University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - EHS Laboratory Review

Article published in the May 2019 newsletter

To improve laboratory safety outcomes and communication, the EHS laboratory safety review procedures will be updated over the next few months.

Change ahead sign

The laboratory safety review procedures will include the following changes:

  1. In case of safety concerns not resolved at the time of the annual safety review and/or lab safety round, a 30-day follow up meeting of EHS Safety Advisors with the Principal Investigator/laboratory safety contact will be scheduled to ensure that any outstanding safety/regulatory concerns have been addressed.  If applicable, the Principal Investigator/lab contact can send proof of resolution to their Safety Advisor during those 30 days and if all concerns are resolved before the follow-up meeting, the meeting can be canceled.
  2.  At the end of the calendar year, EHS will compile a report of all safety/regulatory concerns that were noted during the annual safety reviews and/or lab safety rounds. The report will detail each Principal Investigator, safety deficiencies, and whether the deficiency was corrected or remained outstanding after the 30-day period. EHS will provide this report to the relevant Health & Safety Coordinator(s), DEOs/Directors, Risk Management, and the Office of the Vice President for Research. 

 

A recent audit of EHS identified deficiencies in the follow-up to lab safety rounds, which could result in research personnel underestimating the risk associated with safety issues and the need to promptly address them. The updated EHS process is expected to improve the timely resolution of safety/regulatory concerns and to better communicate these concerns to departmental and collegiate leadership.

A full description of the annual lab review process and lab safety rounds can be found on EHS’s website under Lab Audit/Safety.