Conducting research, both in field or in a laboratory, can pose serious hazards. While doing your undergraduate research, you may use certain instrumentation and materials that may harm you, your subjects and even the environment. Therefore, government agencies and other external entities established mandatory requirements for certain kinds of research. Depending on the type of research, additional formal safety training programs may be required.

Should your research involve the use of chemicals, it is imperative that you refer to your department’s chemical hygiene plan. This includes institution procedures, plans and protective measures to protect everyone involved in the research.

USU’s Environmental Health and Safety Office provides training and safety programs for the following:

Biological Safety: Deals with the safe use of human and animal pathogens, biological toxins, human blood and recombinant DNA on campus. For further information contact Kirt Poulsen at or James Day at or 797-3290.

Environmental Safety: Program designed to keep Cache Valley’s environment clean and safe by monitoring and regulating air and water quality, recycling programs and hazardous waste. For further information contact Eric Jorgensen at or at 797-2856.

General Health and Safety: Basic rules and regulations that help keep the student researchers, maintenance workers, faculty and office staff safe. This includes everything from handling hazardous chemicals, to operating heavy machinery and to working in an ergonomic environment. For further information contact Kirt Poulsen at or at 797-3507.

Industrial Hygiene: The science of anticipating, recognizing, evaluating and controlling workplace conditions that may cause workers’ injury or illness. Industrial hygienists use environmental monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure and employ engineering, work practice controls and other methods to control potential health hazards. For further information contact Rachel Curry at or at 797-7423.

Laboratory Safety: Designed to help scientists use and safely dispose substances that are hazardous or require special handling. For further information contact Rachel Curry at or at 797-7423.

Occupational Safety: Improves the safety of the work environment through the recognition, evaluation and control of hazardous conditions, and complying with regulatory requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and various state and local codes. For further information contact Kirt Poulsen at or at 797-3507.

Radiological Safety: USU is licensed to use radioactive materials and devices by Utah’s Division of Radiation Control. Radiation Safety Program structure and elements can be found in the Radiation Safety Handbook.  For further information, contact John P Jones ( or at 7973514).

Before starting on your research, be sure to contact and address all your queries to the Environmental Health and Safety Office.