Berkeley Lab

Safety Resources


Specific information about chemicals can be found in the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Several links to MSDS databases and other chemical information resources can be found in Berkeley Lab’s ES&H Manual here. Also check out transportation and shipping of chemicals here.

Environment/Health/Safety Division

The Environment/Health/Safety (EHS) Division helps Berkeley Lab staff perform their work safely and in an environmentally sound manner. The division also provides staff with access to essential services in a variety of areas, incl. environmental services, waste management, and health services. The EHS website offers important information, including a helpful EHS A-Z index.

Electrical Safety

All employees of Berkeley Lab, participating guests, students, and all subcontractors working at the Lab must comply with the requirements in the ES&H Manual – Electrical Safety. The Lab’s Electrical Safety Group’s homepage is a one-stop shop for your Electrical Safety needs.


The Environment/Health/Safety (EHS) division offers an Ergonomics Program with ergonomic training, assessments, and many resources. Among many areas, it addresses ergonomics risks in the laboratories.

JHA and Work Planning & Control

Work Planning and Control (WPC) is a program to implement integrated safety management (ISM) at Berkeley Lab, a new system for planning and executing work safely. The Lab is currently transitioning to this new process, replacing the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) process and several other formal authorizations e.g. AHD, BUA. The ultimate completion goal is September 2015. The purpose of the WPC Program website is to keep everyone at Berkeley Lab connected with the latest program information and resource tools. It includes many quick how-to videos and tips sheets, FAQ, and contact information.

Manual Berkeley Lab Safety

The ES&H Manual (formally PUB-3000) is Berkeley Lab’s safety publication.

Radiation Protection

The Lab’s Radiation Protection Group (RPG) provides radiation safety-related technical assistance to the Lab community to ensure that all work is performed safely, efficiently and in compliance with applicable regulations and guidelines. Visit their website here.


Most Environment/Health/Safety (EHS) training courses are available online and accessible via the general Berkeley Lab Training website. Access your “LBNL Training Profile” using your Berkeley Lab ID (LDAP); it also provides quick access to courses.

Transportation and Shipping

Transporting and shipping hazardous materials can be dangerous, but both activities can be done safely. Go to the EHS website here for items subject to some transportation or shipping restrictions, how you can safely (and legally) transport them, and resources available to you.

Work Authorizations and Permits

All work at Berkeley Lab (LBNL) must be authorized or permitted. The most basic authorization that is required for all employees, affiliates and students is the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA). There are other authorizations required in addition to the JHA depending on the work you do, and there are a handful of activities that require a permit.

IMPORTANT: Before drafting a JHA, talk to your supervisor or work lead and ask if this is the right system to analyze and authorize your work as Berkeley Lab is currently transitioning to a new authorization process called Work Planning and Control (WPC). Your supervisor or work lead may decide this new proces is a better choice for you.

An overview of work activities that require formal authorization or permits beyond the Job Hazard Analysis can be found in the the Berkeley Lab safety publication (ES&H Manual) here. For your convenience, links to the applicable databases or resources are provided below. For assistance, contact Division Safety Coordinator Shraddha Ravani.

Work Authorizations

*These work authorizations will be replaced in the future as the Lab is transitioning to the new Work Planning and Control process.

Activity Hazard Documents (AHDs)*
AHDs are required for most high risk work activities. The Life Sciences Division has very few AHDs.
From this web link, PIs and work leads can: start a new AHD; add or remove workers on the authorizations; add or remove biological training courses for individuals; approve AHDs.

Biological Use Authorizations (BUAs, BURs, BUNs)*
From this website link, PIs and work leads can: add or remove workers on the authorizations; add or remove biological training courses for individuals; make changes room locations.
An authorization is required for most work with biological material. Contact Vivian Xian with EHS to create a new authorization.

Job Hazard Analysis (JHAs)*
JHAs and Work Groups can be created and edited from this link.

Radiation Work Authorizations (RWAs)
All persons working with radioactive materials must be on an authorization (ES&H Manual). There is no database for these authorizations; to create a new authorization, add personnel, change locations, etc., contact the Radiation Protection Group directly.

Subcontractor Job Hazard Analysis (SJHAs)
A SJHA is required for all “hands-on” work performed by subcontractors/vendors. From this link, you can: create a new SJHA; modify an existing SJHA including adding new workers; search for GERT compliance for subcontractors.

X-Ray Use Authorizations (XAs)
All persons using an X-Ray must be on an authorization (ES&H Manual). There is no database for X-Ray Authorizations. To create a new X-Ray authorization, contact the Radiation Protection Group. To add or delete personnel, contact the X-Ray System Supervisor.

Work Permits

Electrical Work Permit
In very few cases, we may need an energized electrical work permit. Contact Division Facility Manager Peter Marietta for any work that might involve worker exposure to live, energized sources above 50 volts.

Hot Work Permit
Hot work permits are required (ES&H Manual) for hot work like welding (not for hand held soldering or Bunsen burner use). Contact Peter Marietta for more information.

Lockout Tagout Permit (LOTO)
In very few cases, we may need a LOTO permit. This is only required when a person is servicing a piece of equipment where the inadvertent start up of the equipment may cause injury to persons working on the equipment. Contact Peter Marietta if a LOTO permit is needed.

Work by Outside Service Vendors

On-site set-up, maintenance or repair work on Life Sciences Division equipment by outside service techs requires the preparation of a special Job Hazard Analysis prior to the start of the work. The Subcontractor Job Hazard Analysis (sJHA) form must be sent to the contractor by the requestor, to be filled out and returned prior to their scheduled visit. The sJHA is then sent to the Division Safety Manager Peter Marietta for approval. A visit between the requestor, service tech and Peter takes place on the day of the visit before work is authorized.

Life Sciences Division staff should contact Peter as soon as a service call is needed to insure that this process is promptly and correctly carried out. This is especially important for work that exposes the repair worker to energized circuits, radiation, or lasers. Safety requirements in this work can require additional documentation.

Further information, and a copy of the sJHA form, can be obtained on-line here.