Every laboratory group on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus is required to have a Laboratory Safety Plan, which must be accessible to all laboratory personnel.
The plan is composed of information relevant to the laboratory's specific hazards and exposure control measures and is used as a training resource and safety reference for laboratory personnel. Development and implementation of a Laboratory Safety Plan will fulfill each laboratory's requirement for a Chemical Hygiene Plan as specified in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulation 29CFR 1910.1450 (OSHA Lab Standard).
The plan consists of an online safety management component and a documented laboratory safety training component. The online component will help create a laboratory’s specific hazard profile and provide a means of managing certain aspects of safety in the laboratory. The lab safety training component will cover various training material that will assist in preparing personnel to work safely in a laboratory.
a. Laboratory Safety Guide
The Laboratory Safety Guide provides baseline safety information and expectation for general laboratory practices on campus. The guide is reviewed annually by DRS and updated as necessary. Therefore, we recommend providing a link to this page to all laboratory personnel to access the most up-to-date version.
b. Online DRS Training
Every researcher is required to complete certain online DRS training modules. Depending on the hazards stated in the DRS hazard profile, certain training modules will automatically be required. There are additional online training modules the Principal Investigator can require of the personnel working in the laboratory. Training is automatically recorded in our database. A printed certificate is not required.
c. Laboratory-Specific Safety Training
Every researcher is required to complete laboratory safety training that covers the laboratory’s safety policies, lab-specific Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), safety guidance documents, and other basic safety information specific to the laboratory hazards. Each lab must have this required lab-specific training developed for the researchers and outline how it will be communicated to the researchers.
Both Online Safety Management and Laboratory Safety Training components should be reviewed annually to ensure the accuracy and efficacy of the information.
OSHA requires that the information within the Laboratory Safety Plan be reviewed and evaluated for effectiveness at least annually.
1. If new hazards are present in the laboratory: develop new policies, SOPs, and training accordingly.
2. Update personnel and hazards profile at the DRS website.
3. Review near misses/incidents.
4. Review lab audit findings.
The annual review should be documented, even if the review determines that no changes to the Laboratory Safety Plan are needed.
Laboratory Safety Audits are performed and documented annually. A Laboratory Safety Audit is an important quality assurance tool to help the PI/supervisor assess the safety of their laboratory and provide information relevant to the annual evaluation of the Laboratory Safety Plan. DRS provides this type of audit and typically arranges audits on a per-department basis. However, individual consultations including auditing of new laboratory groups or new facilities for existing groups can be arranged upon request.
Audit reports from DRS for laboratory groups are viewed and responded to by logging in to the DRS website. The report serves to document findings and provides a record of how the laboratory group addressed the issues. In some situations, there may be mitigating circumstances or risk-based justifications that explain a deviation from an established safety standard or recommendation. In such cases, the response to the audit finding should provide an explanation for the deviation.