Laboratory Safety - Research - University of Southern California

Ed Becker, [email protected]
Basic Steps for New Labs
 Complete forms for protocol and chemical inventory
 Register Staff for Laboratory Safety Training
 Complete an initial Lab Assessment with EH&S
 Schedule Hazardous Materials Collection for the Lab
 Develop procedures for special/high hazard materials
Ed Becker, [email protected]
2 Major Drivers for Change
in Academic Labs
 High Profile Lab Accidents
UCLA (Lab fire fatality)
Yale (Lathe fatality)
Texas Tech (Explosion)
University of Missouri (Explosion, microbiology lab)
 Hazardous Material Security
Ed Becker, [email protected]
What is the faculty's
 A courtroom in California says "Be a manager, go to
 A UCLA professor is now facing criminal and civil
penalties. This professor, Dr. Patrick Harran, faces up to
4 ½ years in prison, if convicted, for not providing
adequate training to Sheri Sangji.
 Sangji had been on the job for three months when she
was given a pyrophoric chemical to handle. A small
amount of the chemical ignited and caught her clothes
on fire. She died nine days later.
Ed Becker, [email protected]
Special hazards require
special training
 Faculty must work with their subordinates to make
sure they understand the risk of each high hazard
Deposition 
Ed Becker, [email protected]
What is a student's
 Can safety be assigned to a graduate student?
 It is commonly done but that assignment won't relieve a
faculty member from his or her responsibility/liability.
 Graduate students are still learning how to do research
and need mentoring
Remember, they are cooks and not chefs
Ed Becker, [email protected]
Look inwardly at our own
 We must continue to take seriously the OSHA
requirement to write standard operation procedures for
particularly hazardous substances, i.e. we need SOP’s
for all high-hazard procedures.
 Don't let students work alone on high hazard processes
Ed Becker, [email protected]
Ed Becker, [email protected]
Important Concepts to
Reinforce in your lab
 Don't let students work alone on high hazard processes
 Provide Lab Coats and PPE to your staff
 Enforce the use of lab coats
 Ensure lab staff is trained
 Conduct / document the annual refresher training
 Correct all inspection findings in a timely manner
 Conduct your own audits and meetings
 Maintain your Chemical Inventory
Ed Becker, [email protected]
 Biological Materials
 Select Agents
 Dual Use Research
 Chemicals
 Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism (Total Bldg. Quantities)
 Chemical Precursors
 Controlled Substances
 Radioactive Materials
Ed Becker, [email protected]
 Memo – Annual Laboratory Refresher Training
 Memo – USC Laboratory Safety Awareness
 Summary of Emerging Hazmat Security Issues
Ed Becker | Executive Director EH&S
Division of Career and Protective Services
University of Southern California
3434 South Grand Avenue | CAL 120-F
Los Angeles, California 90089-2815
Office: (213) 740-0720 | Cell: (213) 923-3915
email: [email protected]
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