5 Compliance Trainings Every Life Science Organization Needs

TrainingWhether you work at a premiere pharmaceutical company or a biotechnology start up, your organization has employees that require training to protect against risk and satisfy federal safety and environmental regulations. There are five environmental, health and safety training requirements that every biotech and pharmaceutical company must comply with. In this post you will find what they are and what you need to do to be compliant with them.

Emergency Action Plan/General Awareness Training

OSHA mandates that all companies with fire extinguishers onsite or that need to evacuate people during an emergency have an emergency action plan. Per 29 CFR 1910.38 all companies who have an emergency action plan must review that plan with employees covered by the plan. There are three instances in which companies must train the employee on the plan. Here they are:

  1. Upon initial job assignment

  2. When the employee’s responsibilities under the plan change

  3. When the plan is changed

DOT Training

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires that all employees who affect the transportation safety of hazardous materials be trained. This includes even peripheral jobs such as signing a manifest of hazardous substances. This training must be given to new employees within 90 days and must be repeated every 36 months. Hazmat employees can include researchers, shipping and receiving personnel, maintenance staff, and anyone else who may come in contact with hazardous waste.

Chemical Hygiene Plan Training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 29 CFR 1910.1450 gives requirements for chemical hygiene plan training. Any facility that uses chemicals on a laboratory scale is subject to OSHA’s “lab standard.” That standard states that employers must provide employees with effective information and training on hazardous chemicals in their work area.  This training is required prior to an employee working in the lab. It applies to all lab personnel.  Refresher trainings are to be at a frequency determined by the employer: a yearly refresher training is the industry standard. Whatever refresher frequency is written out in the chemical hygiene plan becomes enforceable by OSHA. 

Bloodborne Pathogen Training

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 29 CFR 1910.1030 gives requirements for bloodborne pathogen training. Each employee with occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens must be trained at the time of initial assignment where occupational exposure may take place. The training must be refreshed yearly. 


HAZWOPER training is an OSHA training. It applies to employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous substances, including hazardous waste and who may be engaged in emergency response operations for releases of, or substantial threats of releases of hazardous substances. The EPA mandates that each generator of hazardous waste have at least one emergency coordinator (EC). One duty of the EC is determining who needs to be HAZWOPER trained. This training needs to be refreshed annually.   

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