How Laboratory Workers Can Protect Themselves From Ongoing Health Risks

Although laboratories follow strict health and safety protocols to protect workers and sensitive materials, workers in lab environments must take additional precautions to protect themselves and clients from ongoing health risks like COVID-19.

Working in enclosed spaces and with shared materials increases the likelihood of spreading illness, but there are proven ways to safeguard workers.

Protecting Lab Workers and Researchers From Health Risks

There are many challenges that laboratory visitors and workers—including researchers, staff, students, engineering facilities and custodial staff—face when assessing how to stay safe from illness:

  • How can we best protect the health and safety of employees and customers?

  • What steps can we take to minimize the risk of disease transmission throughout the laboratory?

  • How should we clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces such as countertops, keyboards, and door handles?

To answer each of these questions and more, our Healthier Workplaces: Guidance for Laboratories Guidance Document, 2nd edition, guide was created alongside leading health and government organizations. The guide reflects the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advice to give laboratory workers practical ways to safeguard their health.

The guidance applies to various laboratory workplace settings, including laboratories used for traditional research, governmental and commercial chemical and biological laboratories, analytical and quality laboratories, medical and assay laboratories, animal procedure and surgery spaces, conservation laboratories and studios, and museum collection research and study laboratories.

Download our Healthier Workplaces: Guidance for Laboratories Guidance Document, 2nd edition, guidelines to learn proven strategies that protect laboratory workers and their customers.

Additional Lab Safety Resources

To access more help and resources to understand and avoid the health risks of lab environments, we recommend you explore the following resources and networks.