Welcome to the Lab Safety Program!
Hazard recognition, accident/illness/injury prevention, and regulatory compliance in the laboratory are all important parts of any research program. While centralized offices exist to assist with each aspect of laboratory safety, the laboratory itself consisting of the Principal Investigator (PI) and professional, graduate, or undergraduate lab members are ultimately responsible for recognizing and addressing hazards in their lab. The Laboratory Safety Program addresses a broad spectrum of safety-related topics for labs in a university setting. All labs owned by Appalachian State University are subject to this program and required to participate to the extent the Environmental Health, Safety and Emergency Management Office (EHS & EM) deems appropriate after a thorough hazard analysis and risk assessment.
Lab Safety Plan
Each lab is responsible for having a Laboratory Safety Plan. This plan should cover general safety topics including (but not limited to):
- Primary and secondary emergency contact information, both during and after business hours
- General lab safety procedures
- Lab security measures
- General biological safety procedures, including types of biological hazards in the lab. (if applicable)
- General chemical safety procedures, including classes of hazardous chemical in the lab. (if applicable)
- General radiation safety procedures, including types of radiation hazards in the lab. (if applicable)
- General waste procedures for each type of waste. (if applicable)
- Animal handling safety procedures (if applicable)
EHS & EM provides a template document for the Lab Safety Plan that labs are able to use that fulfills these requirements. Labs are not required to use this template, but all information covered in the template must be covered in whatever Lab Safety Plan the lab creates.
Lab Safety Committee
The Laboratory Safety Committee (LSC) is comprised of a departmental member from several academic departments that have the highest percentage of research/teaching labs, a member of the Research Protections office, and a few members of the EHS & EM office. Each member coming from an academic department must be responsible for safety in some capacity. The following departments are currently represented:
- Chemistry & Fermentation Sciences
- Health & Exercise Science
- Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment
- Research Protections
- EHS & EM
The LSC consults on the Laboratory Safety Program, guiding the direction and scope to ensure that it is compatible with current research practices at Appalachian State University. The LSC meets regularly to discuss progress with the program, issues, potential improvements, and general lab safety concerns on campus.