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What Area Safety Coordinators Need to Know

Learn about the role of Area Safety Coordinators in campus facilities where hazardous materials or equipment or present.

Supervisor's responsibility

If you manage or supervise a campus facility where hazardous materials are stored or used, designate an Area Safety Coordinator (ASC) to manage safety requirements or act in that capacity yourself.

Designating an Area Safety Coordinator helps achieve worker safety and regulatory compliance for your facility. Large departments and departments with multiple locations may need more than one ASC to be effective.

Research facilities have historically designated a "Lab Safety Contact." For campus industrial facilities, the "Area Safety Coordinator" role acknowledges that shops and studios also handle hazardous chemicals and equipment.

Important: Managers and supervisors remain accountable and ultimately responsible for workplace safety and compliance in areas under their control, even if they designate an Area Safety Coordinator.

Click on a topic for more information about ASC responsibilities:

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Employee safety orientation and training

Conduct employee safety orientations.

Make sure employees receive required and recommended safety training:

Use online safety information resources for UCSD industrial employees. See:

Make sure personnel know about:

Coordinate safety activities

Implement a Hazard Communication Program

Chemical safety

Safety audit liason

  • Be a contact person for safety audits conducted by Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S).
    • EH&S will review area safety performance during scheduled audits and work cooperatively with ASCs to address any problems.
  • Correct problems identified in the audit, or notify the person(s) responsible for the violation.
  • Perform an area self-audit 3 months after the EH&S safety audit. Target the issues revealed during the audit to identify persisting problems.

Emergency preparedness

Be prepared for emergencies. See:

Perform monthly inspections of fire extinguishers located inside your laboratory or the area under your control. Learn about fire extinguishers and inspection at:

Hazardous waste management

Ensure proper disposal of chemicals generated in your area. See:

Protect the environment

ASC vs DSC

Area Safety Coordinators (ASCs) differ from Department Safety Coordinators (DSCs).

  • Area Safety Coordinators are assigned to a specific facility where work with hazardous material or equipment occurs — typically a shop, studio, or research facility.
  • Department Safety Coordinators represent all their co-workers, regardless of the work performed. Every UCSD department should have at least one DSC. Large departments and departments with multiple locations may need more than one DSC to be effective. Read What DSCs should know.

See Safety Coordinator Resources for plenty of resources to help you do your job.

Note: Some departments with higher risk work places employ a Department Safety Officer (DSO), a safety professional.

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