Safety FAQ

Energy Technologies Area Safety FAQ

Electrical Safety

Electrical Safety FAQ

  1. How do I get my electrical equipment repaired or modified?

    A: Only Qualified Electrical Workers (QEW) can repair or modify electrical equipment. They have the training and knowledge to perform this type of work safely and within LBNL standards.
  2. How do I request the assistance of a Qualified Electrical Worker (QEW)?

    A: You can request Qualified Electrical Worker (QEW) assistance by going to:
  3. What is a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)?

    A: NRTL listing agencies include but are not limited to: Underwriters Laboratory (UL), CSA Group (CSA), TUV Rhineland (TUV), MET Laboratories (MET), and Intertek (ETL). If there is a choice between a piece of equipment or brand that is available as NRTL vs. non-NRTL, only the NRTL version can be purchased. 

    Some equipment will be marked as “CE” (European Conformity) and/or “RoHS” (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive) only and not include NRTL logos. These are European Union marks and are NOT considered equivalent to NRTL requirements.   
  4. How do I know if my equipment is NRTL listed?

    A: A NRTL listing logo can be found on the equipment data plate. You can request a survey of your equipment by contacting the ETA Safety Manager.
  5. What do I do if my equipment is not NRTL listed?

    A: Your non-NRTL will require inspection. If it passes inspection, a green sticker will be affixed to confirm it is safe to use. If it does not fail inspection or is classified as “conditionally accepted”, it will require repair and reinspection before it can be used. To request an inspection, go to:
  6. What do I do if my equipment fails an electrical inspection?

    A: You will need to have the equipment repaired by a QEW or have the equipment taken out of service and salvaged. For QEW equipment repair requests, go to:
  7. How do I take defective equipment out of service?

    A: Yellow “Defective Do Not Use” tags are available on the label supply bulletin boards in Buildings 30. 62. And 70 or through the ETA Safety Manager. Use a tie-wrap to affix the tag to the plug so the equipment cannot be used. Notify your supervisor and either have the equipment repaired by a QEW or have it salvaged.
  8. What do I do if I receive an electrical shock?

    A: Immediately call 911 and get checked by a medical doctor. This includes shocks from regular 120V outlets and equipment. Do not delay reporting. Get checked right away.
  9. Who do I contact if I have a specific question about electrical work or equipment?

    A: Contact the ETA Electrical Safety Officer (ESO), Howdy Goudey.
Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Preparedness FAQ

  1. What should I do if there is a serious injury, fire, or chemical spill?

    A: Immediately call 911. The fire department will respond. If you are not sure, call 911 just in case. For non-life threatening issues, call X6999 for security assistance.
  2. What should I do if I experience a work related injury?

    A: Go to Health Services at Building 26. You can also call Health Services at X6266. Let your supervisor know you have had an injury. Get your injury checked right away. Don’t wait!
  3. What should I do if the building fire alarms are activated?

    A: Grab your belongings and immediately evacuate the building. Walk, don’t run. Report to the nearest evacuation assembly area (yellow sign) located in the parking lot. A head count will be taken. Report any injuries to the assembly area leader. 
  4. What should I do if there is an earthquake?

    A: DROP, COVER, HOLD ON. Evacuate the building after the shaking has stopped and await further instructions at the assembly area. Report any injuries to the assembly area leader. Stay away from debris, fires, or downed electrical wires. 
  5. How do I obtain training on use of a fire extinguisher?

    A: Only personnel trained in fire extinguisher use should attempt to extinguish a fire. Complete EHS0520 (on-line) and EHS0522 (hands-on) training by going to: Training Course Enrollment
  6. How do I obtain training on first aid/CPR?

    A: LBNL does have first aid and CPR training available. These are 4 hour classroom sessions that you will need to schedule ahead of time. Reserve a slot and complete EHS0116 and EHS0123 training by going to: Training Course Enrollment
  7. How can I become a member of the Building Emergency Team (BET)?

    A: You can become part of the Building Emergency Team! Contact your Building Manager or go to:
  8. What is Lab Alert?

    A: Lab Alert is an app you can add to your phone. This allows you to receive notifications by text message for lab-wide emergencies such as wildland fires, chemical releases, or dangerous intruders. To upload, go to:

Ergonomic FAQ

  1. How do I request an ergonomic evaluation of my work area?

    A: You can request an ergonomic evaluation by going to:
  2. How do I request an ergonomic evaluation of my remote office work area?

    A: You will need several photos of you sitting at your remote office. The evaluation will be conducted by phone or Zoom. You can request an home office ergonomic evaluation by going to:
  3. How should I set-up my laptop for office use?

    A: You should only use a laptop in conference room meetings or travel. For general office use, you should always connect your laptop to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Laptop are not well designed for long term use and can result in serious ergonomic issues. For more information, go to:
  4. How do I obtain ergonomic equipment such as a mouse, keyboard, or chair?

