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Inspection Follow-up

The Faculty of Science Safety Committee (Dean of Science Office) agreed on the necessity of effective follow-up after a Safety Inspection (October 2003).

It was the sense of this committee that follow-up should proceed in stages.

The first stage is to report the deficiency to the head of the lab. The report should be specific and should be classified by urgency of the need for correction. The system used in the Chemistry Department is attached, and would be usefully applied to other departments. In Chemistry a complete, itemized report sorted by category is provided to all faculty and staff in the department.

The second stage, if the deficiency is not corrected in the appropriate time frame, is to report the deficiency to the department head and request his or her involvement.

A third stage, should it be necessary, is to bring the deficiency to the Faculty of Science Safety Committee, thus involving the Office of the Dean of Science. This may be necessary if the department lacks the resources to deal with the problem, or if compliance is an issue.

Safety Inspection Category system:

Category 1 includes urgent problems, which must be addressed immediately by the faculty member responsible, to the satisfaction of the Departmental Safety Committee or the Department Head.

Examples: 1.) safety equipment such as eye wash station not functional, 2.) safety equipment such a fire blanket obstructed by glass garbage container, 3.) safety shielding not present on high vacuum or high pressure apparatus, 4.) any obvious, extreme fire hazard such as large, open containers of flammable solvent, 5.) obstruction of passageways or emergency exits with file cabinets, desks, etc, 6.) improperly installed/secured gas cylinders.

Category 2 includes areas of concern which should be carefully considered by the faculty member concerned and addressed as best as possible with timely notification of action to the Departmental Safety Committee.

Examples: 1.) excessive quantities of waste solvent stored in lab, 2.) unlabelled samples, solvents, cleaning vats etc stored on benches or floors, 3.) excessive clutter, spilled chemicals, uncovered volatiles on benches, 4.) evidence of eating, drinking or smoking in the lab, 5.) failure of lab personnel to wear safety glasses, lab coats or proper footwear, 6.) unsafe storage of chemicals on high shelves, 7.) insufficiently secure storage of "identifiable" poisons, bio-hazardous materials, etc.

Category 3 contains all items which can be dealt with by Facilities Management or Stores personnel, with coordination provided by the Departmental Administrative Assistant or the Departmental Safety Committee Chair. Therefore these items will be corrected without necessary effort by the faculty member concerned. Should the faculty member disagree with an item he or she should contact the safety committee chair, otherwise remediation will be automatic.

Examples: 1.) inspection tagging of safety equipment such as showers, fire extinguishers etc, 2.) inoperable fume hoods, indicator lights, etc, 3.) broken cabinet doors, main doors, missing ceiling tiles, broken windows, etc, 4.) outdated gas cylinders.

Category 4 is composed of minor concerns and long term policy. These would include minor safety matters left entirely to the discretion of the faculty member or observations of situations which should be addressed over the long term if possible.

Examples (long term): 1) hot/cold temperature control issues for a lab, 2) ventilation issues

The name in brackets indicates the person responsible for remediation of the problem. All items should be clustered by category in the safety report.