Safety & Compliance
The Office of Research is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of the research conducted in our community, and we require that all principal investigators comply with all laws and regulations applicable to the project and to the university. All research conducted at UNO must be in compliance with all regulations at all times.
Lab Safety Training
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Each lab on campus should fill out a PPE Assessment and submit it to email@example.com when any new hazard is introduced in the lab, or annually otherwise. Keep copies of completed PPE Assessments in the Lab Safety Binder.
If anyone in your lab chooses to use a respirator, please submit a Voluntary Use of Respirators Form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep copies of these forms in the Lab Safety Binder along with your PPE Assessment(s).
The University of New Orleans (UNO) is continuously striving to promote operations and culture that align with known sustainable methods. Most of the hazardous waste produced at UNO is from laboratory operations. UNO has several goals related to sustainability, including:
- Reducing the amount of hazardous waste generated
- Reducing the amount of solid waste generated
- Substituting toxic materials for less- or non-toxic materials
- Reusing materials when possible
- Purchasing energy-efficient equipment when possible
UNO’s commitment to these goals illustrates our care for students, staff, faculty, guests, and the environment. In addition to care, UNO recognizes the cost benefit of solid and hazardous waste reduction, as listed below:
- Solid and hazardous waste disposal is expensive.
- UNO pays the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) an annual hazardous waste tax as a generator of hazardous waste.
- A reduced quantity of hazardous waste involves a reduction of hazardous material on campus, therefore reducing the potential for an accident, injury, or exposure.
More information can be found in the Hazardous Waste Minimization & Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan.
The following items are regulated and can never go into the trash or be poured down the sink, storm drain, etc.:
- Chemical Waste
- Radioactive Waste
- Biological Waste
- Lamps (Light Bulbs)
- Mercury-Containing Equipment
- Ethidium Bromide Gels
- Photo Processing Chemicals & Film
- Electronic Waste
Proper management, including storage, labeling, and disposal, of each of the items listed above can be found in the Regulated Waste Guidelines.
A small number of chemicals have special guidelines as they are extremely hazardous to health. More information on if your lab has these chemicals and if so, how to properly manage them accordingly can be found in the P-Listed Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes Fact Sheet.
If your lab is having trouble with hazardous waste compliance, please put up the Hazardous Waste Poster in the lab’s satellite accumulation area to serve as a reminder on how to properly manage hazardous waste.
- GHS Pictogram Labels (Avery 5160)
- Hazardous Waste Labels (for up to 42 constituents) (Avery Presta 94229)
- Hazardous Waste Labels (for up to 6 constituents) (Avery Presta 94215)
- Hazardous Waste Poster
- P-Listed Chemicals and Hazardous Wastes Fact Sheet
- Radioactive Waste Label
- Regulated Waste Guidelines
- Hazardous Waste Minimization & Pollution Prevention (P2) Plan
Lab Safety Assessments
Certified SAFELab Program
If a lab earns a compliance rate of 90% or higher on UNO's annual lab safety assessments, then the lab will be recognized by UNO as a Certified SAFELab!
Benefits of the Certified SAFELab program include promotional signage and a logo which the lab coordinator can add to their email signature.
Lab Moves, Relocations, and Decommissioning
All of the guidance provided in the Lab Moves, Relocations, and Decommissioning Guidelines must be met before any lab is moved, relocated, or decommissioned at UNO.
Before any equipment is moved from one lab to another or sent to Property Control, the equipment must be tagged with the completed Equipment Hazard Tag indicating that all proper decontamination has occurred. For more guidance on the Equipment Hazard Tag, please use the Equipment Hazard Tag Guidelines.
Before a lab is decommissioned at UNO, a walk-through must be scheduled with the UNO Lab Safety Officer, where the Lab Decommission Clearance Form will be completed. Personnel decommissioning labs may not leave UNO until all of the corrective actions on the Lab Decommission Clearance Form are completed and the signed form is attached to the front of the lab’s door.
Lab Safety Fact Sheets
Lab Safety Fact Sheets are available to provide helpful information with brevity in mind. Please review all Lab Safety Fact Sheets that apply to your lab and keep up-to-date copies in the Lab Safety Binder. Ensure all lab personnel have access to these sheets at all times.
