4.0 Responsibilities

The University is responsible for providing a safe workplace for employees and complying with OSHA regulations. The University has a designated University Chemical Hygiene Officer who is qualified by education and experience to provide technical guidance in the development and implementation of the provisions of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. The University Chemical Hygiene Officer will review this generic plan at least annually and update it as necessary.


Each department is responsible for implementing this Chemical Hygiene Plan (or its equivalent) within their department. The department should assure that Laboratory Units under their administrative control implement the plan at the laboratory level and support this implementation. Generally, one or more individuals in the department provide administrative liaison for EHS by serving as the Department Health and Safety Coordinator.


Principal Investigators, faculty, and laboratory supervisors are responsible for chemical hygiene in their laboratories and must:

  • Possess a knowledge of chemical hygiene plan requirements;
  • Identify hazardous conditions or operations in the laboratory or facility containing hazardous chemicals, determine safe operating procedures and controls, and implement and enforce standard safety procedures;
  • Add laboratory-specific information or amendments to the chemical hygiene plan if they are not already addressed in the general plan;
  • Determine required levels of protective equipment and ensure adequacy of facilities and equipment;
  • Determine if there are chemicals or activities that require prior supervisor approval before conducting experiments and communicate information about these to lab workers;
  • Ensure all lab workers are trained and follow procedures of the plan;
  • Perform periodic reviews of their chemical hygiene program and equipment;
  • Promptly correct problem areas.
  • Maintain a current chemical inventory/list using the EHS Assistant inventory system and;
  • Ensure that the lab has methods to secure the hazardous materials used and stored in the lab.


All laboratory personnel conducting work with hazardous materials or equipment are responsible for planning and conducting all operations in accordance with the chemical hygiene procedures in their respective Chemical Hygiene Plan. Deviation from these procedures requires prior approval from the lab supervisor.  Responsibilities include:

  • Being aware of the hazards of the materials she/he is working with, and handling those chemicals in a safe manner;
  • Developing good chemical hygiene habits (chemical safety practices and procedures);
  • Informing laboratory coworkers of special hazards of materials they may encounter in the lab but are not personally using and for which the user of that material is the most knowledgeable;
  • Reporting unsafe conditions to the Principal Investigator, immediate laboratory supervisor, or the Environmental Health & Safety department;
  • Completing all required safety training;
  • Collecting, labeling and storing chemical hazardous waste properly;
  • Informing visitors entering their laboratory of the potential hazards and safety rules/precautions.


The Environmental Health and Safety Department (EHS) has the following responsibilities:

  • Maintaining the general UI Chemical Hygiene Plan;
  • Consulting and working with Principal Investigators, laboratory employees, administrators, and other employees to develop and implement responsible chemical hygiene policies and practices;
  • Providing chemical safety review and training programs for research laboratories;
  • Providing technical assistance for complying with the Chemical Hygiene Plan, and answering chemical safety questions for employees;
  • Assisting Principal Investigators in the selection of appropriate laboratory safety practices and engineering controls for new and existing projects and procedures;
  • Conducting or overseeing exposure assessments when needed;
  • Administers a Chemical Inventory database program;
  • Administers the chemical fume hood and biosafety cabinet testing programs.


Visitors are considered to be all persons entering a laboratory other than the PIs, laboratory staff, enrolled students and authorized University employees. Visitors to UI laboratories will be under the supervision of the host laboratory. The host is responsible for laboratory security during the visitation, visitor training and notification of potential hazards, and oversight of visitor compliance with applicable safety practices and procedures contained in the Chemical Hygiene Plan.


Students working in research labs are expected to observe all applicable safety practices and procedures contained in the Chemical Hygiene Plan, attend designated training sessions, and report any unsafe or hazardous conditions to the lab supervisor, PI, or EHS.