EHSO Inspections: We like what we see!

EHSO Inspections are underway in the research labs!  We have inspected approximately 60 labs and we  want to acknowledge how safe the researchers are working.  Here are some good things we’ve noticed in the labs:

Sharps – Labs are using the appropriate sharps containers.  Sharps containers are in a locations close in proximity to the point of use. Sharps containers are not overflowing.  Finally, the labs are aware of the proper disposal method for a full sharps container.

Lab Rat Newsletter – The newsletter is a method of ongoing training for the research community.    EHSO recognizes that it takes time to ensure that all lab personnel have an opportunity to review the Lab Rat Newsletter.  Labs take the time to read and sign the newsletter.  Additionally, some labs provide feedback and suggestions regarding the content.

Chemical Hygiene– Chemical hygiene is a very important aspect in laboratory safety.  The primary philosophy for handling chemicals safely: “Manage the chemical from cradle to grave”.  Labs are maintaining an accurate inventory of purchased chemicals.  Chemicals are being stored in the correct locations (i.e. flammables stored in the flammable liquids cabinet, corrosives stored in secondary containers). Finally, labs are taking steps to create Standard Operating Procedures for chemicals with special hazards (e.g. mutagens, carcinogens, and teratogens).

As we continue our inspections over the next few months, we would like for the

researchers to consider the following items to improve the safety of their labs:

Legacy Chemicals – A chemical is considered obsolete if it was purchased 10 or more years ago and it has not been used by the lab for more than 2 years.  If the lab needs to use the chemical within the next year or two, then it may be a good idea to keep it.  Just remember to keep an updated copy of the Safety Data Sheet.  If the chemical will not be useful in the near future, then the lab should give the chemical to EHSO.

Chemical Waste – Some labs are retaining empty amber bottles and plastic bottles for waste collection.  Labs do not need to hold onto empty bottles because EHSO will provide waste containers to the labs upon request.  If your lab would like to place a request, then send an email to  The waste container will be delivered to the lab.

To properly dispose of empty, unwanted amber bottles (applies to non “P-Listed” chemicals only) remember to do the following:  triple rinse the container, remove the cap, deface or mark out the label.  Place the bottle into the glass recycling bins or into the regular trash

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