Online Program

Hazard assessment in laboratories at MIT

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:42 a.m.

Michael Labosky, MS, CIH, EHS, MIT, Cambridge, MA
Assessing the hazards of labs is a goal of established EHS programs. The MIT EHS Office has undertaken a pilot project to assess and categorize the hazards in its labs. The project is aimed at reviewing primarily the chemical and physical hazards in labs (not requiring standing committee approvals). These assessments are not the same as traditional lab inspections or surveys. This presentation will discuss the project background, its goals, procedures and mechanisms as well as desired outcomes. The pilot project has already begun to perform assessments in a wide range of labs from various departments throughout the Institute and data gathered and findings to date will be discussed. Lab hazard assessments in this project differ from typical laboratory inspections or surveys in that they are an opportunity to have a dialogue with researchers – group safety representatives and other researchers on the materials and equipment used and the hazards these materials and equipment present. The assessment documents overall hazards and controls in place. It also looks for experiments or equipment that requires a further in depth or focused assessment at a later time. One of the specific findings of the recent Chemical Safety Board investigation at Texas Tech following their incident “ Academic institutions should ensure that practices and procedures are in place to verify that research-specific hazards are evaluated and mitigated.” This presentation describes a program aimed at responding to this finding.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Assessing the hazards of labs is a goal of established EHS programs, attendees will be able to identify and outline the elements of a program to conduct assessments of hazards in laboratories.

Keyword(s): Hazards, Assessments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am trained as an Industrial Hygienist. I have practiced Environmental Health and Safety disciplines broadly and Lab Safety in particular at Universities for the past 24 years. The Lab Hazard Assessment project my abstract describes has been led by me working with other EHS and MIT staff.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.