    A: You can find ergonomic supply information by going to:
  5. I need help moving something heavy?

    A: You should submit a Facilities Work Request. Select the “transportation” option. Go to:
  6. Who is the ergonomics advocate for my department?

    A: You can find department ergonomic advocates by going to: Ergonomic Advocate List
  7. How can I find the RSI Guard computer break reminder software?

    A: Go to this link to upload to your computer: RSI Guard Software Upload
Hazardous Materials

Hazardous Materials FAQ

  1. How do I enter a new chemical into the Chemical Management System (CMS) database?

    A: All primary chemical containers and gas cylinders need to be entered into the Chemical Management System (CMS-2) database. Each container is tagged with an identifying RFID tag for inventory tracking. To access the database and find instructions on how to enter a chemical container, go to:
  2. How do I obtain RFID tags for identifying chemical containers in the CMS?

    A: RFID tags are available on the hallway label bulletin boards in Buildings 30, 62, and 70. You can also request them from EHS by going to:
  3. How do I obtain chemical labels for identifying secondary containers?

    A: Secondary container labels are available on the hallway label supply bulletin boards in Buildings 30, 62, and 70. If you cannot find what you need, contact the ETA Safety Manager.
  4. How do I assign a “proxy” for entering chemicals I own into the CMS database?

    A: Proxies have the ability to add and delete chemicals from the CMS-2 database. The chemical owner (Principal Investigator) can give you proxy access. You can also request proxy access by contacting the ETA Safety Manager. 
  5. How do I obtain labels for identifying gas lines?

    A: You can obtain gas line labels through the ETA Safety Manager. Specify the gas names and quantities needed. Gas lines are labeled by hazard in accordance with a specific color coding scheme.
  6. How do I get rid of chemicals I no longer need?

    A: Unwanted chemicals can be disposed of as hazardous waste. Remember to remove each container from the CMS-2 chemical inventory once disposed of. If you have a large number of unwanted chemicals, or are not sure what to do with a particular container, contact the ETA Safety Manager for assistance.
  7. What is a restricted chemical?

    A: Some chemicals and gases are considered to be extremely hazardous and require review and approval by EHS prior to procurement placing an order. There may be additional safety controls needed in order to safely handle the material. There is a list of over 400 chemicals on this list. To find more detailed information, go to:
  8. What is a time sensitive chemical?

    A: Time-sensitive chemicals are chemicals that can develop additional hazards over time, on top of their initial hazards, even if stored and handled properly. Routine use of time-sensitive chemicals at LBNL relies on effective strategies to ensure these chemicals remain safe to handle over their entire lifecycle. To find more detailed information, go to:
  9. How do I label, store and manage my research samples?

    A: It is important that all samples are clearly identified and managed. Refer to the ETA “Sample Management Best Practices” guidelines document located on this website for specifics.
  10. Who do I contact if I have a question regarding the safe use or storage of a specific chemical?

    A: For general questions, you can contact the ETA Safety Manager. For specific or technical questions, contact the LBNL Chemical Safety Officer:
Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste FAQ

  1. How do I obtain a red flammable waste collection can (flam can)?

    A: Flam cans are available through the Waste Management Group. They come in 1, 2.5, and 5 gallon sizes. You can request flam cans by using the following form: Waste Management Group Assistance Request Form
  2. How do I obtain red hazardous waste identification labels?

    A: Hazardous waste labels are available on the label supply bulletin boards located on the Building 30 1st floor, Building 62 3rd floor, and the Building 70 1st floor. You can also request labels directly from the ETA Safety Manager. 
  3. How do I dispose of a full broken glass collection container?

    A: Ensure that the broken glass box is sealed up with duct tape and is identified as “non-hazardous.” The broken glass boxes are disposed of in the regular trash bins outside of each building. Either arrange for the janitors to remove the box for you or take it directly out to the outdoor trash bin.
  4. How do I dispose of a full non-regulated sharps container?

    A:Non-regulated sharps containers are disposed of in designated biohazard waste collection bins. If you do not have access to the biohazard bins (most likely not), then you can request pick-up by using the following form:  Waste Management Assistance Request Form
  5. What is considered a hazardous waste?

    A: Any material you no longer want that is either flammable, corrosive, reactive, toxic, or regulated by the State of California. If you are not sure, always check first with the ETA Safety Manager prior to disposing.
  6. How do I submit a hazardous waste disposal requisition?

    A: You must first complete EHS0604 “Waste Generator” training. This will give you access to the on-line waste disposal requisition system:
  7. Where can I obtain waste collection containers

    A: Other than the red flammable waste collection containers provided directly by the Waste Management Group, it is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain the proper containers for collection of hazardous wastes. These are usually purchased through a lab supply vendor on eBuy. 
  8. How do I establish a Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA) in my lab area?

