Safety Training Policy


All employees shall complete mandatory safety training classes as determined by their job classification. For assistance in identifying training needs for a particular job classification and the frequency for training, please view our Master Training Class List.

Back to top

Authority and Responsibility

Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:

  1. Providing mandatory safety training classes periodically throughout the year (e.g., monthly, quarterly, semi-annually);
  2. Publishing dates, times and locations at the beginning of each quarter;
  3. Distributing email notifications to Deans and Department Heads at the beginning of each quarter as a reminder;
  4. Providing on-line registration; and
  5. Providing departments with follow-up summaries of employees attending each training class as requested.

Departments are responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that employees receive all required training for their group through the Safety Academy, including new employees;
  2. Ensuring employees attend classes annually for those classes with annual refresher requirements;
  3. Documenting and tracking employee compliance;
  4. Providing department specific training (e.g., laboratory procedures);
  5. Registering employees on-line for scheduled classes; and
  6. Establishing and maintaining a disciplinary action system for employees failing to comply with safety training requirements.

Back to top


The purpose of safety training is to provide the knowledge necessary to perform a job safely by establishing expectations for employees on how to perform job tasks. Knowledge acquired by participation in training is one of the methods used to create an effective safety culture. Failure to participate in mandatory safety training exposes the individual to risk of injury. This not only impacts our ability to conduct our mission, but it also places the University in a state of non-compliance with various safety regulations.

Back to top

Class Offerings

Refer to Class Descriptions.

Back to top

Class Frequency

Initial Training

All safety training required by a specific job classification is considered initial training and shall be completed:

  • When an employee first begins work;
  • When an employee is given a new assignment for which training has not previously been provided;
  • Whenever new hazards are introduced into the workplace by new substances, processes or equipment; and
  • Whenever a supervisor is made aware of a new or previously unrecognized hazard.

Refresher Training

The following safety training classes have refresher requirements:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens (required annually);
  • DOT General Awareness (required every three years);
  • Fire Safety and Evacuation (required annually);
  • Forklift/Power Lift Operation and Safety (required every three years);
  • Hazard Communication (required every three years);
  • Hearing Conservation (required annually);
  • Ladder Safety (required every three years);
  • Lead Awareness (required every three years);
  • Respiratory Protection (required annually);
  • Shipping Potentially Infectious Materials (required every two years); and
  • Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasures Plan (SPCC) (required annually).

Back to top

Level of Training

Safety training takes place on two levels:

  • Level one training is provided by Environmental Health and Safety and includes general information pertinent to University workplace about safety administration, programs and procedures; and
  • Level two training is provided by the principal investigator, lab director or department supervisor and includes specific information pertinent to research groups or trade shops regarding special hazards of their work and specific protocols and procedures to be performed by the individual.

Back to top

Methods of Training

Lecture Based

Environmental Health and Safety provides a number of lecture based training classes periodically throughout the year. These classes are generally held at 6054 S. Drexel Avenue and may be scheduled to take place monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually.

For specific dates, times and locations of each class (available at the beginning of each quarter) and to register for a class, go to The University of Chicago's Training website. At the beginning of each quarter (Winter – Late December; Spring – Late March; Summer – Late June; Autumn – Late September), Environmental Health and Safety shall distribute email notifications to Deans and Department Heads identifying the classes available for that quarter.

To register for a class:

  • Login using your CNetID;
  • Click on the course you would like to attend;
  • Scroll down to view available sections;
  • Click on "Register" below the appropriate section;
  • A registration screen will appear with the course you clicked on the top of the page;
  • If this is the correct class, click "Register";
  • To register for additional course, simply click back on "Safety"; and
  • From the "Registration Complete" screen, you can also view your course schedule which allows you to cancel your classes if necessary.

Online Training

In addition to the lecture based training classes, Environmental Health and Safety also maintains a number of online training courses. These courses are available on the University's Chalk learning management system. To view a list of what courses are available online or to complete a course:

  • Go to:;
  • Login using your CNetID and password;
  • Click on the “Community” link located in the upper right hand portion of the screen;
  • Under the “Safety Training Classes” section on the left side of the screen, click on the training course you would like to complete;
  • Click on the "Learning Module" and select "Slide Presentation" to begin;
  • You may wish to print the training booklet or supplemental reference materials before starting the slide show; and
  • Remember to turn up the volume on your computer speakers to hear the audio.

Back to top

Cancellation Fee

If there are no participants registered for a class, the class will be canceled. All employees must be registered to be able to attend the class. The department is charged a penalty fee of $50.00 for "no shows". The penalty increases to $100.00 for "no shows" of the same training class the second time within one year.

Back to top

Competency Assessment

All employees attending training or completing an online training course shall be required to demonstrate adequate knowledge retention as shown through a learning measurement exercise. Employees not demonstrating adequate knowledge retention shall be retrained and retake the exercise until adequate retention is demonstrated. The passing criteria for the learning measurement exercise is 70 percent.

During inspections, a representative from Environmental Health and Safety has the right to interview employees to determine the adequacy of safety training compliance.

Back to top


All employees attending required lecture based safety training classes shall sign an attendance roster. The information from this attendance roster in conjunction with the learning measurement exercise shall be maintained in a tracking database system maintained by Environmental Health and Safety. Employees or departments can request individual training profiles or department reports by contacting Environmental Health and Safety at 773.702.9999.

Supervisors shall document department specific health and safety training regardless of the style (e.g., classroom-style, video, one-on-one, safety meetings). At a minimum, training records shall include the employee name, job title, supervisor, date, trainer, and training content.

Combined Access Training Tracking System (CATTS) is a University central training data collection system. It is used to record and disseminate all Environmental Health and Safety training activity and requirements for University and Non-University personnel in addition to departmental specific training when utilized by individual departments for tracking training. Using this site, staff will be able to view their entire training profile and print training certificates for Environmental Health and Safety training classes to ensure compliance with training requirements. In addition, Human Resource Administrators may use CATTS to manage training compliance at the departmental level for Environmental Health and Safety training classes in addition to departmental training classes.

Back to top

Performance Standards

Managers and supervisors shall establish and maintain a disciplinary action system for employees failing to comply with safety training requirements. This system shall be utilized to promote positive health and safety practices.

Reviewed: January 2016

Back to top