Research Safety Inspection Findings

SEP 2021

Top Findings Observed

EHS research safety team performs inspections of all research laboratories at Boston University at least annually.  The data from these inspections is  reported to the Lab Safety Committee quarterly and annually to EHS leadership as a part of the EHS annual report.  This communication is meant to  share some of the data from these inspections as they relate to findings observed.  Review of the top 5 findings observed during this past fiscal year (Jul 2020-Jun 2021) showed that 3 out of the top 5 findings relate to chemical use and storage.  Below you will see examples of each of these findings observed and how each one can be addressed.

Chemical Use and Storage Findings

Finding: Chemical Containers are not properly labelled and/or don’t meet Globally Harmonized (GHS) requirements. 

Corrective Action: Both images depicts chemical containers which have no GHS label.
It is imperative that a completed GHS label label be placed on each chemical container indicating chemical name (no trade name or abbreviations) and hazard.
If you do not have GHS labels EHS can provide them for you.

Finding: Chemical container is in poor condition or corroded

Corrective Action: Both images above depict chemical containers which are damaged.  Damaged/corroded chemical containers must be discarded.  Reach out to the EHS Hazardous Waste management group and they will assist you in disposing of these containers/chemicals.

Finding: Chemicals are improperly stored and/or segregated

Corrective Action: An acid and a base are being stored together in the same secondary container.  These chemicals must be segregated and stored in separate secondary containers.  Please refer to the chemical segregation and storage chart as well as the satellite accumulation area (SAA) setup graphic to learn how to properly store chemicals and setup your SAA area.

Additional Resources

Be sure to visit the EHS Chemical Safety webpage.  On this webpage you will find guidance on all things chemical safety.  Safe usage of hazardous chemicals, policies, programs, and toolkits to help ensure that you have a laboratory that is safe and in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations as well as BU Policies.   If you have any questions regarding hazardous waste you can always reach out to the EHS hazardous waste management group via email.

GHS Label Video

Chemical Hazards Video