LDEO Lab Safety Monitoring

Laboratory Inspection System
Version 1.2, June 18, 2003

Purpose:
The purpose of the LDEO Laboratory Inspection System is to enhance safe laboratory work practices within the Lamont research community with the goal to provide a safe work environment for users of LDEO laboratories and to ensure compliance with LDEO, CU, state and federal safety regulations.
It is believed that the staff working in the Observatory’s laboratories will be more likely to get involved with laboratory safety if their peers perform the inspections of the laboratories.

Policy:
The Lamont Laboratory Safety Committee (LLSC) will nominate members of the scientific staff to act as Safety Inspectors for a specified group of laboratories. The Safety Inspectors will physically inspect on a 30-day interval a group of laboratories that are not under their control or the control of a PI that employs them, for safety weaknesses.

Implementation:
The inspections will be based on a “Laboratory Safety Checklist” which is intended to assist the inspections. The checklist is not to be considered all-inclusive and the inspector is expected to make comments about any and all unsafe conditions viewed in the laboratories. For each inspection, the original checklist and additional comments will be sent to the Safety Office. A copy of the checklist and comments will be sent to the PI/employee responsible for the laboratory with a request to remove the observed safety deficiencies.

The Safety Office will retain the checklists and follow up on the reported safety deficiencies with a reinspection of the laboratory. If a deficiency is not corrected after the Safety Office’s reinspection, the Safety Office will inform the Chair of the LLSC. Further noncompliance will result in a report to the Associate Director of the PI’s division. At this point the LLSC will discuss and recommend to the Director of the Observatory actions which might include closure of the laboratory.

In the case that an inspection reveals an immediate severe threat to the health and life of any person working at the Observatory, the Safety Office can temporarily close a laboratory in consultation with the Associate Director of the appropriate division.

The Safety Office will ensure that the safety inspections are performed on a regular and timely basis. The Safety Inspectors will report to the Safety Office. The results of the inspections will be reviewed by the Laboratory Safety Committee.