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Laboratory Safety Audits

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
  • 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

 

 

Contact UMBC ESH at esh@umbc.edu or (5-2918) for questions or to schedule a laboratory safety inspection