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Safety Inspections

As part of a comprehensive workplace health and safety plan, EHS performs comprehensive safety inspections of laboratories and shop areas periodically, to identify and promptly address workplace hazards. Certain inspections are driven by regulatory requirements. The inspection process requires the involvement of someone that is knowlegable in the workplace activities (e.g., laboratory personnel or shop worker). Your input is criticall to the success of an inspection program. With a sound inspection, we can:

  • Observe work practics to determine any aspects that are unsafe
  • Identify existing and potential hazards
  • Establish procedure to eliminate or mitigate the hazards
  • Examine workplace equipment and the safeguards in place

Systematic and thorough examination of the workplace allows our personnel to examine the physical workplace conditions and ensure any hazards and unsafe practices are propperly documented and followed up until they are addressed. 

Preparing for a Laboratory Inspection

If you are a Principal Investigator (PI) who has an upcoming lab inspection, there are a few things you can do to prepare.

  • Ensure your chemical inventory is up to date with EHS. 
  • Ensure you and all your laboratory workers are current on any training (initial and refresher) needed for your laboratory.
  • If you are a radioactive materials/laser/x-ray lab, update your personnel list with the Radiation Safety Officer.
  • Review a list of all violation categories that are reviewed during an inspection (request the list from your Safety Specialist). 
  • Make yourself and/or a trusted laboratory manager/designee available for the inspection. 
  • Notify EHS if you have added or removed laboratory rooms and/or personnel since your last inspection.

Responding to an Inspection

After an inspection, you may be required to make a response to EHS. Inspection responses are now completed online, through our EHS Assistant.

Review this guidance document for responding to violations in EHSA.

Common Inspection Findings


A lack of initial or refresher training is frequently cited. The violation and related comments will let you know who is lacking training, and which course they are lacking. Visit our safety training page for more information.

Gas Cylinders

Gas cylinders are frequently found unsecured. All compressed gas cylinders, whether empty or full, must be securely stored at all times. Methods include chaining to a wall, holding within a gas cylinder rack, or mounting on a secure base. All unused cylinders must be capped. 

When responding to this violation, a picture is very helpful.  It can quickly show that the cylinders have been moved to a secure position.

First Aid Kit

First aid kits are often found with expired components. The recommended inventory is given in our laboratory safety manual (link with anchor). It includes:

Absorbent compress, 32 sq. in.  1
Adhesive bandages, 1 in. x 3 in 16
Adhesive tape, 3/8 in. x 2.5 yd. total 1
Antibiotic treatment,0.14 fl. Oz. (0.5 g) 6
Antiseptic,0.14 fl. Oz. (0.5 g) 10
Burn treatment, 1/32 oz. (0.9 g) 6
First-aid guide 1
Medical exam gloves 2 pairs
Sterile pads, 3 in. x 3 in. 4
Triangular bandage, 40 in. x 40 in. x 56 in 1

First aid kits for labs using hydrofluoric acid have additional requirements. Contact EHS for assitance.