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Roles and Responsibilities of a Lab Safety Officer

Each active laboratory at the University of Minnesota must have a Lab Safety Officer (LSO). The LSO is recommended to serve for 2 years and acts as a resource for ensuring safe practices in the lab. Larger groups may have more than one LSO if needed in order to fulfill all duties.

 

LSO Responsibilities with JST

1. LSOs may be assigned to serve on a committee (Analysis and Compliance, Education and Resources, or Public Relations) for 1 semester [January – June or July – December]

2. LSOs must attend all JST meetings and LSO trainings

3. LSOs must participate in lab walkthroughs once every semester

Note: (*) If the LSO does not attend their assigned committee meetings: $40 is deducted from their stipend for every meeting they miss along with the additional actions shown in the table below

 

LSO Misses Meeting Action
  • First Offence
  • Second Offence
  • Third Offence
  • Final Offence
  • JST notifies the LSO about their absences
  • JST notifies the PI and LSO about their absences
  • JST notifies their Department Head, PI and LSO about their absences
  • LSO does not receive the $200 stipend and PI needs to assign a new LSO
  •  

    LSO Responsibilities with their Research Group:

    Considering the large amount of responsibilities expected to keep research laboratories in safe and operational conditions, the LSO can divide up some of these tasks to other members in your research group. However, it is the LSO's responsibility to ensure that each task is being completed in a timely manner.

    1. Perform weekly checks of all eyewash stations

    2. Inspect your research group laboratories for PPE compliance and proper chemical storage

    3. Maintain and restock first aid kits and spill kits when needed

    4. Maintain proper lab signage related to emergency contact information

    5. Maintain yearly safety training records of all personnel working in your PI's research group

    6. Assist in writing/evaluation Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) with your PI

    7. Be able to identify locations of safety equipment in each laboratory (Safety showers, eyewash station, first aid kits, fire extinguishers, spill kits, etc.)

    8. Be familiar with hazardous waste requirements and storage. LSOs are not responsible for packaging and disposal of waste, unless appointed by their PI

    9. Be familiar with how to fill out a Learning Experience Reports (LERs) and encourage your group members to fill them out if any incidence occurs

    10. Mentor next LSO for 2 months before leaving position

     

    Typical Timeline for one LSO's 2 year service *

    (Note: * This LSO was assigned by AdCom to do their committee service Jul. - Dec. 2015)

    January - June 2015 July - December 2015 January - June 2016 July - December 2016
  • LSO's responsibilities to their research group
  • Jan. LSO Training
  • Mar. Lab walkthroughs
  • Jun. JST meeting
  • LSO's responsibilities to their research group
  • 5 Committee Service meetings
  • Oct. Lab walkthroughs
  • Dec. JST meeting
  • LSO's responsibilities to their research group
  • Jan. LSO Training
  • Mar. Lab walkthroughs
  • Jun. JST meeting
  • LSO's responsibilities to their research group
  • Oct. Lab walkthroughs
  • Dec. JST meeting