Lab Safety Officer

Lab Safety Officer — School of Engineering

Lab Safety Officer (LSO) Authority:

The Lab Safety Officer (LSO) has the FULL authority of the School of Engineering to enforce safety policies. When unsafe conditions, practices, or equipment are reported or observed, the LSO may take prompt corrective action up to and including shutdown of all equipment in lab with e-stop if necessary.

Lab Safety Officer (LSO) Responsibilities: 

  • Ensure that individuals working in the lab are properly using required safety equipment, devices, and apparel during working hours.
  • Provide employees and students with instruction and assistance in the proper operation of equipment or materials involved in any operation which may be potentially hazardous.
  • Encourage prompt reporting of health and safety concerns.
  • Participate in investigations of work-related injuries, illnesses, and accidents.
  • Forward unresolved questions and concerns to the Penn State Behrend School of Engineering Safety Committee for response.
  • Recommend safety procedures, calibration and cleaning needs, and training for specialized equipment.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Maintain an adequate supply of personal protective equipment in the laboratory.
  • Ensure affected employees within the work unit are utilizing personal protective equipment and correct misuse that would diminish effectiveness of the equipment.
  • Ensure PPE hazard assessments are performed and documented for work areas and/or job tasks and records are maintained by the work unit.
  • Assist in the investigation of injuries and incidents within their work unit related to PPE usage or lack thereof.


Coordinate or conduct inspections to maintain safe and healthful conditions, and address any deficiencies that are identified.

    • Waste Accumulation area
    • Eye wash Inspection
    • Crane inspection
    • First aid kit
    • Lab Self Inspection (in January)
    • Chemical / Waste Management

Chemical Inventory

  • Monitor list of chemical inventory and report changes to lab safety administrative staff to update CHIMS. Conduct annual review of chemical inventory.
  • Ensure personnel are following proper laboratory procedures including, but not limited to, properly labeling all chemicals, ensuring access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all laboratory/research chemicals.
  • Responsible for ensuring that employees, visitors, and students are not exposed to chemicals beyond the permissible exposure limits (PEL) provided for each potentially hazardous substance by OSHA.
  • All containers of chemicals/materials must be clearly identified and labeled as to their contents.
  • Seek ways to improve the chemical hygiene program and make recommendations on developing precautions and adequate facilities.
  • Make sure employees, visitors, or students who develop signs or symptoms associated with hazardous chemical exposure are given an opportunity to receive medical attention.
  • Ensure Standard Operating Procedures are available for hazardous chemicals/operations not covered in the Laboratory & Research Safety Plan.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

A waste is hazardous if it exhibits any of the following characteristics: Ignitability, Reactivity, Corrosivity, and Toxicity.

  • Ensure your lab collects, stores and disposes of waste materials in accordance with University procedures. Contact EHS to ship all hazardous materials.
  • Provide secondary containment for hazardous waste to ensure spills or leaks do not enter environment.
  • Designate a location within the lab for waste accumulation if needed.
  • Coordinate or conduct weekly inspection of the waste “Accumulation Area” for proper storage and labeling and maintain documentation of the results of the inspection.
  • Conduct an annual review of all hazardous materials to ensure safe and proper disposal.
  • Know the current legal requirements concerning regulated substances, as provided through EHS resources.
  • Conduct audits of waste management procedures within facilities under your jurisdiction to ensure compliance and implement the necessary changes.

Lasers: Electrical Labs

  • Complete the fundamental laser safety training provided by EHS and document laser training on the EHS laser hazard evaluation and classification form. Adhere to the requirements of this policy.
  • Classify and label all lasers within area of responsibility and ensure lasers comply with specific safety procedures.
  • Provide and ensure appropriate laser safety equipment is available.
  • Make available written operating procedures for each laser system.
  • Ensure maintenance of the lasers under their control.
  • Immediately inform EHS of the acquisition, modification, transfer, or disposal of systems.
  • Follow-up on reports of unsafe conditions and ensure work with the laser is suspended until the unsafe conditions are rectified.
  • Complete and document the required inspections - including but not limited to:
    • Laser specific information
    • Administrative controls
    • Engineering controls