The UMBC office of Environmental Safety and Health conducts annual safety audits of research laboratories to supplement the peer inspections conducted by teams from nearby laboratories as well those inspections conducted by regulatory entities. These assessments include checklist-based general observations as well as a more targeted review of particularly hazardous processes as identified by the representatives of the laboratories, departments, schools, and ESH. The UMBC laboratory safety audit program is continuously updated in order to closely align with the diverse research conducted on campus, a blank copy of the most current laboratory safety audit checklist can be found here. Laboratory safety audits are typically conducted annually but additional audits may occur for research laboratories that pose specialized hazards. It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator or responsible party assigned to the laboratory space to address any deficiencies noted during a laboratory safety audit. By not addressing issues outlined in a laboratory safety audit, laboratory personnel may increase personal liability as well as the liability to UMBC. Listed below are some commonly cited findings as well as some helpful resources that can assist personnel with corrective actions.
Common citations and corrective actions
- Absent, illegible, or inappropriate laboratory door sign.
- Apply for a door sign here
- Chemical inventory not up to date or missing.
- Email email@example.com a copy of your laboratory chemical inventory quarterly, a blank template can be found here
- Chemical inventories can also be generated using MSDS online. Simply export an excel sheet of selected SDSs and add the relative quantities of each chemical, refer to How to Create a Chemical Inventory Utilizing MSDS Online for instructions.
- Eyewash stations, if present, are not tested weekly.
- Record weekly eyewash station tests on a log such as the one found here
- Improperly labeled waste containers
- Porous/cloth chairs in a biological laboratory
- Replace with a non-porous style chair or cover chair with a non-porous material so it can be easily decontaminated. Implementing a standard operating procedure that requires laboratory personnel to contact ESH if a porous chair is contaminated is a suitable alternative to replacement.
Other Helpful Resources
- Chemical Incompatibility Sheet
- P-List Chemical Sheet
- Common Peroxides
- Chemical Segregation
- Common Water Reactive Chemicals
- UMBC Audit Findings and Corrective Actions
Contact UMBC ESH at firstname.lastname@example.org or (5-2918) for questions or to schedule a laboratory safety inspection