Laboratory Safety Orientation for External Service Providers

Updated: March 2024

Welcome to the Laboratory Safety Orientation for External Service Providers. The video below provides an introduction and orientation to laboratory safety at the University of Toronto. You may complete the orientation at your own pace, as pause and play features have been enabled.

Note: If you’re having trouble with video playback please attempt the following:

  1. If accessing this site with a U of T VPN, log-off from the VPN and refresh your browser
  2. Try closing and reopening your browser or use a different browser
  3. Clear the cache and cookies and reopen your browser

If you are still unable to view the orientation video, contact your supervisor.

Instructions for UofT Departments (January 29, 2024)

External service providers (e.g., contractors and consultants) are engaged by University departments for a variety of services such as caretaking, equipment repairs/maintenance, design and project management, consulting, etc. In some cases, this means entering active research labs which may contain chemical, biological and radiation hazards. 

For employees of external service providers (i.e., workers not employed by the University), their employer is responsible for assessing hazards and providing training relevant to their role (e.g., WHMIS, basic health & safety training (Ministry of Labour), etc.); however, University laboratory areas where external service providers access may fall under the purview of a UofT research license (biosafety, radiation etc.). In these cases, the University also has an obligation to provide relevant health and safety information to the external service provider (Canadian Biosafety Manual, Section 4.4). To meet these requirements, EHS has developed the above  orientation video entitled “Laboratory Safety Orientation for External Service Providers”. 

Action needed: If your department engages external service providers who perform work in active labs, please provide them with this orientation video and request that all external entities conducting work on UofT premises review this video. Please advise service providers entering lab spaces of this information accordingly. They should be prepared to provide proof of completion if requested (e.g., log of name, signature, date of their employees who have viewed the video). It is also recommended that departments maintain documentation (e.g. email, memo, etc.) that this video has been provided to the contractor/consultant. If you have any questions please contact EHS-biosafety (

As a general reminder, for UofT employees who are not researchers but may enter labs as part of their work, training is provided by their department and/or EHS.   UofT departments are responsible for keeping records of the completed departmental training for those employees. Relevant EHS courses include:

    • -EHS953 Lab Safety Awareness for non-Lab Staff (online)
    • -EHS576 WHMIS for Non-Lab Staff (online)

Both courses and their EHS training records are available through the EHS Training page:  

Please also continue to connect with the designated lab contact to coordinate activities before entering lab areas. If you have any questions, please contact EHS at