Laboratories present workers with a number of hazards, some of which are found naturally in the environment, such as frequently studied biological microorganisms and chemicals stored and used in dangerous quantities.
Others are specific to mechanical equipment used in research settings, such as lasers, radiation and ultra-centrifugation.
The nature of performing research in a laboratory is to confine these hazards to a single space where safety measures can be implemented to protect those authorized to perform work in this environment.
The goal of the safety program implemented for researchers and labs, outlined in the Laboratory Safety Plan (LSP), is to minimize research-associated risks and provide training necessary to promote a safe working environment, in addition to reducing any negative impact on the environment.
In addition to the LSP, each laboratory is required to retain a completed Laboratory Safety Plan Supplement (LSPS) that contains laboratory-specific content, including chemical storage locations, emergency contacts and meeting locations, the annual self-assessment form and more. The LSP and LSPS must be available to all lab personnel. This can be done through hard copies, or electronic means such as emails, CDs, flashdrives, or online file sharing.
EH&S categorizes research safety into four categories:
Within each category, instructional guidelines, useful documents and links to additional resources are available to address safety regulations and promote laboratory safety.
Furthermore, the UC Office of the President (UCOP) has developed various electronic tools, accessible throughout the UC system, to promote effective safety management. In addition to addressing the responsibilities surrounding research safety, EH&S strives to continuously improve its safety programs to suit the needs of researchers and present streamlined procedures based on the latest policies, while remaining dynamic in our efforts to ensure the safety of all individuals conducting research. Feel free to contact EH&S via email or phone if you have additional comments and/or concerns.