The University of Iowa

Laboratory Safety Committee

The University of Iowa is committed to fostering the excellence of laboratory safety.  All members of the UI community are required to conduct university operations in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations as well as with University health and safety standards and practices.

Compliance Policy for Chemical and Physical Hazards

Laboratory Safety Committee Charter

Part A. Name and Scope of Committee

The Laboratory Safety Committee (LSC) promotes a safe working environment with respect to chemical and physical hazards in all research and teaching laboratories on campus, as well as shops that support research activities. Chemical hazards include chemical agents or toxins that present a health, physical, or environmental hazard. They include, but are not limited to, carcinogens; reproductive toxicants; chemicals listed as toxic or highly toxic; flammable, air reactive, or water reactive chemicals; corrosive chemicals in concentrations of one molar or greater; and known significant skin or eye irritants. Physical hazards are substances, equipment, or activities that can threaten physical safety. These include, but are not limited to impact (falling objects, explosions); fall hazards; pressure extremes; temperature extremes; noise; vibration; electrical; light; welding; cutting; grinding; and brazing.

Part B. Formation and Membership

  1. The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Institutional Official (IO) have established the LSC, and the IO has the authority to appoint members to the LSC.
  2. The membership of the LSC shall consist of no fewer than 11 voting members, including :
       a. At least one faculty or research staff member from each College with research labs, with expertise in chemistry/chemical safety;
       b. A Graduate Student Representative, with expertise in chemistry/chemical safety;
       c. Staff representation from Risk Management; and
       d. The Chemical Hygiene Officer, Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS).
    Ex-officio members, without voting rights, will include:
        e. IO;
        f. Director, EHS; 
        g. Environmental Safety Program Manager, EHS; 
        h. Fire Safety Coordinator; and
        i. Building Operations and Maintenance Manager, Facilities Management.

Part C. Responsibilities of the LSC

  1. The LSC will develop, recommend, update, and maintain policies and procedures applicable to the chemical and physical health and safety practices at UI in order to promote safe research practices. The LSC will advise the IO regarding compliance with safety related policies. To inform decisions and achieve these goals, the LSC will:
    1. Receive and review summary reports from EHS inspections and incident reports related to chemical and physical hazards.
    2. Review findings of inspection and hazard surveillance programs carried out by authorized EHS personnel and State and Federal Regulatory authorities.
    3. Receive and review reports from EHS as well as receive input from individual faculty and researchers.
    4. Establish and review strategies to ensure ongoing and adequate surveillance, hazard identification, and risk evaluation of laboratory activities related to chemical and physical hazards.
    5. Review annually the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) and other safety guidelines and training programs as necessary, advise the IO regarding its effectiveness, and propose improvements as necessary.
    6. The LSC shall recommend or initiate remedial actions when safe procedures are not followed or when procedures are not in compliance with regulations or the CHP.
    7. Review requests for variances from established campus safety practices and make recommendations to the IO on accepting or not accepting these requests.
  2. The LSC shall base its decisions and actions on applicable regulations and guidance documents including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), American National Standard Institute (ANSI), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Transportation (DOT), and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), The University of Iowa’s Chemical Hygiene Plan, and other documents describing good laboratory practices.

Part D.  Administrative Aspects

  1. The LSC shall meet quarterly to address issues regarding chemical and physical hazards. 
  2. The Chair shall distribute an agenda to all members prior to each meeting.
  3. Administrative support for the LSC shall be provided by the EHS chemical safety staff.  
  4. An LSC meeting shall only be convened when a quorum (greater than 50% of the members) is present.  
  5. All matters requiring a vote by the committee require a simple majority.

Committee membership:

Betsy Stone, Chair, Professor, Dept. of Chemistry
Ethan Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Experimental Therapeutics
Josey Bathke, Chief Risk Officer, Risk Management
Zane Brewer, Design Engineer, Engineering Mechanical Shop
Rick Byrum, Chemical Hygiene Officer, EHS
Erin Feltes, Deputy Counsel, General Counsel
Tammi Goerdt, Education Support Services Manager, Dept. of Occupational & Environmental Health
Colleen Lasar, Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Chemistry
Jennifer Lassner, Associate Vice President for Research
Bruce McAvoy, Fire Safety Coordinator, Department Public Safety
Sara Miller, Research Manager, DOWS Institute- Research
Shonda Monette, Laboratory Specialist, Dept. of Chemistry
Randy Nessler, Core Facility Research Director
Jim Pyrz, Environmental Safety Program Manager, EHS
Beth Rundlett, Associate Professor, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering 
Haley Sinn, Director, EHS
Julie Sychra, Associate Director, Building Operations and Maintenance, Facilities Management


Meetings are held quarterly throughout the year.  For more information regarding meetings, please call or email the EHS Director – Haley Sinn , 319-335-9553.