Laboratory Safety Program

Updated February 16, 2024

For laboratories working with hazardous chemicals and processes, EHS has developed programs, processes, and the necessary tools for the research community to achieve compliance with health and safety regulations. These programs and resources have been designed to identify and manage hazards in the lab, and establish and maintain safety standards that contribute to a culture of safety.

  • Increasing lab inspections from every three years to an annual inspection cycle
  • A posted and easily accessible annual inspection schedule
  • Inspection preparation information available
  • Use of UC Inspect, a new mobile application to conduct lab safety inspections, identify deficiencies, and generate summary reports
    • Automatically send out reminders to correct findings after 30 days
    • Allow for document uploads to confirm and address findings
  • Periodic follow-up on all unresolved inspection findings by EHS School Coordinator
  • Standard EHS process to conduct inspections:
    • Identify and correct immediate danger/Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) issues and high hazard inspection findings
    • Established a findings priority matrix (priority 1, 2, & 3)
  • Lab Safety Inspection Process

Lab Safety Inspections Schedule for FY 23/24

Quality Control Criteria for Lab Inspections Program

EHS Research Safety Team

EHS School Coordinators

  • Lab Safety Inspections
  • EHS will contact the PI or delegate to schedule the annual lab safety inspection. View annual inspection schedule.
  • Topics that will be covered during the inspection:
    • Biological Safety
    • Chemical Safety
    • Containment Equipment
    • Electrical Safety
    • Fire Safety
    • General and Physical Safety
    • Hazardous Waste Disposal
    • Housekeeping
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Documents, Training, and Hazard Communication
  • Please have these materials ready to review during the inspection:
    • Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) profile, including PPE training, hazard assessment review, and update of staff roster
    • Lab staff completion of Laboratory Safety Fundamentals (LSF), Safety Training Self-Assessment (STSA), and other assigned safety training
    • Lab’s current Chemical Inventory
    • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for particularly hazardous chemicals
  • After the inspection is complete, a report will be sent containing the inspection results and any identified findings.
  • Resolve all deficiencies and findings within the specified days in the table below:
Priority Scale Priority Description Days to Closure
IDLH Imminent Danger/Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health 0
One Serious safety hazard, serious/willful regulatory violations and/or significant fire and life safety code violation that poses a serious safety or compliance risk. 0-7
Two Moderate safety hazard or moderate/repeat regulatory violation and/or moderate fire and life safety concern, poor housekeeping, safety documentation issues, safety training compliance, etc. 8-30
Three Minimal safety hazard, possible regulatory violation, infrastructure, deferred maintenance, etc. 31-90


  • This high level process ensures accountability in resolving outstanding safety hazards in labs and how EHS will attempt to obtain closure on lab safety inspection findings. EHS School Coordinators will periodically follow-up with PIs to check on the status of open findings and assist them in closing out findings. As part of our ongoing quality control process, closed items will be evaluated by the EHS School Coordinators.
  • If no action is taken on resolving findings, EHS Administration will generate a monthly report of all open findings that have exceeded the required closure date and will send this to the EHS School Coordinators. They will then share this report with their respective Assistant Dean and/or Department Chairs. After this report is shared and if audit findings remain open, a quarterly report will be generated by EHS Administration and shared with the Lab Safety Committee, Vice Chancellor of Research, Chief Financial Officer & Vice Chancellor of DFA, and the Provost.

EHS Escalation Criteria and Process

Research Escalation Process Flowchart

  • As indicated in the Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP), all labs covered under the CHP are required to perform self-inspections and update their lab’s chemical inventory every year from January 1 to December 31. Self-inspections must be performed annually, at a minimum. EHS will be looking for completed self-inspection results in your Lab Safety Binder during the annual EHS-performed lab safety inspections.
  • Resources

The Chemical Hygiene Plan (CHP) establishes a formal written program for protecting laboratory personnel against adverse health and safety hazards associated with exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals and must be made available to all employees working with hazardous chemicals. The CHP describes the proper use and handling practices and procedures to be followed by faculty, staff, students, visiting scholars, and all other personnel working with potentially hazardous chemicals in laboratory settings at UCI.

Campuswide Laboratory Safety Committee meets four times a year. This committee is sponsored by office of Research and Division of Finance and Administration.