The inspiration for the Lab Safety Plan stems from the efforts of a UCLA Professor and current Dean of Sciences, Miguel Garcia-Garibay’s lab. Here we will lay out the measures taken in the Garcia-Garibay lab to address laboratory safety. These measures were described in an article published in the Journal of Chemical Education which can be found here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/acs.jchemed.5b00299. Please note that the following is simply a summary of the Garcia-Garibay lab’s Safety Plan. Your Safety Plan will vary to suit the needs of your laboratory.
Organization and Structure
The Garcia-Garibay lab is an organic chemistry laboratory with roughly 12 to 18 researchers spread across three wet chemistry locations. Within the group there is a head lab safety officer and an additional lead safety officer in each of the three locations. These four personnel make up the safety management group within the lab. This ensured a dissemination of safety responsibilities and limited any one person’s overall scope to make the tasks easily manageable.
Twice daily self-inspections
A lab-specific checklist of previously identified safety issues was developed. Each week a researcher (including members of the safety management team) would conduct twice daily inspections of all three locations using the lab generated checklist. Issues would be reported to all members and corrected on the spot. At the start of the next week a new researcher would be assigned inspection duties and the role would rotate through all lab members. This served as a means to increase general safety awareness amongst all researchers and improved each researchers understanding of how to proactively address issues.
Safety training and discussion
During weekly group meetings the Garcia-Garibay lab would routinely discuss any safety issues that arose during the week and would occasionally give each other non-punitive pop quizzes as a way to assess safety knowledge in the lab. The quizzes focused on UCLA’s safety documents including the Injury Illness Prevention Plan, Chemical Hygiene Plan, Lab Hazard Assessment Tool, etc. to provide researchers a better view of how safety was handled outside of their specific environment.