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Hi -
Does anyone work in a research lab environment? So much of what is out there is geared toward production and larger environments. I am looking for some helpful tips for a lab. Thanks!

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Replies to This Discussion

Nancy,

I am the Facilities Mgr for the PSU Materials Research Institute. We have faculty labs, teaching labs, pure research facilities and shared open user facilities. It is certainly a challenge, but we certainly are doing a great job and have for some time. I am always interested in talking safety with others. Let me know if you have questions...
Hi Joseph,
Thanks for your reply. My biggest challenge is really focusing on what our biggest compliance issues would be. We have a great safety program and have not had any incidents since we've been at this location, but I wonder what would happen in the event of an OSHA audit. What types of things would they look at in a lab environment? We've been audited by a number of agencies so far, so I like to keep on my toes. Thanks again!
Nancy
Nancy,

Some of the top cited violations in the lab are open containers and improper labeling of chemicals including non-labeled items. In addition, proper use of PPE and availability of safety equipment are high as well.

We have our lab managers and staff in tune with the OSHA Lab Standard. We have developed a training powerpoint and incorporate a video by coastal called "Under the Hood". In addition our University EHS department is very proactive on the OSHA regs and require periodic audits of the labs to look for problems. We are developing new training as well because in our environment the lab users are the hardest to manage. Open User Facilities are difficult compared to labs where everyone is an employee.

Do you have a Chemical Hygiene Plan in place? This is very important so that folks using the lab are not confused as to what is required before they can perform their research.

-Joe
Hi Nancy

I have read some of the responses and is in total agreement.
Additionally, I would suggest you refer to your local state or National regulations/legislation to determine
if you firstly satisfy all legal compliances for the lab e.g. if you use low-level Radioactive instruments
is it accredited to a National Radiation body (registration and controlled disposal).

This is what we had to do to ensure staff Health is considered, prior to commissioning of a Radioactive Instrument.... I hope this helps and is clear
Nancy - I get regular mail from a group that may address your question. Have you ever contacted DCHAS-L@LIST.UVM.EDU? Most all the discussion seems to be around lab issues. Hope this helps.

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