The EHS Chemical and Laboratory Safety group periodically inspects all laboratories, educational shops, studios, and makerspaces across UVA. EHS also inspects select non-academic University spaces that utilize chemicals or generate hazardous waste.
NOTE: These inspections are separate from those conducted by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) or Radiation Safety Office.
The purpose of EHS inspections are to assist responsible faculty and staff in reducing the risk of injury, illness, or damage to property or the environment by following best practices, University policy, and State and Federal regulations.
Laboratories and other areas at UVA using chemicals and generating hazardous waste are subject to regulation by agencies that include: Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (Occupation Safety and Health Program) for laboratory safety standards and general industry standards, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for hazardous waste regulations, and Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office for fire and life safety code.
The best way to prepare for an EHS inspection is to conduct routine safety self-assessments. Use the General Laboratory Safety Self-Assessment Tool to create consistency with safe work practices and regulatory compliance. The Self-Assessment Guidance document provides more information regarding each of the assessment criteria and help on correcting issues.
EHS typically provides at least a 48-hour notice of inspection to the person(s) listed on the Hazard Communication Door Sign.
The inspection team uses the same criteria outlined in the General Laboratory Safety Self-Assessment Tool and Self-Assessment Guidance document.
Inspection criteria may include periodic areas of focus, such as training and PPE.
Faculty and staff responsible for the space, or their designee(s), are encouraged to be present and participate in the inspection.
EHS uses an online inspection tool to enhance the inspection process. Findings are documented electronically, often with pictures and additional comments, to efficiently communicate inspection results.
The EHS Chemical and Laboratory Safety team sends the Principal Investigator (PI), and other responsible staff, an email with a link to the user portal following the inspection. In the user portal, comprehensive inspection findings can be viewed for a PI's individual space, or in a deficiencies-only report for all current inspections (i.e. multiple spaces). Deficiencies will be re-inspected. Unresolved deficiencies will be forwarded to the Department Chair.