Skip to main content

EHS Training Activities Definitions

Group 1 – Chemical Safety

Use potentially hazardous chemicals

Use includes chemical manipulations and hazardous waste activities such as (a) generating hazardous waste, (b) bringing waste to less-than-90-day storage areas, and (c) making waste determinations.

Hazardous chemical

A hazardous chemical is defined as one or more of the following:

  • can produce adverse health or physical hazards
  • is listed by EPA or the State of Massachusetts as a hazardous waste
  • exhibits any or all of the following characteristics: toxic, corrosive, ignitable, reactive

Health hazard

OSHA definition of health hazard is a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.

Includes chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins (liver), nephrotoxins (kidney), neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic (blood) systems, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.

Physical hazard

OSHA definition of physical hazard: A chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water reactive.

Work place other than a laboratory

Non-laboratory workplaces include machine shops, garages, art studios, etc. If you work with chemicals in both a lab and a non-lab workplace, the training for the laboratory workplace takes precedence over training for non-laboratory workplace. In other words, you only need to select the EHS activity “Works with potentially hazrdous chemicals in a laboratory.”

Respirator

Check this box if you use an air-purifying respirator, self-contained breathing apparatus or an N95 respirator. Do not check this box if you only use a dust mask.

Air-purifying respirator means a respirator with an air-purifying filter,cartridge, or canister that removes specific air contaminants by passing ambient air through the air-purifying element. Examples include MSA Comfo Classic (half-face) or MSA Ultratwin (full face) respirator with cartridges, or Moldex 2200 N95 particulate respirator.

Filtering face piece (dust mask) means a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the face piece or with the entire face piece composed of the filtering medium.

Atmosphere-supplying respirator means a respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere, and includes supplied-air respirators (SARs) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. Examples include MSA Ultralite Air Mask.

Group 2- Biological Safety and Bloodbourne Pathogens

Human blood, body fluids, human cells, or cell lines:

Semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.

Human bloodborne pathogens, HIV or HBV:

Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are specific pathogens that require additional training and precautions under the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard. This does not include gene transfer vectors like lentiviral vectors.

Microorganisms that can infect:

Microorganisms that can infect humans, animals or plants(. There is no one listing of all infectious agents, see: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/ols-bsl/index.html, http://www.cdc.gov, http://www.fda.gov, and https://absa.org/ for various listings of infectious agents.

Biosafety level 2+:

This is a hybrid classification meaning the use of a level 2 lab facility with level 3 personnel practices.

Group 3 – Ionizing Radiation Sources: Radioactive Materials; Radiation Producing Equipment

Ionizing radiation sources

Substances that emit ionizing radiation. Massachusetts DPH licenses radioactive material use. Any Lab using radioactive materials must have a current authorization issued by the MIT Radiation Protection Committee.

Radioactive material

Required for any person who will work with radioactive materials.

Radioactive material is a substance that emits ionizing radiation. Some of the more common radioisotopes used in laboratories are 3H, 14C, 35S , 32P and 125I.

Any person who has successfully completed course 301c is referred to as a “radiation worker”. Any laboratory using radioactive materials must have an authorization issued by the MIT Radiation Protection Committee.

Supervise a laboratory authorized to possess and use radioactive materials

Required for any Principal Investigator (PI) listed as the Supervisor on a radioactive materials authorization. PI’s listed on a radioactive materials authorization prior to 11/1/03 will be credited with courses 301c and 304c.

The PI must complete two courses: course 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory and course 304c Principal Investigator of a Radioactive Materials Authorization.

To apply for an authorization from the campus RPP call 2-3477.

Sealed sources of radioactivity

Required for any person who will work with sealed sources.

Radioactive sealed sources emit ionizing radiation. Some of the more common sealed sources used in laboratories are 55Fe, 60Co, 137Cs, and 241Am

Gammacell irradiator

Additional training required for radiation workers who will use the Gammacell Irradiators in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Department of Biology, or the Biological Engineering Division.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

Unbound radioiodine/iodination

Additional training required for radiation workers who will use more than 100 microcuries of unbound radioiodine. A common use of unbound radioiodine is to label proteins or growth factors.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

High activity sources of radiation

Additional training required for MIT radiation workers who will use more than 10 millicuries of 32P or 3H, other large sources of radioactivity, or work in areas of moderate to high radiation levels.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

Accelerator

Required for any person using a device that emits ionizing radiation by the acceleration of particles, typically very high doses associated with the equipment.

X-Ray equipment

Required for any person who will use x-ray equipment other than medical/dental or veterinary. This includes diffraction, fluorescence, irradiation (i.e.cabinet), industrial and radiography.

Any x-ray equipment must be registered with the campus RPP.

Medical and/or dental x-ray equipment

Required for any person who will use, or assist with the using, medical or dental x-ray equipment.

