This page is designed specifically as a reference for Lab Safety Officers (LSOs) at the University of Minnesota. Information will include roles and responsibilities of an LSO, and resources to maintain compliance with department, university, and government policies. If you ever have any questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
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 serves 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. Responsibilities of an LSO are divided into the following commitments:
- Be an active member in the Joint Safety Team (JST). Each LSO should attend JST meetings at a minimum and have the opportunity to contribute more by serving on one of the JST committees. LSOs must have a representative from their group attend if they are unable to.
- Participate in two sets of other lab housekeeping walkthroughs per year (organized by the JST Audit committee).
- Attend LSO Training Sessions when offered by the JST.
- Assist in the writing, evaluation, identification of areas in need, and sharing of laboratory specific standard operating procedures (to be reviewed yearly) with your PI.
- Maintain records for your lab regarding yearly safety training, lab specific training procedures and eyewash station testing. LSOs do not need to lead all trainings, but are in charge of keeping accurate records of training events.
- Know the proper steps for reporting incidents. Encourage your group to fill out a Learning Experience Report (LER) when an incident happens.
- Be able to identify safety showers, eye washes, first aid, fire extinguishers, etc. in each lab and ensure every new member learns where these are located.
- Ensure the maintenance of group safety equipment such as spill control kits, fire extinguishers, safety showers, first aid kits, and eyewash facilities.
- Perform weekly checks of eye wash and maintain first aid kit. Please use either of the following documents to keep record of these checks:
- Maintain proper laboratory signage, including: minimum PPE requirements, emergency contact information (updated for every new member or at least once every 3 months). Templates for these can be found here: http://www.jst.umn.edu/
- Organize safety moments at group meetings. Group members should be encouraged to come up with their own content, although possible content can be found on the Safety Moments tab.
- Be familiar with hazardous waste requirements and storage. LSOs are not responsible for the packaging and disposal of waste for their group, unless appointed by their PI.
- Remind researchers of the minimum PPE requirements if they have forgotten. LSOs are encouraged to seek assistance from their PI if a researcher ignores these requirements.
- Conduct inspections of your group's laboratories.
- Mentor next LSO for 2 months before leaving position.
- Be familiar with emergency procedure information (what to do, where to go, etc.).
- Read and have a clear understanding of The Chemical Hygiene Plan of your department:
- Be able to find MSDSs and understand how to read them.
Complete LSO Guidebook
Guidebook - Evolving document of resources and information for LSOs.
General Safety Training Record- Use this template to record the training of each group member. Each group member must have their own General Safety Training Record.
Lab Specific Training Record- Use this template to record training that is specific to your group. The topical safety training that will be recorded here will depend on the SOPs your group has developed. You will need to customize this template to include these safety topics. Each group member must have their own Lab Specific Training Record.
Lab Specific Training Record EXAMPLE- An example of what a lab specific training record may look like.
DEHS Annual Lab Specific Training Record- This is the template provided by DEHS to record lab specific topics that must be covered yearly for all group members.
Emergency contact information:
Emergency Information for CEMS- Emergency and Contact Information for CEMS. Place this next to each phone.
Emergency Information for CHEM- Emergency and Contact Information for CHEM. Place this next to each phone.
Phone numbers and contacts:
Phone numbers and contacts for CEMS- Contact information for your group. Place this next to each phone.
Phone numbers and contacts for CHEM- Contact information for your group. Place this next to each phone.
Eyewash inspection checklist- Use this template to record the dates an eyewash check was performed. Place this checklist next to each eyewash.
Laboratory door information template- Use this template to post your laboratory and contact information. Post this template on the outside of each laboratory door.