Texas Tech University


[Moderate revision–posted 11/29/23 (replaces 11/10/22 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 74.18: Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee

DATE: November 29, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to establish procedures for the review and conduct of research by Texas Tech University (TTU) faculty, staff, and students involving chemical and physical hazards in a manner consistent with the Texas Tech University Laboratory Safety Manual and established best practices. TTU has established the Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee (ILSC) to act on its behalf in ensuring that laboratory research with chemical and physical hazards meets these safety standards.

The TTU ILSC is further charged with reporting to the Vice President for Research & Innovation on matters related to the use of chemicals and physical hazards that may be hazardous in the research, studio, and educational activities of TTU. Hazardous chemicals are defined as substances that are potential physical or health hazards by exhibiting harmful characteristics such as toxicity, reactivity, or flammability. Specific charges to the committee include the following:

• To recommend to the Vice President for Research & Innovation policies and procedures to ensure Texas Tech University's compliance with all federal, state, and local statutes, regulations, procedures, and principles relating to the purchase, storage, use, and disposal of hazardous chemicals used in TTU's research, studio, and educational programs.
• To certify investigators, their laboratories, and their programs for work with hazardous chemicals.
• To produce and update the university Laboratory Safety Manual and oversee its implementation in the research laboratories and studios of TTU.
• To review and recommend to Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) the need for general and specific training programs for research, studio, and teaching activities dealing with hazardous chemicals and to review the appropriateness and effectiveness of such training programs.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of odd-numbered years by the Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety and the Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation (Responsible Research; AVPR-RR) with substantive revisions forwarded to the Vice President for Research & Innovation (VPR).


1.  Committee Function

a.    The Vice President for Research & Innovation (VPR) of Texas Tech University shall appoint the Chair of the Institutional Laboratory Safety Committee (ILSC) who, in turn, will appoint the members of the ILSC.

b.    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.

c.    The committee, in part, will establish policies and procedures based on current best practices by a number of national professional groups.

d.    This committee will establish policies and procedures in accordance with current practices included in the references below. It also will apply regulations established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and recognized practices for risk and hazard management, chemical use, transport, storage, and disposal.

2.  ILSC Appointment and Composition

The members of the committee will be appointed by the VPR. The University Chemical Hygiene Officer will serve as executive secretary to the committee. Membership appointments are on an annual cycle.

The ILSC shall have the following members:

a.    A minimum of three faculty members active or knowledgeable in the use of chemical reagents;

b.    A minimum of one faculty member active or knowledgeable in the use of energetic materials (Note: If a standing member is not available, ad hoc members will be added specifically for energetic materials review);

c.    A minimum of two faculty members who are non-users of chemical or energetic materials;

d.    A minimum of one staff member knowledgeable in the use of chemical and/or energetic materials;

e.    A faculty member involved in studio or theater work;

f.    A faculty member involved in field research/teaching;

g.    The Associate Vice President for Research & Innovation (Responsible Research; AVPR-RR), ex officio;

h.    The Assistant Vice President for Environmental Health & Safety, ex officio; and

i.    Chemical Hygiene Officer, Biological Safety Officer, and Radiation Safety Officer, ex officio.

3.  ILSC Responsibilities

The ILSC shall be responsible for the following:

a.    Review and update, at least annually or as necessary, the university Laboratory Safety Manual.

b.    Review and develop safety training appropriate for university laboratory work.

c.    Review reports of TTU personnel or visitors refusing to comply with university safety requirements.

d.    Review and publish reports on laboratory-related safety incidents.

4.  ILSC Committee Operations

Incident investigation and work area closure procedures are now a part of the university Laboratory Safety Manual (TTU OP 60.17, Laboratory Safety Manual).

5.  References

a.    National Research Council's (NRC) Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in the Laboratories

b.    Center for Chemical Process Safety's Guidelines for Hazard Evaluation Procedures

c.    American Chemical Society's Safety in the Academic Chemistry Laboratory guides (for university students and for faculty and administrators)

d.    National Research Council's 2014 Consensus Report, Safe Science: Promoting a Culture of Safety in Academic Chemical Research


Operating Policies & Procedures