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Environmental Health & Safety


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  2. As noted in Section II RESPONSIBILITIES, the Principal Investigator / Supervisor and their Laboratory Safety Officer (LSO) or Laboratory Managers direct the activities in laboratories and have a principle role in maintaining safe lab operations.  In 2014, the Laboratory Safety Unit implemented an integrated laboratory inspection program, combining chemical and biological issues, to maintain a high level of safety in laboratory spaces.

    1. Purpose and Scope
    2. In the past, inspectors from the IBC and Occupational Safety completed separate laboratory inspections. Starting January 1, 2015, a single inspector has been assigned from the Laboratory Safety Unit to complete a single comprehensive inspection for your laboratory and to act as a liaison between EH&S and your laboratory.  This lessens the time spent by lab members escorting the inspectors and lessens the confusion as to which inspection is being done.  This new format will also establish a single point of contact for each lab group with EH&S.

      Both research and clinical laboratory personnel should view these inspections as an opportunity to raise awareness in health and safety issues in their laboratories, implement safe work practices in their laboratories, to better understand regulatory obligations, and to minimize workplace hazards.  They should never be viewed as a means of disciplining or penalizing laboratories.

    3. Implementation and Frequency
    4. The inspector assigned to a department will normally inspect all labs and lab support locations in that department.  The inspector will audit the facility, as well as review the hazards materials (e.g., biological agents, chemicals/drugs), protocols (Standard Operating Procedures), training, fire safety, electrical safety, emergency management, waste disposal, and any physical hazards (e.g., UV lights, noise, temperature) that might be present.

      Both clinical and research laboratory locations will be inspected annually.  Based on the risk assessment for the locations and any requirements by the oversight committees or federal mandates, the intensity of the inspection will be adjusted accordingly.

      The Laboratory Safety Unit staff member (the inspector) assigned will contact the PI/supervisor, LSO/manager, and or administrator by email or phone, provide the check list that will be used for the inspection, schedule the inspection (providing the date and approximate time of the survey).  Laboratory personnel can use the check list any time to review recommended safe work practices and to correct any issue found prior to the inspection.  Starting in 2015, the forms used for the inspections will be available through Chematix.

    5. Inspections and Reports
    6. Either the PI/supervisor or the LSO/manager should be present for the inspection to show/provide documentation of training and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to the inspector.

      Any problem will be reported by email to the PI/supervisor as well as the LSO/manager for corrective actions.  During the inspection, the laboratory staff is encouraged to correct any minor issues immediately.  The electronic inspection report will note any corrective actions were already completed and will list a deadline for correcting problems.  Either the PI/supervisor or the LSO/lab manager is to send an electronic response to the inspector to document the actions taken to correct the identified problems.  For maintenance or Facility issues, a work order number will suffice.

    7. Escalation of Problems
    8. The expectation of the lab inspection program is to maintain a high level of safety in University laboratories.  Non-correction of identified problems could place those in the lab at risk of exposure or injury.

      Those problems which are not corrected as well as those problems that recur will be reported to the PI/supervisor, the LSO/Lab Manager, as well as the department chair/unit head.  An unannounced repeat inspection may take place approximately 30 days after the inspection report is issued.  Any remaining issues noted during this repeat inspection will then be reported electronically to the PI/supervisor, LSO/Lab Manager, the Department Chair/Unit Head, as well as the applicable Dean for action.  The intention is a clear time-line with expectations and consequences should the problems not be met.

QUESTIONS or COMMENTS? Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 7/30/2015. Disclaimer.