Veterinary x-ray equipment

Required for all persons who will use, or assist with the using, veterinary x-ray equipment

Reactor

Required prior to any person requiring access to: conduct experiments, work, or frequent the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory’s Restricted Area. The training and registration requirements are separate from any other program described within Group 3 – Ionizing Radiation. Processes includes registration, training, dosimetry issuance, and others as necessary.

Bates Linear Accelerator

Required for any person working at Bates Linear Accelerator who requires access to the laboratory without an escort.

Group 4 – Non-ionizing Radiation Sources: Lasers; RF; Magnets

Non-ionizing radiation sources

Non-ionizing radiation sources includes: lasers and laser systems that require registration with the Radiation Protection Program and the Massachusetts DPH; non-contained radio frequency sources such as radar and microwave (excluding microwave ovens, cell phones, or other such consumer devices); and devices capable of producing static magnetic fields in excess of 5 gauss in spaces accessible to workers.

RF sources

Non-contained radio frequency sources such as radar and microwave. This does not include microwave ovens, cell phones, or other such consumer devices.

RF warning signs

RF awareness training is required for anyone who enters and works in an area posted with an RF sign. RF warning sign typically states: Beyond this point RF fields may exceed limits set for the general public. Any questions call campus RPP at 2-3477.

Magnets

Devices capable of producing static magnetic fields in excess of 5 gauss in spaces accessible to workers. Typical devices are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems.

Class 3b and 4 lasers

Required for any person who may be exposed to laser radiation from a Class 3b or Class 4 laser (i.e. greater than 5 milliwatts power ) in the course of their work. Any Class 3b or 4 lasers must be registered EHS Radiation Protection Programs Office.

Group 5 – Specialized Safety

Electrical Hazards and Safe Work Practices

Note: If your work involves only the normal use and operation of basic electrically powered devices and equipment this course is not required. Training is required where there is exposure to exposed conductive parts (uninsulated and unguarded) of energized electrical circuits or equipment; performing “live” adjustment, calibration, modification, and installations; modification or development of electrical/electronic research, or otherwise potentially exposed to electrical conduits that present potential shock (contact) or arc hazards (high voltage).

Routinely or regularly

Some work environments create significant noise which may require training, depending on the frequency and intensity of your exposure to it.

If you work in an area where noise is present that causes you to have to shout or raise your voice to be heard at a distance of about 3 feet, this can be considered moderately loud noise, and you should consider your need for training and the possible use of hearing protective devices.

If you work around moderately loud noise is infrequent (for example three or four times per year) and for short periods (for example 30-60 minutes) you probably will not require this training. If you expect routine or regular exposure to such noise, amounting to many hours per year you should select this activity. If you have questions, please call EHS at 2-3477

High degree of repetitive motion or excessive lifting, pushing, or pulling

If your work involves:

  • regular or strenuous movement involving materials handling (such as
  • carrying/lifting/pushing/pulling boxes, bags, equipment, etc.), or
  • routine repetition of a particular motion or set of motions, or
    any other activity which may put you at increased risk of a musculoskeletal disorder (strains, sprains, pulls, etc.)

you should select this activity and enroll in the required ergonomics training. It is a one-time training requirement.

Confined space

Confined space means a space that:

  • Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and
  • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Designated hot work area

Examples of designated hot work areas are welding shops, machine shops, area within a lab or other fixed locations for various types of hot work. A permit is issued by the EHS Office on an annual basis for these areas.

Maintenance and/or servicing

May include workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment, including lubrication, cleaning or unjamming of machines or equipment or making adjustments and tool changes where a guard is removed or exposure to a point of operation or energy is possible.

Potentially Hazardous Energies:

  • Thermal energy. Heat energy; most commonly, steam energy.
  • Hydraulic energy. The energy of pressurized, moving liquids, usually water or oil, in accumulators or lines.
  • Electrical energy. Usually the equipment’s main power source.
  • Chemical energy. Energy created by a chemical reaction between two or more substances.
  • Mechanical energy. Energy created by a machine’s moving parts, like wheels, springs or elevated parts.
  • Pneumatic energy. The energy of pressurized, moving gas, as found in air in tanks and lines.
  • Other/Stored energy. i.e. energy stored in batteries and capacitors.

Note: The operator of said equipment or tools who is not conducting maintenance or servicing does not need to select this activity but should take the LOTO Awareness/Affected Training course.

Group 1 – Chemical Safety

Use potentially hazardous chemicals

Use includes chemical manipulations and hazardous waste activities such as (a) generating hazardous waste, (b) bringing waste to less-than-90-day storage areas, and (c) making waste determinations.

Hazardous chemical

A hazardous chemical is defined as one or more of the following:

  • can produce adverse health or physical hazards
  • is listed by EPA or the State of Massachusetts as a hazardous waste
  • exhibits any or all of the following characteristics: toxic, corrosive, ignitable, reactive

Health hazard

OSHA definition of health hazard is a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that acute or chronic health effects may occur in exposed employees.

