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UC Regents Laboratory Safety Settlement for the Department of Chemistry-Biochemistry

Learn how the laboratory safety settlement reached between the People of the State of California and UC Regents impacts UC San Diego researchers.

Background

On December 29, 2008, UC Los Angeles research associate Sheharbano (Sheri) Sangji was in the process of transferring a highly flammable chemical agent (tert-butyllithium, a pyrophoric chemical that ignites when exposed to the atmosphere). While conducting the transfer, the pyrophoric agent spilled onto her hands, arms, and torso and ignited. Ms. Sangji was not wearing a laboratory coat and suffered burns. She died from injuries on January 16, 2009.

UC Regents Agreement

The Los Angeles District Attorney filed a complaint alleging 3 felony violations against the Regents of the University of California ("UC Regents"). On July 27, 2012, the UC Regents signed a Prosecution Enforcement Agreement accepting responsibility.

  • The terms of the settlement apply to every Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the UC system.

Read the sections below to find out:

  • What is required of UCSD Chemistry and Biochemistry researchers
  • How to comply with the requirements

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Agreement requirements

Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations applies systemwide to all laboratory operations. The Regents' settlement with Los Angeles adds enhanced requirements.

Cooperation of department chairs, faculty, and lab personnel is vital to successfully implement the Agreement requirements. The most significant requirements are:

  1. Training – Completion of lab safety training by all laboratory personnel
  2. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – Implementation of approved SOPs for specific chemicals identified in the settlement
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Review of hazards and assignment of appropriate PPE

How to comply: PIs and supervisors

Principal investigators (PIs) in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry must meet requirements below for:

  • Laboratory safety training
  • Policies and procedures
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Injury and illness reporting

Laboratory Safety Training

1) For the PI:

About UC Learning Center: You must have a campus-assigned Business Systems account username and password to register and take training in the UC Learning Center. For information on setting up a campus affiliate account for a non-UCSD person, contact your Department Security Administrator (DSA) and ask them to create a Non-UCSD SSO account for the person via UCSD's Affiliate site.

2) For your lab personnel:

3) Document all safety training:

Document all lab safety training for all personnel (staff, students, and visitors). Keep training records, including the New Laboratory Worker Checklist, readily available for inspectors.

Note: Lab Safety Principles / IIPP courses completed before September 24, 2012 are not in compliance with the settlement. All lab staff is required to take the systemwide UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals eCourse released by UCOP in 2013.

Policies and Procedures

All laboratories must comply with the requirements for standard operating procedures (SOPs) below. At UC San Diego, a hazard control plan (HCP) is a standard operating procedure.

How to comply:

  • Develop an HCP for any chemical on the Chemical Classification List (Excel file).
  • Use the Chemical Hazard Use Application (CHUA) to develop lab specific HCPs.
  • Ensure HCPs are reviewed by qualified personnel.
  • Approve your HCPs in the Chemical Hazard Use Application. Only the PI can approve HCPs.
  • Ensure all HCPs, as well as the Chemical Hygiene Plan, are easily accessible by computer for all lab employees.
  • Review or have your lab personnel review the use of any new chemicals to determine if they are covered by the terms of the Settlement Agreement (PDF).
  • Verify your laboratory has completed all requirements.
    • Note: A web-based "PI Certification" form is being developed for this purpose and will be available soon.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Perform and document a Hazard Assessment to identify hazards that necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Provide and assign PPE to lab personnel based on assessment results.

How to comply:

  • Use the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool on My Research Safety to identify PPE needs.
  • Have all lab staff review and sign the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool.
  • Confirm lab staff receive and are trained to use assigned PPE.
  • Document PPE assignments in the Chemical Hazard Use Application.
  • Ensure PPE is worn by everyone entering the lab.
Report Injury & Illness

Report work-related injuries and illness to EH&S by telephone immediately.

How to comply:

  • Call numbers in this order until contact is made:
Name Office Cell
Lance Scott (858) 534-7651 (858) 583-3267
Doug Harvey (858) 822-1579 (858) 583-3257
Garry Mac Pherson (858) 822-4923 (858) 232-2618
Jon Schmidt (858) 534-3782 (858) 583-3302

If unable to reach EH&S, contact UCSD Police dispatch: 911 or (858) 534-4357

  • Immediately secure any incident scene from all access and preserve all evidence for no less than 24 hours.

How to comply: Laboratory personnel

Laboratory personnel in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry must meet requirements below for:

  • Laboratory safety training
  • Policies and procedures
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Injury and illness reporting

Laboratory Safety Training

How to comply with lab safety training requirements:

About UC Learning Center: You must have a campus-assigned Business Systems account username and password to register and take training in the UC Learning Center. For information on setting up a campus affiliate account for a non-UCSD person, contact your Department Security Administrator (DSA) and ask them to create a Non-UCSD SSO account for the person via UCSD's Affiliate site.

Note: Lab Safety Principles / IIPP courses completed before September 24, 2012 are not in compliance with the settlement. All lab staff is required to take the systemwide UC Laboratory Safety Fundamentals eCourse released by UCOP in 2013.

Policies and Procedures

All laboratories must have standard operating procedures (SOPs) describing how to work safely with hazardous materials in the facility. At UC San Diego, a hazard control plan (HCP) is a standard operating procedure.

You are responsible for learning and following procedures established for the materials and processes used in your lab.

How to comply:

  • Review, sign, and follow at all times your lab's HCPs. Ask questions if you need clarification.
  • Participate in job-specific safety training for procedures you will perform; make sure you sign an attendance sheet to document your training.
  • Inform your PI or lab supervisor immediately if unsafe conditions develop.
  • Review and consult UCSD's laboratory safety manuals on the Blink website:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

An appropriate level of personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn at all times when hazardous material or equipment is used in the workplace.

How to comply:

  • Use the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) on My Research Safety to identify PPE needs.
  • Review and sign the Lab Hazard Assessment Tool.
  • Learn how to correctly use and maintain your assigned PPE.
  • Wear appropriate PPE at all times in the lab.

Never work alone when hazardous chemicals are involved.

Report Injury & Illness
  • Report work-related injuries and illness to your supervisor immediately.
  • Secure any incident scene from all access and preserve all evidence for no less than 24 hours.

Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan

The UC Regents Agreement obligates each campus to provide and maintain a campus Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP).

Manuals must be provided and maintained in each lab. Electronic copies are acceptable.

Ensure employees have access to and review UCSD's manuals on the Blink website:

Related resources

Contacts

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Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/ucsettlement