The Occupational Health and Safety Program applies to all areas and departments at MBL which includes:  research departments, educational courses, Marine Resource Center, and Animal Care Facility.  Departments and Centers at MBL will provide facilities and equipment that meet Federal, State, and Local health, safety, and environmental laws and regulations, and will promulgate appropriate policies, standards, and procedures for governing MBL’s health and safety programs.

The risk-based Occupational Health and Safety Program is overseen by the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) and Human Resources. EHS has front line responsibility for promotion of a safe and healthful environment across the MBL, and does so through development and implementation of health, safety and regulatory compliance programs and procedures including inspections, training programs, emergency response actions and accident investigations. EHS is supported through a collaborative approach involving researchers, MBL veterinarian, animal care staff, Human Resources, and outside occupational health professionals to ensure compliance associated with occupational risks. The program for risk assessment, hazard identification and hazard mitigation is based on a combination of institutional standards for laboratory facilities.


2.1 Environmental Health and Safety Manager is responsible for:

  • Developing and updating programs;
  • Perform annual review of programs;
  • Coordinate appropriate training for all departments at MBL;
  • Record training and maintain roster on file;
  • Investigate accident / injuries;
  • Recommending corrective action and control measures;
  • Perform annual inspections for each department; and
  • Conducts risk assessment.

2.2 Departments are responsible for:

  • Providing specific training to personnel;
  • Verify personnel partake in required safety training;
  • Ensures compliance within department to adhere to policies; and
  • Implementing corrective action plans.

2.3 Employees are responsible for:

  • Participating in mandatory training;
  • Wearing appropriate personal protection equipment;
  • Following MBL policies; and
  • Contacting Supervisor / Environmental Health and Safety when new hazards present themselves.


Occupational health aims at promoting and maintaining the highest degree of physical well-being of workers in any occupation at MBL. The following policies and programs will assist in reducing and/or eliminating exposure risks:

  • Occupational Health Program for Animal Handlers
  • Ergonomics
  • Hearing Conservation
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Personal Protective Equipment (as defined in applicable program)
  • Respiratory Protection Program

Please reference the current version of applicable document for specific information on the program.  Contact Environmental Health and Safety at x7424 or safety@mbl.edu for training or with any questions.


Occupational safety is concerned with risks in areas where people work and aims at minimizing or eliminating hazardous conditions that can cause bodily injury. The following policies and programs will assist in maintaining a safe environment:

  • Chemical Hygiene Plan
  • Hazard Communication Program
  • Biological Safety
  • Confined Space Program
  • General Electrical Safety Policy
  • Fall Protection Program
  • Lockout Tagout Program
  • Machine Guarding
  • Forklift Safety
  • Ladder Safety
  • Fire Safety and Evacuation
  • Radiation Safety
  • Laser Safety

Please reference the current version of applicable document for specific information on the program.  Contact Environmental Health and Safety at x7424 or safety@mbl.edu for training or with any questions.


Medical evaluation and preventive medicine strategies for personnel is provided through contracted services with occupational medicine provider. For employees handling animals, medical evaluation will include allergen screening and tetanus vaccinations through the MBL’s contract provider or as provided with evidence through their health care provider. Tetanus vaccination is among the immunization requirements for all individuals handling live animals.   Medical clearance records are kept on file by Human Resources.  All medical records are confidential.

All laboratory personnel who have been or believe they may have been exposed to a hazardous chemical have the right to receive an employer provided medical examination. This examination is at no cost to the employee or student.

Exposure monitoring is supported by the EHS Office.  The use of certain chemicals may require periodic exposure monitoring.  Also some medical conditions will warrant exposure monitoring.  Employees are given the right to observe the testing, sampling, monitoring, or measure of employee exposure as well as given the opportunity to review the results and discuss them with a medical professional.  See the Chemical Hygiene Plan for additional information.


The MBL’s Security Team are trained in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. In the event of a medical emergency, security will respond to the scene and assess the situation, and as appropriate provide transportation, or summon an ambulance for transport for treatment.  For workplace injuries, the MBL utilizes local urgent care facilities for non-life threating injuries and Falmouth Hospital Emergency Department for an immediate medical emergency or after hour treatment.  At MBL, first aid kits are readily available in each building.  In addition, automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are strategically available in the front entrances of five buildings spread across MBL.

All incidents involving bodily injury must be reported to their supervisor immediately and complete a MBL Incident Report Form. The supervisor must notify Human Resources within 48 hours of the injury with submittal of the report. Along with Environmental Health and Safety, the supervisors are responsible for investigating all accidents, determining the cause of the accident, implementing corrective measures, and following up to ensure corrective measures are adequate.


Any required Occupational Health and Safety training will be provided to personnel prior to commencing with applicable work; before working with newly introduced hazards; before use on new or altered equipment; and when any changes are made to department specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or MBL policies and programs.

EHS will coordinate training for new employees which will include Fire Safety and either Chemical Hygiene Plan Training (laboratory personnel) or Hazard Communication Plan Training (non-laboratory personnel). Additional training will be dependent on job responsibility which may include programs listed in the Occupational Health or Occupational Safety sections of this document. Department Manager/Supervisors are responsible for the appropriate training of their personnel.  For training frequency, see program document for requirements.