Includes chemicals which are carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins (liver), nephrotoxins (kidney), neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic (blood) systems, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.

Physical hazard

OSHA definition of physical hazard: A chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, a compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water reactive.

Work place other than a laboratory

Non-laboratory workplaces include machine shops, garages, art studios, etc. If you work with chemicals in both a lab and a non-lab workplace, the training for the laboratory workplace takes precedence over training for non-laboratory workplace. In other words, you only need to select the EHS activity “Works with potentially hazrdous chemicals in a laboratory.”

Respirator

Check this box if you use an air-purifying respirator, self-contained breathing apparatus or an N95 respirator. Do not check this box if you only use a dust mask.

Air-purifying respirator means a respirator with an air-purifying filter,cartridge, or canister that removes specific air contaminants by passing ambient air through the air-purifying element. Examples include MSA Comfo Classic (half-face) or MSA Ultratwin (full face) respirator with cartridges, or Moldex 2200 N95 particulate respirator.

Filtering face piece (dust mask) means a negative pressure particulate respirator with a filter as an integral part of the face piece or with the entire face piece composed of the filtering medium.

Atmosphere-supplying respirator means a respirator that supplies the respirator user with breathing air from a source independent of the ambient atmosphere, and includes supplied-air respirators (SARs) and self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units. Examples include MSA Ultralite Air Mask.

Group 2- Biological Safety and Bloodbourne Pathogens

Human blood, body fluids, human cells, or cell lines:

Semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva in dental procedures, any body fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids; any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin) from a human (living or dead); and HIV-containing cell or tissue cultures, organ cultures, and HIV- or HBV-containing culture medium or other solutions; and blood, organs, or other tissues from experimental animals infected with HIV or HBV.

Human bloodborne pathogens, HIV or HBV:

Pathogenic microorganisms that are present in human blood and can cause disease in humans. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are specific pathogens that require additional training and precautions under the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen standard. This does not include gene transfer vectors like lentiviral vectors.

Microorganisms that can infect:

Microorganisms that can infect humans, animals or plants(. There is no one listing of all infectious agents, see: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/pphb-dgspsp/ols-bsl/index.html, http://www.cdc.gov, http://www.fda.gov, and https://absa.org/ for various listings of infectious agents.

Biosafety level 2+:

This is a hybrid classification meaning the use of a level 2 lab facility with level 3 personnel practices.

Group 3 – Ionizing Radiation Sources: Radioactive Materials; Radiation Producing Equipment

Ionizing radiation sources

Substances that emit ionizing radiation. Massachusetts DPH licenses radioactive material use. Any Lab using radioactive materials must have a current authorization issued by the MIT Radiation Protection Committee.

Radioactive material

Required for any person who will work with radioactive materials.

Radioactive material is a substance that emits ionizing radiation. Some of the more common radioisotopes used in laboratories are 3H, 14C, 35S , 32P and 125I.

Any person who has successfully completed course 301c is referred to as a “radiation worker”. Any laboratory using radioactive materials must have an authorization issued by the MIT Radiation Protection Committee.

Supervise a laboratory authorized to possess and use radioactive materials

Required for any Principal Investigator (PI) listed as the Supervisor on a radioactive materials authorization. PI’s listed on a radioactive materials authorization prior to 11/1/03 will be credited with courses 301c and 304c.

The PI must complete two courses: course 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory and course 304c Principal Investigator of a Radioactive Materials Authorization.

To apply for an authorization from the campus RPP call 2-3477.

Sealed sources of radioactivity

Required for any person who will work with sealed sources.

Radioactive sealed sources emit ionizing radiation. Some of the more common sealed sources used in laboratories are 55Fe, 60Co, 137Cs, and 241Am

Gammacell irradiator

Additional training required for radiation workers who will use the Gammacell Irradiators in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Department of Biology, or the Biological Engineering Division.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

Unbound radioiodine/iodination

Additional training required for radiation workers who will use more than 100 microcuries of unbound radioiodine. A common use of unbound radioiodine is to label proteins or growth factors.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

High activity sources of radiation

Additional training required for MIT radiation workers who will use more than 10 millicuries of 32P or 3H, other large sources of radioactivity, or work in areas of moderate to high radiation levels.

Prerequisite: 301c Radiation Safety: Laboratory

Accelerator

Required for any person using a device that emits ionizing radiation by the acceleration of particles, typically very high doses associated with the equipment.

X-Ray equipment

Required for any person who will use x-ray equipment other than medical/dental or veterinary. This includes diffraction, fluorescence, irradiation (i.e.cabinet), industrial and radiography.

Any x-ray equipment must be registered with the campus RPP.

