the safety of people inside and outside of a laboratory workplace. This area is especially important because laboratory work in the biosciences sometimes requires the use of hazardous materials. These can be biological materials such as viruses or bacteria. They can also be hazardous chemicals. There are safe ways to work with hazardous materials but it's important that laboratory personnel be aware of methods for handling materials safely and methods for safely disposing of hazardous materials. Not only is it harmful to the environment and possibly human health, it's also against the law to dispose of materials in an unsafe manner. People who work in laboratory safety are tasked with ensuring that biological, chemical, and radioactive materials are handled safely and disposed of in a proper manner.
Laboratory safety involves knowing how to safely handle radioactive materials, biological materials, and diverse chemicals and knowing how to prevent safety and health hazards in the workplace. This area also includes being knowledgable about the regulations that apply to these materials. The laws and regulations come from the EPA (Evironmental Protection Agency), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), local fire departments and state and city codes.