All researchers must be knowledgeable regarding the risks of working with hazardous materials, processes and equipment to the laboratory worker, campus community and the environment. Researchers generally come to FSU with considerable knowledge regarding the safe conduct of experiments, including knowledge of the risks of hazardous materials gained through prior training and experience. Researchers are also aware that compliance with regulatory agencies is required of all individuals and of the university. In addition, all researchers who are coming from another institution must comply with all shipping regulations for any products, samples, or equipment that they will be bringing to the FSU campus. At FSU, Environmental Health and Safety professionals strive to assist researchers in minimizing risks in the laboratory and maintaining compliance with federal, state and local regulations. This section provides guidance to new researchers regarding EH&S programs which facilitate these purposes.
New Researchers should contact the Laboratory Safety Office at 644-8916 to obtain assistance in safely setting up their laboratories, and to begin the registration processes for work with hazardous materials at FSU. Once a researcher is hired, even if the FSU start date is some months away, he/she may contact the Laboratory Safety Office at 644-8916 to get approvals for research use of pharmaceuticals, biohazardous materials or other regulated materials/work underway, as several months may be required to obtain federal or state approval of some materials and operations. The following list provides a starting point for new researchers who wish to obtain approval for research activities at FSU; however it is recommended that a new researcher contact the Laboratory Safety Office first so that all registrations can be coordinated at once:
Shipping of Chemicals, Samples, and Equipment
Chemicals and some types of samples must be handled for transport as dangerous goods. These are materials or items with hazardous properties, which if not properly controlled, present a potential hazard to human health and safety, infrastructure, and/or their means of transport. Under no exception should a researcher allow a private moving company to pack and transport dangerous goods. If you have materials that need to come to the FSU campus, work with a trained and certified Dangerous Goods transporter through the institution or company you are coming from.
If you are bringing specialized instrumentation or equipment to the FSU campus you are required to properly prepare these for safe transport. This includes decontamination if necessary and hiring appropriate transporters to ensure the safe arrival of the item(s).
Submission of the chemical inventory
In accordance with NFPA and OSHA regulations, all researchers should submit an initial listing of chemical stocks, stock locations, and expected maximum amounts to EH&S. An excel file template is provided at http://www.safety.fsu.edu/forms/cheminv.xls and may be e-mailed to the Laboratory Safety Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chemical inventories should be updated biennially.
Development of a Lab Safety Plan
State and federal laws require that each laboratory have a Chemical Hygiene Plan/Lab Safety Plan. At FSU, each researcher should prepare a Laboratory Safety Plan (See Planning a Safe Experiment) to address the hazards and precautions specific to his or her laboratory. The Laboratory Safety Plan identifies hazards and describes procedures for emergencies, special hazards, and handling hazardous materials. The Plan includes laboratory locations, personnel, procedures, engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and safe work practices. Planning a Safe Experiment includes instructions for the preparation of a Laboratory Safety Plan. PIs must update location and personnel information when changes occur, but at least annually. The FSU Laboratory Safety Manual provides policy information and broad safety guidance. All new researchers should become familiar with the Laboratory Safety Manual. EH&S personnel are happy to answer questions and provide assistance.
Requirements for New Laboratory Personnel in the lab
Hazard Communication/Right-to-Know & Hazardous Waste Awareness training are mandatory for all new laboratory personnel. Lab workers must attend this EH&S training as soon as possible after joining the lab. EH&S also offers training in laboratory safety, radiation safety, blood-borne pathogens, biosafety, and other topics. Lab-specific safety training is the responsiblity of the Principal Investigator. All laboratory workers must be adequately trained and supervised when working with hazardous materials, processes or equipment.
Before beginning work in a laboratory, all personnel should take time to identify the nearest fire alarm, fire extinguisher, safety shower, eyewash station, and spill kit.
The appointment of a Laboratory Safety Manager for your laboratory is recommended in Prudent Practices in the Laboratory (page 17). Many FSU Principal Investigators have assigned safety oversight duties to Post-docs, graduate students or other lab workers to assist the PI in emphasizing the importance of laboratory safety by identifying safety concerns for remediation and reminding lab workers of safety rules. EH&S requests that PI's provide the names of laboratory managers when providing updates for general laboratory personnel. The laboratory safety manager is a valuable asset to the laboratory; however, Principal Investigators are responsible for supervision and oversight of laboratory activities and personnel.