Health and Safety


The Environmental Health and Safety office provides advice, training and technical support for laboratory safety.

The Hazardous Waste Management office provides guidelines for the appropriate handling and disposal of hazardous waste.

Pandemic Resources - please view this page, during these challenging times.

Laboratory Safety

All faculty, staff and students working in laboratories are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities under McGill's health and safety policies and procedures.

To achieve this, new laboratory personnel can review the Laboratory Safety Orientation and the Laboratory Safety Orientation Checklist, which outline laboratory safety procedures.

The Environmental Health & Safety office has also prepared a New Principal Investigator Orientation for newly appointed professors.

Laboratory personnel may also wish to consult the Laboratory Safety Manual for a detailed guide on working safely in a laboratory.

Asbestos Regulations

The Stewart Biology Building has asbestos insulation on the main beams above the ceiling tiles. Asbestos can cause health problems if inhaled for a long period of time. It is safe as long as the ceiling tiles are between you and the real ceiling. The McGill tradesmen are trained and equipped to work safely, but independent contractors may not be.

Consult the Asbestos Policy and the Asbestos Incident Response Protocol to learn more about McGill University's standards regarding the management and treatment of asbestos.

Biology Safety Committee

Dr. Monique Zetka

Chair of Safety Committee

Office: Stewart Biology Building, W5/1 | Phone: 514-398-3956 | Email: monique.zetka [at]

Carole Smith

Building Director

Office: Stewart Biology Building, N8/10 | Phone: (514) 398-6406 | Email: carole.smith [at]

Chemical Inventory

McGill laboratories are required to prepare and maintain a Chemical Inventory that is updated annually.

The myLab portal allows laboratory personnel to view and update their Chemical Inventory and access electronic Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

The myLab Project Team can import existing chemical inventories stored in Excel spreadsheets to the myLab system. The Project Team will also assign electronic Material Safety Data Sheets to each imported inventory item.

If you do not have an existing chemical inventory in Excel format, you may use the template available on the Environmental Health & Safety website. Consult the Chemical Inventory page for guidelines on preparing your chemical inventory and ensuring that you have provided all the necessary information.

A Principal Investigator can request access to myLab for new laboratory personnel by contacting the Hazardous Materials Officer, Parisa Parang at parisa.parang [at]

For additional support, questions or feedback, contact the myLab team at mylab.ehs [at]

Handling, Storage & Disposal

Handling and Storage


Courses & Training

WHMIS Training

The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) Training is mandatory for all staff and students required to handle and store controlled products such as hazardous materials. The certificate is valid for 3 years.

Biosafety Training

Biosafety Training is necessary for personnel required to handle and/or store biohazardous materials or bloodborne pathogens. The Environmental Health and Safety office offers 2 types of biosafety training: Introduction to Biosafety and Safe Use of Biological Safety Cabinets.

Radiation Safety Training

Radiation Safety Training is required for personnel working with or in an area where radioisotopes are present. The Environmental Health and Safety office offers 3 types of radiation safety training: The core course for first time users of radioactive materials called Principles of Laboratory Radiation Safety, the refresher course for users with expired radiation safety certificates called Radiation Refresher Safety Course, and the Radiation Module for myLab Training.

First Aid Training & Practice

The Environmental Health and Safety office offers several types of First Aid Training: First Aid in the Workplace (designed by the Government of Quebec), Heart Saver (organized by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Quebec) and MSERT Red Cross (prepared by the McGill Student Emergency Response Team). The Environmental Health and Safety office also organizes Supervised Practice Sessions upon request.

First Aid Training for Fieldwork

The General Wilderness First Aid Course can be made available upon request and is usually hosted by the Department of Geography. If you are interested, contact Paula Kestelman at paulak [at]

Training for Work with Live Animals

The University Animal Care Committee (UACC), in conjunction with the Office of the Vice Principal (Research and Innovation), offers training in animal use for research and teaching.

Anyone listed in an Animal Use Protocol form is required to successfully pass the test for the THEORY course. The participant will need to know the material covered on the UACC website and successfully pass a multiple choice test.

In addition, anyone handling live animals is required to successfully pass the PRACTICAL course (workshop) specific to the species he/she intends to work with. The participant will be asked to perform the procedures covered in the workshop and to pass a 10 multiple choice test at the end of that workshop.

Visit the UACC website to learn more about the ethical standards and best practices applied in animal research and how these are addressed through the theoretical and practical course modules.

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