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Lab Inspections

Laboratories, teaching and research support areas within the Physical Sciences Complex are subject to a number of state, federal and university specific policies. Inspections are designed to assist responsible faculty and staff members in identifying and correcting potential regulatory compliance issues or other issues that could affect granting activities, and identify potential health and safety hazards that could pose an unreasonable risk to laboratory personnel, students, and the campus community.

  • Annual New York State Fire Inspections- conducted  annually during the months of March and April by New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control and the Ithaca Fire Department. Building occupants should use the use the Fire Inspection Preparation Checklist to review spaces upstream of the NYS Fire Inspections and notify the Facility Manager or Safety Manager if there are items that require assistance in correcting.
  • Department level safety inspections-Inspections of laboratory and department spaces performed by the PSC Safety Manager using the PSC inspection template. These are unannounced inspections and occur throughout the calendar year.
  • University level lab Inspections-Laboratory inspections performed by the Department of Environmental Health & Safety. these may be comprehensive in nature or focused on specific topics such as chemical safety, radiation safety, biological safety or industrial hygiene.  Users should use the Self-inspection checklist to maintain spaces appropriately and prepare for in-house department and EHS inspections.

Labcliq is the cloud-based inspection software used to conduct inspections:   http://www.labcliq.com

Corrective actions resulting from deficiencies identified during an inspection must be corrected on site of within a prescribed time frame.  Responses to Corrective Actions must be submitted using the lab inspection tool user interface.  Users have the option to enter comments or request extensions for correction of deficiencies.

The Responsible Faculty member or  Group Safety Representative (GSR) must:

  • Upon receipt of notification of pending corrective action, access the LabCliQ inspection tool to view inspection results and findings.
  • Distribute inspection results, and coordinate the abatement of safety violations identified.
  • Provide direction and/or assistance to group members to correct safety violations.
  • Ensure all open corrective actions found during lab inspections are corrected by the deadline provided.
  • Request extension for items that are not able to be corrected in the timeframe identified.

Failure to correct identified deficiencies and to submit the Corrective Action Certification within the given time period will result in successive  escalation of notification to individuals within the chain of accountability.

LEVEL 1

Upon completion of the laboratory or research area inspection, the Inspection Report will be issued to the faculty member, and/or Group Safety Representative (GSR) responsible for the research area(s). The responsible individual (s) will be given fourteen (14) days from the inspection date to correct any required corrective action items and to submit the Corrective Action Certification.  Failure to submit the Corrective Action Certification within the given time period will result in the process moving to Level 2.

LEVEL 2

If the Corrective Action Certification is not submitted within fourteen (14) days as noted in Level 1, then a reminder memo/email will be sent to the responsible individual and copied to the PSC Safety Manager. The responsible individual will be given an additional seven (7) days to correct all required corrective actions and to submit the Corrective Action Certification. The PSC Safety Manager will conduct a follow-up inspection within 24-hours of submission of the Corrective Action Certification. Failure to submit the Corrective Action Certification within seven (7) days will result in the process moving to Level 3.

LEVEL 3

If the Corrective Action Certification is not submitted within seven (7) days as noted in Level 2, then a memo/email will be sent to the Department Chair (copied to the individual), notifying the Chair that the responsible individual will be given a final seven (7) days to correct all noted required corrective actions and to submit the Corrective Action Certification. If necessary a meeting will be scheduled with the responsible individual, the Department Chair, the Chair of the Safety Committee and the PSC Safety Manager. A follow-up re-inspection will occur.

LEVEL 4

At this point, the responsible individual has had 28 days to correct noted required corrective action items. If the Corrective Action Certification web form is not submitted within seven (7) days as noted in Level 3, then the names of the responsible individual (s) who have not corrected the required corrective action items as part of the inspection process will be included in a report that will be sent to the college/unit administration which will indicate the status of health and safety deficiencies within each department.

Failure to submit a Corrective Action Certification as part of the inspection process may impact the ability of the faculty member to obtain EH&S signatures or approval for permits, grant certifications or similar items that require EH&S to validate that a faculty member is in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations.

Additionally groups may be subject to increased inspection frequency as determined by the following criteria:

  • Labs that do not close out corrective actions before Level 3 of the Corrective Actions Process.
  • Labs that close out corrective actions without actually correcting the items will result in increased unannounced re-inspections referral to the Safety Committee Chair.
  • Labs with & or more 3 corrective actions per inspection will result in increased unannounced re-inspections until laboratory conditions improve.
  • Labs with a pattern of egregious safety violations or recurrent corrective actions in the following areas:
    • EPA Compliance and Hazardous Waste Management
    • Chemical labeling
    • Fire Safety
    • Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Housekeeping

Inspection findings are presented to the appropriate safety committees on a regular basis each semester. Reports of  safety performance for groups within each department are provided to Department Administrators quarterly.

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