Research Area Inspections
Laboratories and other research areas are regulated by OSHA laboratory safety standards and general industry regulations, EPA and DEC hazardous waste regulations, DOH regulations, NFPA fire and life safety standards and building codes. Additionally, accreditation and granting agencies such as CDC, NIH and USFA are increasing scrutiny over researchers and their compliance with state and federal laws. To assist research to be in compliance with these regulations and standards, Environmental Health and Safety requires annual inspections of all laboratories and research areas.
The purpose of the inspections is to assist responsible faculty and staff members in identifying and correcting potential regulatory compliance issues or other issues that could affect granting activities, and to identify potential health and safety hazards that could pose an unreasonable risk to laboratory personnel, students and the campus community. EH&S will schedule inspections by working with Building Coordinators, Department Heads, Department Safety Representatives, Faculty and Staff throughout the Institute.
The Office of Environmental Health and Safety has streamlined its annual Laboratory review process. Some highlights of the changes that will be implemented include:
- The inspection report will be submitted electronically.
- The inspection report will clearly identify who is responsible for correcting deficient items (ie. the researcher, EH&S, and/or the Building Coordinator).
- EH&S inspectors will bring a "tool kit" with them to correct numerous types of deficiencies on the spot during the inspection.
- A corrective action program will be implemented and tracked by EH&S to ensure any potential compliance issues are corrected.
- EH&S will work with and rely on departments to arrange for scheduling of inspections- preferably by building- to ensure an efficient process.
- Research areas will know when EH&S inspections will be occurring in their buildings and are strongly encouraged to conduct self inspections before the inspections by EH&S.
- Training related to the lab inspection process is available upon request to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
The process that will be used for actions and improvements can be viewed here:Corrective Actions Process for Research Area Inspections
All PI's, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to conduct their own self inspections prior to EH&S conducting an inspection of their research area to address any potential issues before the EH&S inspection and to provide a training opportunity for research staff. To facilitate the self inspection process, EH&S is providing laboratories with the following self inspection checklist and explanation key which identify the same topics covered during an EH&S inspection:Self-Inspection Form