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Safety Responsibilities

Responsibility for Safety in the laboratory rests with the Chief Safety Officer (CSO), the Principal Investigator (PI), and the laboratory worker. The UHD President has the ultimate responsibility for the Laboratory Safety program within the University and must provide continuing support for institutional laboratory safety.


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Chief Safety Officer

The Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences shall be the designated Chief Safety Officer (CSO) for all experiments in Natural Sciences. The NS CSO shall provide guidance to the Principal Investigator (PI) on developing and implementing safety plans and for providing technical assistance in developing standard operating procedures related to laboratory safety and emergency response. The NS CSO is responsible for giving prior approval for any operation which presents a foreseeable hazard to any person.


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Principal Investigator (PI)

The CSO shall designate all faculty involved in research as Principle Investigators (PIs). All PIs shall be responsible for developing and implementing a Laboratory Safety Plan for their experiments.  The PI may use the guidelines in this LSM as the basis for their Laboratory Safety Plan.  Supplemental safety information must be added if not covered in this manual. The PI is responsible for the health and safety of all personnel under his/her direction. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing the LSM on an annual basis, ensuring it is continuously updated as to current chemical safety procedures.
  • Monitoring the purchase, use and disposal of chemicals and biological waste used in laboratory procedures.
  • Ensuring all lab personnel and students are properly trained in the use of hazardous chemicals and biohazards.
  • Maintaining documentation of training.
  • Ensuring all personnel and students know and follow the rules of laboratory safety.
  • Ensuring engineering controls are operative and personal protective equipment (PPE) is properly selected, used and maintained.
  • Reviewing specific hazards for each new chemical or biological introduced into the lab and training personnel/students in safe handling of new materials.
  • Ensuring Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are available or immediately accessible online for each hazardous chemical found in the laboratory.
  • Filing written reports with the CSO and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS)  concerning chemical spills, release of biohazards and any accident or injury that occurs in the laboratory.  (Paperwork should be initiated in the NS office.)
  • Ensuring regular laboratory safety and housekeeping inspections are performed.
  • Understanding and keeping up to date with all legal requirements concerning hazardous chemicals and biological hazards.
  • Ensuring laboratory equipment is properly maintained and in good working order.


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All laboratory employees and students are responsible for:

  • Knowing and following the proper safety procedures in the LSM.
  • Reporting all hazardous conditions to the PI.
  • Wearing the prescribed personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Reporting any injury, illness or chemical/biological spill to the PI and/or in NS.
  • Requesting information or training when unsure of how to handle a hazardous chemicals or biological hazards.


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Last updated 11/13/2019 2:45 AM