    A: Establish a location near where the waste is generated. Use a secondary containment tray. Affix a completed yellow SAA label above or on the tray. These are available on the hallway label supply bulletin boards. Use the responsible Principal Investigator’s name as the owner on the label. All waste containers must have a completed red hazardous waste label affixed. Containers must be closed when not in use. Do not store incompatible wastes in the same tray. Wastes should not be accumulated for more than 180 days. Contact the ETA Safety Manager if you have any further questions.
  9. How do I dispose of research samples that are no longer needed?

    A: Samples that are flammable, corrosive, toxic, reactive, or California regulated should be disposed of as hazardous waste. Always dispose of unwanted samples prior to leaving LBNL. Refer to ETA’s “Sample Management Best Practices” guidance document for specifics on how to manage and dispose of samples.
  10. Who do I contact if I have a specific question regarding hazardous waste disposal

    A: Contact the ETA Safety Manager if you have general questions about waste disposal. If you have more specific questions, it is best to contact our EHS Division Waste Generator Assistant: Waste Generator Assistant List
Work Planning and Training

Work Planning and Training FAQ

  1. What is a Work Activity?

    A: A Work Activity is a written document that describes the scope of work, the equipment used, the materials used, along with the hazards and controls associated with the specific work. Personnel that perform this particular task are assigned and authorized by an Activity Lead. Each worker reviews the Work Activity and accepts their responsibilities outlined. Controls such as training requirements are triggered by an assigned Work Activity. To access work activities, go to:
  2. How do I get assigned to a Work Activity?

    A: You can contact the Activity Lead of the specific work activity or the ETA Safety Manager and they can assign you. If you are an Activity Lead, instructions on how to add/remove and authorize workers can be found at:
  3. How do I develop a new Work Activity?

    A: Contact the ETA Safety Manager for assistance. ETA has a specific format for work activities. To get started, the ETA Safety Manager will need to know (1) the title of the project, (2) a description of the proposed work, (3) a list of the equipment used, and (4) a list of the materials used (chemical, biological, radiological). The ETA Safety Manager will draft a work activity for you to review prior to going out for approvals.
  4. How can I modify an existing Work Activity?

    A: Only the Activity Lead or ETA Safety Manager can modify or update the contents of a work activity. If you are an Activity Lead, instructions for modifying a Work Activity can be found at:
  5. What is “opt out” status?

    A: Opt Out status is defined as: The individual does not perform “Work” for LBNL. “Work” includes hands-on activities such as but not limited to laboratory experimentation, machining, writing, reviewing reports, making telephone calls, typing, etc. that are an active and essential part of what the individual produces. Periodically attending classes, seminars or meetings is NOT considered "Work”. Individuals to whom this applies typically do not have LBNL research funding. 

    The worker’s supervisor will need to initiate the “opt out” option in Activity Manager. There will still be institutional training requirements (such as EHS0470 GERT) that results from the individual’s status as a LBNL affiliate. These requirements are not a result of the Work Activity process.
  6. How do I know which training classes I need to complete?

    A: Go to the Berkeley Lab Training website. Once you have logged in, go to the pull down called “training profile.” You will be able to access your entire training history including due dates of any upcoming training requirements. Berkeley Lab Training can be accessed by going to:
  7. How do I get help if I’m having problems completing an on-line training class?

    A: If you are having problems getting through an on-line course or are not receiving credit for a course you feel has been completed, contact the EHS Division training department:
  8. How do I schedule myself for a classroom training class?

    A: Go to the following training website to schedule a classroom course: Training Course Enrollment
  9. Why do I need to complete EHS0470 GERT training?

    A: All personnel are required to complete EHS0470 GERT training every two years. It is an institutional requirement. This includes affiliates, off-site personnel, subcontractors, and those who have “opt out” status. EHS0470 can be completed using either LDAP or non-LDAP access by going to:
  10. How can I get a training course waived?

    A: Some courses that are triggered by a particular work activity can be waived by the Activity Lead or ETA Safety Manager. If you feel there is a training requirement that is not applicable to your work, you can request a waiver. Some institutionally required courses CANNOT be waived. These include EHS0470 “GERT,” SEC0201 “Cyber Security”, SES0505 “Foreign Nationals”, SES200 “Security Awareness” and PSD0135 “Emergency Preparedness”.

    If you are an Activity Lead, instructions on how to waive a training course can be found at:
  11. Where do I find Berkeley Lab’s safety policies and procedures?

    A: Safety policies and procedures are found in either PUB-3000: or the Requirements and Policies Manual (RPM):
  12. What do I need to do when bringing a subcontractor on-site to perform work?

    A: All hands-on work performed on-site by subcontractors must be approved through the use of a Subcontractor Job Hazard Analysis (SJHA). They will also need to complete EHS0470 GERT training. For instructions and submittal of a Subcontractor Job Safety Analysis (SJHA) form, go to: