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Research Area Safety Coordinator Responsibilities and Resources

Learn about research Area Safety Coordinator responsibilities and resources.

Research Area Safety Coordinators (ASCs) play a vital role in helping achieve worker safety and regulatory compliance within labs. Large laboratories with multiple locations may need more than one ASC to be effective.

Research Area Safety Coordinators can use the information below to assist them carry out their responsibilities.

Important: Principal Investigators, Area 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.

Laboratory personnel management

Following the EH&S onboarding process is critical to ensure new researchers receive initial EH&S training, are assigned to high hazard use authorizations and the personnel protective equipment assessment (LHAT). Ensure personnel protective equipment fittings are conducted by EH&S and assigned PPE has been documented.

ASC action items for new researcher onboarding:

 ASC ongoing action items:

  • Process authorization requests in a timely fashion
  • Update lab locations if location has changed
  • Track all training
  • Track all personal protective equipment.

 ASC action items for departing researchers:

Researcher training

Individual Principal Investigators, ASCs and Supervisors must identify job-specific hazards and make sure lab personnel complete safety training appropriate for their work. Keep all training records for a minimum of 3 years.

Go to the Safety Training for Researchers page for Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) user-specific training instructions.

Safety audit liaison

  • Research Area Safety Coordinators are 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 every 3 months using the Lab Self-Audit Form after the EH&S safety audit. Target the issues revealed during the audit to identify persisting problems.

Emergency preparedness

Be prepared to lead if there is an emergency. Maintain a "grab" folder with a list of current personnel in case of an evacuation:

Learn more about handling an emergency:

Perform monthly inspections of emergency equipment inside your laboratory or the area under your control:

Hazardous waste management

Individual generators of waste must be trained on hazardous waste procedures and management, but ASCs can assist in managing the labs hazardous waste. Legally, individual generators of waste must make the hazardous waste determination and ensure proper labeling and management.

The following resources will assist in maintaining compliance with hazardous waste regulations.

Protect the environment


Questions? Contact EH&S RAP.