Winter

2013

By: K. Lee Stone

 

Lee Stone has a Master's degree in toxicology from Indiana University and is a certified Chemical Hygiene Officer. Lee has served as the Laboratory Safety Manager for the Office of Environmental Health and Safety since 2004.

E-mail Lee Stone at: leestone@iupui.edu

 

 

Laboratory Compliance

You received your Laboratory Safety Survey and you did not get a perfect score, now what do you do? Our Laboratory Safety Survey is intended to provide you with more than just a list of safety issues discovered during the inspection process. The report will also detail any corrective action taken by our staff during the inspection process and provides you with a letter grade for the safety condition of your laboratory.

 

If you receive a report with violations we ask that you respond within two weeks of receipt of the Laboratory Safety Survey by e-mail or in writing how and when the safety issues will be corrected. Most laboratories reply with a simple e-mail to the inspector. Once you have informed us that you have taken corrective action we will consider your laboratory compliant. If you do not reply within two weeks you will be sent a reminder. If you do not reply to the reminder then your laboratory will be required to undergo a mandatory re-inspection to verify the safety issues were corrected. Also, all laboratories that receive a D or F grade will be required to undergo a mandatory unannounced re-inspection.

 

If the safety violations detailed in the Laboratory Safety Survey are not corrected upon re-inspection your laboratory will be deemed non-compliant and will enter disciplinary action level 2. At this level The IUPUI Laboratory Safety Manager will send a letter and copies of inspections and any PI responses to the PI, the Laboratory Safety Coordinator, the Laboratory Safety Committee, and the Department Chair or Director. The letter will give the PI an additional five (5) business days to correct remaining violations and submit written verification after which there will be an unannounced re-inspection of the laboratory to verify corrective action has been taken.

 

If upon re-inspection the laboratory again has not attempted to correct any remaining safety violations the laboratory will enter disciplinary action level 3. The Laboratory Safety Committee will send a letter of non-compliance to the PI, the Department Laboratory Safety Coordinator, the Department Chair or Director, and the head of the college, school, or unit administration. A re-inspection and follow up inspection will be conducted if necessary. Failure of the PI to submit verification of corrections will impact their ability to obtain approvals for permits and grant certifications requiring validation of compliance with applicable state and federal regulations, including Federal Certification of Environmental Compliance. The Laboratory Safety Committee may also seek closure of the laboratory if it remains non-compliant.

 

Our intent is to not shut down research but to ensure all laboratories are brought into compliance with university policy and federal, state and local regulations. I want to thank our laboratory personnel for working with us as we rarely have non-compliant laboratories in the disciplinary action stage which is an indication of the positive safety culture we have on our campus as seen by the increasing number of laboratories we find without violations. I do believe our faculty understands the importance of compliance and how compliance can make their laboratories better.

 

Please continue to work as partners with us in your laboratories and together we can maintain regulatory compliance and create a safe environment for our employees and students to work and learn.

 

Lab Notes is a quarterly publication by the IUPUI Office of Environmental Health and Safety. Lab Notes is designed, edited and published by K. Lee Stone.

"Don't Learn Laboratory Safety by Accident!"