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Inspection Communication Process

Cornell’s Department of Environment, Health, and Safety works with college, department, and facility staff to perform inspections of campus research areas. Inspections are provided as a service for various stakeholders for improvements relating to compliance and issues that could pose a risk to laboratory personnel, students, support staff, the public, or the University itself. Research areas are subject to various safety standards, regulations, and codes. Accreditation and granting agencies require compliance with state and federal laws.

The process used to communicate improvements is described below, although a University Safety Officer has discretion to take immediate action in unusual circumstances. At each step in the process, efforts will be made to work with the various stakeholders to identify issues that may prevent recommended improvements from being implemented. In the case of infrastructure or facilities-related issues, it is generally enough for a lab to submit a facilities ticket request and provide the request number in the improvement certification. Requests for deadline extensions may be submitted at any time, for example through inspection software, correspondence with the inspector, or an email to

Assistance may be obtained at any time by contacting Please consider EHS a partner and resource.

Initial Notification and Grace Period

Required improvements will be documented in an inspection report delivered to the Principal Investigator (PI) as the individual responsible for overseeing the lab or their designee. A deadline to complete improvements and submit the certification will be specified, which will vary depending on the severity of the risk, but generally could be up to 30 days. A follow-up inspection may be required after improvements have been implemented.


  • Communications concerning required corrective actions identified during the inspection are provided via an inspection report.
  • It is the responsibility of the PI to request an extension from the assigned due date if assigned action requires additional time or resources to correct. 
  • Communications concerning unaddressed required actions will be provided to the PI via direct contact from the EHS inspector and as a report pulled from the inspection software.
  • Overdue action items will be reviewed monthly by EHS and automated reports will be provided to the PI and may include Department Safety Representatives (DSR), College Safety Representatives (CSR) and a department or administrative manager to assist PI with closure.
  • Communications concerning unaddressed required corrective actions may include the Department Chair or Unit Leader and University boards or committees that have authority over the relevant research activities (e.g. IBC, IACUC, IRB, RSC).
  • Unaddressed required corrective actions may be included in reports submitted periodically to college or division administration. Continuity of research, permits, grant certifications, etc., may be impacted.