Principal Investigator/Approval Holder Responsibilities
The Approval Holder is usually a Principal Investigator (PI) who obtains a Chemical Safety Approval through Research Laboratory & Safety Services (RLSS). The Approval Holder maintains the Laboratory Chemical Safety Plans for a laboratory or group of laboratories that use or store hazardous chemicals related to their research.
Although the Approval Holder (AH) may appoint an Approval Safety Coordinator (ASC) to perform many, if not all, of the responsibilities listed below, the AH is ultimately responsible for ensuring that their laboratories are compliant with the Laboratory Chemical Safety Program. RLSS is available to assist with all of the AH’s responsibilities, primarily through the User Dashboard.
- Maintain a Chemical Safety Approval with the RLSS.
- Know all applicable health and safety rules and regulations, training/reporting requirements, and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) associated with chemical safety for the substances used in their laboratory.
- Recognize any hazardous conditions or operations within the laboratory. Contact RLSS for assistance with determining safe procedures and controls and implementing enforce standard safety procedures.
- Work with RLSS to develop, publish and implement a Laboratory Chemical Hygiene Plan (LCHP) and relevant Laboratory Standard Operating Procedures (LSOPs). Review and update the LCHP and LSOPs at least annually.
- Complete, or have their designee complete, the Risk Management Services (RMS) Fighting Fires with Portable Fire Extinguishers course and share expectations about firefighting with their laboratory workers.
- Ensure all laboratory workers under their direction successfully complete the General Laboratory Chemical Safety Training provided by RLSS.
- Provide and document Laboratory Specific Training to laboratory workers and visitors within their laboratory.
- Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to laboratory workers.
- Provide prior approval to laboratory workers for the use of certain hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.
- Consult with RLSS on the use of particularly hazardous, or inhalation hazard classes of chemicals outside of a chemical fume hood.
- Ensure that all hazardous waste is stored and disposed of properly, and that RMS is notified when waste collection is required.
- Investigate and report incidents to RLSS.
- Report injuries to both RLSS and RMS and work with physicians in the case of required medical evaluations and/or consultations.
- Maintain an updated chemical inventory for the laboratory, including Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), using the RLSS User Dashboard.
- Maintain adequate records of all training, incidents, medical evaluations, inspections and corrective actions taken.
The Approval Holder may appoint an Approval Safety Coordinator (ASC) to carry out selected responsibilities and act as a point of contact for RLSS. Therefore, an ASC have some or all of the responsibilities listed above.
Laboratory Safety Regulations and Guidelines
Department of Homeland Security 6 CFR Part 27, Appendix to Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, Final Rule (PDF)
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 - Hazard Communication
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450 - Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories