Reminder of FY2021 Lab Assessments

The EHSO Research Safety team conducts assessments of research spaces to help ensure a safe work environment, to identify and correct laboratory hazards and to assist with regulatory compliance. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a modified assessment visit will be conducted for your laboratory following the current safety recommendations.

What to expect?

  • A 15-minute visit with your Research Safety Building Liaison to review specific safety items.

When will the lab assessment occur?

  • Principal investigators and/or managers will be given a block of time when the safety liaison will come by.
  • Lab assessments will start February 1st.

How can I prepare for the lab assessment? The following items will be reviewed during the walk-through.

  • Administration and Training
    • All lab personnel are listed in the BioRAFT “Members” tab and appropriate job activity(s) is checked for each person.
    • Lab Self Inspection (LSI) has been completed within the last 12 months.
    • All lab personnel have completed the EHSO training in BioRAFT.
  • Disinfection and Hand Hygiene
    • Lab maintains supplies for surface decontamination and disinfection:
      • There are supplies (paper towel/cloth, disinfection solution, etc.) available for surface decontamination and disinfection activities.
      • High touch surfaces are disinfected regularly.
    • Lab maintains handwashing facilities:
      • There is at least one sink within the lab that has handwashing soap and paper towels.
      • Paper towels are stored in a manner that prevents contamination.
      • If lab is not equipped with sink/running water, hand sanitizer is available.
      • Sinks are free of foreign objects or solid waste that could clog drain.
    • Emergency Preparedness
      • All emergency safety equipment is unobstructed:
        • Includes: fire extinguisher, eyewash, safety shower, fire alarm pull station
      • Fire extinguishers are inspected:
        • Monthly visual inspections documented on inspection tag.
        • Annual inspection documented on inspection tag.
      • Eyewash equipment is maintained:
        • Plumbed eyewashes have protective caps in place.
        • Plumbed eyewash eye pieces and caps are free from contamination.
        • Plumbed eyewash activations are performed and documented at least monthly.
        • Supplemental eyewash bottle(s) are not expired.
      • Engineering Controls
        • The following equipment has been certified within the last 12 months or have been tagged Out-of-Service:
          • Biological Safety Cabinets (BSCs)
          • Laminar Flow Hoods (LFH) / clean benches
          • Chemical Fume Hoods (CFHs), snorkels, and downdraft tables
        • Housekeeping
          • Food / drink / cosmetics are not present in the lab.
          • Lab doors are not left open or ajar.
          • Lab is free from slip, trip and fall hazards.
        • Regulated Waste
          • Sharps are disposed of in appropriate waste collection containers:
            • sharps container = needles, glass Pasteur pipettes, unfixed specimen slides, biologically contaminated glass
            • cardboard broken glass box = clean glass, fixed specimen slides
            • solid waste bucket = chemically contaminated glass
            • Sharps containers are closed and disposed of when contents reach manufacturer’s fill line, or if fill line is not present, no greater than 3/4 full.
            • Cardboard broken glass boxes have a plastic liner and are taped closed and disposed of when no greater than 3/4 full.
            • Sharps are not disposed of in regular trash or biohazard bags.
          • Chemical waste is maintained in the lab according to Emory’s Regulated Waste Guidelines:
            • The final destination for chemical waste is EHSO.
            • All chemical waste containers are labeled with GHS hazard class pictogram(s) and EHSO Hazardous Waste Label at start of generation. [EHSO Hazardous Waste Label includes: PI name, building/room number, phone number, list of all constituents & concentrations, and associated hazard class of each constituent]
            • Chemical waste is stored in compatible container and that the container is in good condition.
            • Liquid chemical waste is stored in secondary containment.
            • Chemical waste streams are separated by compatibility and incompatible wastes are segregated by a physical barrier.
            • Chemical waste containers are closed, except when actively adding waste to container.
            • Chemical waste storage must not exceed 5 gallons per container, 1 quart of P-listed waste, or a total of 50 gallons of all waste at one time.
            • The lab must designate an area for chemical waste storage within the space it is generated, and waste cannot be transferred to any area that requires passage through a door.
            • Empty chemical containers (non-P-listed) are triple rinsed, defaced, caps removed, and disposed of via regular trash or recycling.
            • The chemical waste storage area, or Satellite Accumulation Area (SAA), is free of spilled or leaking waste.
          • Biohazard waste is identified, collected, and separated from other waste streams to ensure proper decontamination:
            • Waste containers, including plastic bags/liners, must be labeled with biohazard symbol and the word “biohazard.”
            • Waste containers, including benchtop collection, must be closed except when adding waste.
            • Liquid biohazard waste is collected in leak-proof container and decontaminated before disposal.
            • Untreated biohazard waste is not poured down the drain, discarded in regular trash, or mixed with chemical waste streams.
            • Solid biohazard waste is collected in/transferred to Stericycle containers when 3/4 full. Stericycle boxes are closed, sealed, and labeled for disposal.
            • Filled sharps containers are disposed of via Stericycle (sharps containers are not to be autoclaved and/or disposed via regular trash).
            • Stericycle waste manifests are maintained for at least 3 years for documentation and tracking purposes.

Please contact your Research Safety Building Liaison if you have any questions.

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