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1.2.4 Principal Investigators, Faculty, and Laboratory Supervisors

Principal Investigators, faculty, and laboratory supervisors are responsible for laboratory safety in their research or teaching laboratories. In addition to the responsibilities outlined within the Environment, Health and Safety Policy 8.6, the laboratory safety duties of Principal Investigators, faculty, and laboratory supervisors (which can also be delegated to other authorized personnel within the laboratory) are:

  • Implement and communicate the Environment, Health and Safety Policy 8.6 and all other University safety practices and programs, including the guidelines and procedures found within the Laboratory Safety Manual, in laboratories under your supervision or control. 
  • Establish laboratory priorities, objectives and targets for laboratory safety, health and environmental performance. 
  • Communicate roles and responsibilities of individuals within the laboratory relative to environmental, health, and safety according to this Laboratory Safety Manual. 
  • Conduct hazard evaluations for procedures conducted in the laboratory and maintain a file of standard operating procedures documenting those hazards. 
  • Ensure that specific operating procedures for handling and disposing of hazardous substances used in their laboratories are written, communicated, and followed and ensure laboratory personnel have been trained in these operating procedures and use proper control measures. 
  • Attend required health and safety training
  • Require all staff members and students under their direction to obtain and maintain required health and safety training commensurate with their duties and/or department requirements.
  • Participate in EHS Research Area Inspections with their laboratory employees or designate someone in the laboratory to conduct these inspections.  
  • Ensure that all items identified during annual EHS research area inspections are corrected in a timely manner.  
  • Ensure that all appropriate engineering controls including chemical fume hoods and safety equipment are available and in good working order in their laboratories. This includes notifying EHS when significant changes in chemical use may require a re-evaluation of the laboratory ventilation.  
  • Ensure procedures are established and communicated to identify the potential for, and the appropriate response to accidents and emergency situations.  
  • Ensure that all incidents and near misses occurring in their laboratories are reported to their Director or Department Chairperson and/or Department Safety Representative and that a written Injury/Illness Report is filed with EHS for each injured person.  
  • Ensure laboratory personnel under your supervision know and follow the guidelines and requirements contained within the Laboratory Safety Manual.  
  • Follow the guidelines identified within this manual as Principal Investigator and laboratory supervisor responsibilities. A compiled version of these responsibilities can be found in the Appendix C.  
  • Notify EHS before retiring or leaves the University and ensure proper laboratory decommissioning occurs. For more information, see the Lab Decommissioning Process and Checklist in Appendix E. 
  • Keep EHS, the Department Safety Representative, Department Chairperson informed of plans for renovations or new laboratory construction projects.  
  • Ensure that research areas under their supervision are registered using HASP in a timely manner upon notification by EHS and updated annually.