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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: To Come

File: Safety & Health Policies

Academic Laboratory Safety

Policy Summary

To ensure that risks to personnel health and safety, campus infrastructure and property, and the local environment and community are minimized. 

Policy Owner

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Approval Date

March 22, 2017

Effective Date

March 22, 2017

Search Terms

vpfa, a, l, s, laboratory, safety

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2022

I. Policy Statement

The Laboratory Supervisor is responsible for the health and safety of all persons who handle hazardous chemicals in his/her laboratory. The Laboratory Supervisor may delegate safety duties, however, will remain responsible for ensuring adequate safety performance. The Laboratory Supervisor must:

  1. Know all applicable health and safety rules and regulations, training and reporting requirements and standard operating procedures associated with chemical safety for regulated substances.

  2. Identify hazards in the laboratory/facility which contains hazardous chemicals and determine, implement and enforce proper safety procedures and controls.

  3. Establish safe standard operating procedures, general and protocol-specific, and perform literature searches relevant to health and safety for laboratory-specific work.

  4. Provide prior approval to lab personnel/students for the use of hazardous chemicals in the Laboratory Supervisor’s laboratory/facility.

  5. Consult with Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) and/or Departmental Safety Committee on use of higher risk materials, such as particularly hazardous substances as defined by OSHA, or conduct of higher risk experimental procedures to ensure special safety precautions are taken.

  6. Maintain a current chemical inventory for the laboratory/facility as outlined in the policy on Chemical Safety Storage Guidelines.

  7. Ensure all students/employees under his/her supervision have access to and are familiar with appropriate Chemical Hygiene Plan and any lab safety manual(s).

  8. Train all students/employees under his/her supervision to work safely with hazardous materials and maintain proper documentation of the same.

  9. Promptly notify EH&S and/or Physical Plant should the Laboratory Supervisor become aware that workplace engineering controls and safety equipment become non-operational.

  10. Ensure the availability of all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and the proper maintenance of the PPE. Eye protection is specifically addressed in C.R.S § 22-3-101-104 Eye Protection Devices, and in the ANSI standard ANSI Z87.1-2015.

  11. Conduct periodic self-inspections of laboratory/facility and maintain records of the inspections.

  12. Promptly report accidents and injuries to Human Resources and EH&S. Serious injuries must be reported to EH&S immediately to be compliant with OSHA reporting requirements.

  13. Inform Physical Plant personnel, other non-laboratory personnel and any outside contractors of potential laboratory-related hazards when they are required to work in the laboratory environment.

  14. Identify and minimize potential hazards to provide a safe environment for repairs and renovations.

II. Reason for Policy 

Compliance with Federal and State regulations and mitigation of risk in laboratories.

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: All employees and students

For enforcement of the policy: Director of Environmental Health & Safety

For oversight of the policy: Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Finance and Administration

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Department Chairs of Art, Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics & Engineering and Theatre

IV. Definitions 

    1. Laboratory:  a place equipped for experimental study in a science or for testing and analysis
    2. Laboratory Supervisor:  the faculty or staff member responsible for a particular laboratory
    3. ANSI – American National Standards Institute
    4. OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

V. Cross-Referenced Policies 

    1. ANSI Z87.1-2015, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices
    2. Chemical Safety Storage Guidelines Policy
    3. C.R.S § 22-3-101-104 Eye Protection Devices
    4. 29 CFR 1910.1450 Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories.
    5. Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.1450 – National Research Council Recommendations Concerning Chemical Hygiene in Laboratories.
    6. Fort Lewis College Laboratory Safety and Chemical Hygiene Program
    7. UCLA Office of Environmental Health and Safety: Laboratory Duties and Responsibilities, Principal Investigator (PI) / Laboratory Supervisor.

VI. Consequences of Non-Compliance

The Department Chair in consultation with the Dean will determine appropriate consequences for non-compliance according to the provisions in the Faculty Handbook, Part II, Section 17, "Dismissal and other Disciplinary Actions."  Disciplinary action up to and including termination as described in the Classified Employees Handbook and Exempt Employees Handbook.