The Collaborative Laboratory Inspection Program
As one if its key responsibilities, EHS is required to inspect all research groups at least annually. To maximize program effectiveness, EHS developed the Collaborative Laboratory Inspection Program (CLIP), which includes three types of inspections: key-indicator reviews, referral inspections, and announced inspections. EHS personnel perform the key-indicator reviews annually and unannounced to get a snapshot of laboratory safety and compliance. EHS presumes that if a research group complies with the items on the key-indicator list, it has an effective safety program in place. Referral inspections are used to follow-up on issues when key-indicator reviews identify significant non-compliance or unsafe and unhealthy conditions. EHS conducts announced inspections to “audit” specific items, such as inventories of radioactive materials.
EHS sends inspection reports to the Principal Investigator within two weeks of the laboratory inspection. Principal Investigators are to correct all non-compliant issues or unsafe or unhealthy conditions identified during the inspections in a timely manner. Some citation items will require a written response in which the PI is required to outline what he or she did to correct the variances and what steps he or she will take to prevent a recurrence. The written response is due within two weeks of the date of the inspection report.
If EHS does not receive a written response within two weeks of that date, EHS will deem the laboratory noncompliant. The Chemical Hygiene Officer will send a follow-up report to the laboratory. If the violation involves radioactive materials or radiation producing devices, the Radiation Safety Section will handle the notifications, in accordance with Radiation Safety Committee procedures. EHS will suspend ordering privileges for radioactive materials for laboratories that do not respond within two weeks.
EHS gives an assessment grade based on the laboratory safety inspection results. EHS also gives laboratories authorized to use radioactive materials an assessment grade based on radiation safety inspection results. The assessment grades are Outstanding, Good, Fair, and Unacceptable. The assessment grade is calculated by the number of violations, the violation type, and/or if the violation was a repeat.