The Academic Safety program assists faculty, staff, and students in maintaining a safe work, research, and laboratory environment. The aim is to reduce the risk to the university community of incurring adverse health effects. Work is directed at minimizing the hazards associated with improper ventilation and chemical handling, and excessive chemical, noise, and temperature exposures. Toward this end, laboratories and fume hoods are inspected annually, odor complaints are investigated, and industrial hygiene surveys are made routinely and upon request. Personnel in this area work closely with the Occupational Health Physician at the University Health Services. In addition, a laboratory safety seminar and monthly safety workshops are offered. Academic Safety services staff:
- Provide safety training, consultation, and support to faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students in general lab safety, and chemical, biological and radiation material use.
- Conduct safety assessments in more than 850 teaching and research laboratory spaces across campus.
- Regularly test lab safety equipment such as fume hoods, biosafety cabinets, drench showers, eye wash stations, and autoclaves to ensure they are operating properly.
- Maintain an inventory of chemical, biological, and radiological agents in each laboratory and for the campus as a whole.
- Evaluate lab, office and other work spaces for odor issues, indoor air contaminants, ventilation, and thermal comfort.
- Participate on the Institutional Chemical Safety Committee, Radiation Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and review research protocols specifically to ensure research is conducted in a safe manner and in compliance with agency standards.
- Continuously update technical expertise, maintain appropriate credentials, and keep current with local, state, and federal regulation to ensure the campus community is provided with the most current safety and regulatory information, strategies for management, and ability to mitigate risk.