Texas Tech University

New Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee Website Now Online

By Sally Logue Post

A new Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee (ILSC) website has been created to provide guidance to faculty in creating safety plans and standard operating procedures for their laboratories and other facilities.

The ILSC is a faculty-led committee charged with improving the safety culture in research facilities, art studios, teaching facilities, and field research sites. The committee focuses on both human health protection and hazardous risk reduction in these facilities.

The 16-person committee, in part, establishes policies and procedures based on current best practices by a number of national professional groups. It also is charged with providing administrative advice regarding laboratory safety and reviewing and implementing the U.S. Chemical Safety Board recommendations and additional university recommendations issued following a January 2010 laboratory accident.

All laboratories, research facilities and studio spaces are required to have a Laboratory Safety Plan (LSP) that is specific to their research or teaching efforts. A single plan can be used for multiple rooms if they are all under one common research group.

The Chemical Hygiene Plan lists the minimum requirements for a Laboratory Safety Plan. As a courtesy to faculty developing their own LSP, the ILSC website offers example plans from faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, the Department of Biological Sciences, and the School of Art. These templates may be used as a guide for generating an individual group's LSP. Please contact the ILSC chair or EH&S for questions regarding the Laboratory Safety Plan.

The ILSC approves broadly-applicable standard operating procedures (SOPs) for faculty, staff, and student use. These SOPs represent the minimum requirements for working with compounds identified by the ILSC as hazardous. New SOPs will be added as they are approved.

Sally Logue Post is senior director of research and academic communications in the Office of the Vice President for Research.