Abstract In academia, a successful laboratory safety program is not based upon an annual laboratory inspection or training event. A successful laboratory safety program is an ongoing activity that involves the daily commitment of everyone in the facility to ensure a safe and healthy environment in which to teach, learn, and perform research. Successful safety programs are based upon a compendium of factors. Based on my experience as a Safety Director, I have identified several elements that combine to create an effective laboratory safety program. This paper will discuss the following laboratory safety program fundamentals: Safety Leaders, Safety Documents, Chemical Management, Facilities Management, and Safety Activities.