Medical and/or dental x-ray equipment

Required for any person who will use, or assist with the using, medical or dental x-ray equipment.

Veterinary x-ray equipment

Required for all persons who will use, or assist with the using, veterinary x-ray equipment

Reactor

Required prior to any person requiring access to: conduct experiments, work, or frequent the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory’s Restricted Area. The training and registration requirements are separate from any other program described within Group 3 – Ionizing Radiation. Processes includes registration, training, dosimetry issuance, and others as necessary.

Bates Linear Accelerator

Required for any person working at Bates Linear Accelerator who requires access to the laboratory without an escort.

Group 4 – Non-ionizing Radiation Sources: Lasers; RF; Magnets

Non-ionizing radiation sources

Non-ionizing radiation sources includes: lasers and laser systems that require registration with the Radiation Protection Program and the Massachusetts DPH; non-contained radio frequency sources such as radar and microwave (excluding microwave ovens, cell phones, or other such consumer devices); and devices capable of producing static magnetic fields in excess of 5 gauss in spaces accessible to workers.

RF sources

Non-contained radio frequency sources such as radar and microwave. This does not include microwave ovens, cell phones, or other such consumer devices.

RF warning signs

RF awareness training is required for anyone who enters and works in an area posted with an RF sign. RF warning sign typically states: Beyond this point RF fields may exceed limits set for the general public. Any questions call campus RPP at 2-3477.

Magnets

Devices capable of producing static magnetic fields in excess of 5 gauss in spaces accessible to workers. Typical devices are nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems.

Class 3b and 4 lasers

Required for any person who may be exposed to laser radiation from a Class 3b or Class 4 laser (i.e. greater than 5 milliwatts power ) in the course of their work. Any Class 3b or 4 lasers must be registered EHS Radiation Protection Programs Office.

Group 5 – Specialized Safety

Electrical Hazards and Safe Work Practices

Note: If your work involves only the normal use and operation of basic electrically powered devices and equipment this course is not required. Training is required where there is exposure to exposed conductive parts (uninsulated and unguarded) of energized electrical circuits or equipment; performing “live” adjustment, calibration, modification, and installations; modification or development of electrical/electronic research, or otherwise potentially exposed to electrical conduits that present potential shock (contact) or arc hazards (high voltage).

Routinely or regularly

Some work environments create significant noise which may require training, depending on the frequency and intensity of your exposure to it.

If you work in an area where noise is present that causes you to have to shout or raise your voice to be heard at a distance of about 3 feet, this can be considered moderately loud noise, and you should consider your need for training and the possible use of hearing protective devices.

If you work around moderately loud noise is infrequent (for example three or four times per year) and for short periods (for example 30-60 minutes) you probably will not require this training. If you expect routine or regular exposure to such noise, amounting to many hours per year you should select this activity. If you have questions, please call EHS at 2-3477

High degree of repetitive motion or excessive lifting, pushing, or pulling

If your work involves:

  • regular or strenuous movement involving materials handling (such as
  • carrying/lifting/pushing/pulling boxes, bags, equipment, etc.), or
  • routine repetition of a particular motion or set of motions, or
    any other activity which may put you at increased risk of a musculoskeletal disorder (strains, sprains, pulls, etc.)

you should select this activity and enroll in the required ergonomics training. It is a one-time training requirement.

Confined space

Confined space means a space that:

  • Is large enough and so configured that an employee can bodily enter and perform assigned work; and
  • Has limited or restricted means for entry or exit (for example, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, and pits are spaces that may have limited means of entry.); and
  • Is not designed for continuous employee occupancy.

Designated hot work area

Examples of designated hot work areas are welding shops, machine shops, area within a lab or other fixed locations for various types of hot work. A permit is issued by the EHS Office on an annual basis for these areas.

Maintenance and/or servicing

May include workplace activities such as constructing, installing, setting up, adjusting, inspecting, modifying, maintaining and/or servicing machines or equipment, including lubrication, cleaning or unjamming of machines or equipment or making adjustments and tool changes where a guard is removed or exposure to a point of operation or energy is possible.

Potentially Hazardous Energies:

  • Thermal energy. Heat energy; most commonly, steam energy.
  • Hydraulic energy. The energy of pressurized, moving liquids, usually water or oil, in accumulators or lines.
  • Electrical energy. Usually the equipment’s main power source.
  • Chemical energy. Energy created by a chemical reaction between two or more substances.
  • Mechanical energy. Energy created by a machine’s moving parts, like wheels, springs or elevated parts.
  • Pneumatic energy. The energy of pressurized, moving gas, as found in air in tanks and lines.
  • Other/Stored energy. i.e. energy stored in batteries and capacitors.

Note: The operator of said equipment or tools who is not conducting maintenance or servicing does not need to select this activity but should take the LOTO Awareness/Affected Training course.