Safety showers must be tested by a member of the lab monthly and documented on the Safety Shower Inspection Record. All lab members should know where the safety shower is located, how to begin the flow, and how to properly use it if an exposure occurs. This information is covered in the UNO Lab Safety Training, which is required by all students, staff, and faculty at UNO.
Eyewash stations must be tested by a member of the lab monthly, but preferred weekly, and documented on the Eyewash Station Inspection Record. All lab members should know where the eyewash station is located, how to begin the flow, and how to properly use it if an exposure occurs. This information is covered in the UNO Lab Safety Training, which is required by all students, staff, and faculty at UNO.
Fire Extinguishers, Sprinklers, and Pull Stations
Fire extinguishers are inspected monthly by a member of the UNO Environmental Health & Safety Office. Sprinklers and Pull Stations are maintained by UNO Facilities. If you notice your fire extinguisher has not been inspected in the last month, please email email@example.com.
Handwashing sinks must be free from obstructions at all times and stocked with paper towels and soap.
All information on proper chemical handling, storage, disposal, and transport of chemicals can be found in the Chemical Hygiene Plan.
All chemicals should be included on an up-to-date chemical inventory for each lab. Bottles should be removed from the chemical inventory once emptied. Purchased chemicals should be added to the inventory and dated once they enter the lab. Chemical inventories should include received dates and expiration dates. All expired chemicals must be brought to the Hazardous Waste Room for disposal immediately.
Copies of each lab’s chemical inventory should be kept in the Lab Safety Binder and submitted to the UNO Laboratory Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31 of each year.
If you notice chemicals that are going to expire soon, ask neighboring labs if they have use for them, and if not, bring them to the Hazardous Waste Room for disposal before expiration.
Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
Each chemical listed on the lab’s chemical inventory must be accompanied by a current copy of the chemical SDS. SDSs are sometimes provided when purchasing chemicals as paper copies. However, as sustainability awareness has increased, several chemical manufacturers have provided copies of SDSs on their websites.
SDSs can either be kept as paper-copies in the Lab Safety Binder OR on a shared drive. All lab personnel must be able to access the SDSs at any time.
Lasers can be potentially dangerous in a lab, as some classes of lasers may cause permanent eye damage. If you have any lasers (Class I through Class IV) in your laboratories, yourself and each laser operator should be thoroughly familiar with the Laser Safety Guidelines.
If you have any Class IIIB or Class IV laser(s) in your laboratory, you will need to register your laser(s) with the UNO Lab Safety Officer via the Laser Registration Form and create an SOP for usage using the Laser SOP Template. Send completed Laser Registration Forms and Laser SOPs to email@example.com.
Keep copies of Laser Registration Forms and Laser SOPs in the Lab Safety Binder, as well as a copy of the current Laser Safety Guidelines.
Radioactive Materials Safety
All sealed sources, radioactive isotopes, radiation-producing equipment, radioactive waste, and other radioactive materials must be managed in accordance with the Radioactive Materials Management Guidelines.
To request a dosimetry monitoring badge, please complete the Dosimetry Monitoring Request Form prior to working with any radioactive materials. Completed forms must be sent to the Lab Safety Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One way UNO has achieved a higher standard of safety awareness on campus is through uniform lab signage. Not only does this help create awareness for our faculty, staff, students, and visitors that enter the labs, but this will also help potential first responders stay safe if there is ever an emergency and they need to enter the labs.
If your department uses any portable ladders, fixed ladders, mobile ladder stands/platforms, step ladders, or single/extension ladders, please use the Ladder Inventory and Inspection Record for proper inspection and inventory requirements. Ladders should be visually inspected before each use. Ladder inspections should be documented annually, at a minimum.
Here are the ladder safety requirements:
- Always use the correct ladder for the job. If you are unsure of which ladder to use, do not attempt to complete the job until you’ve consulted with your supervisor and you feel confident.
- Read all warning labels and safety stickers before climbing a ladder.
- Wear clean, dry, slip-resistant shoes and use ladders with slip resistant feet.
- Always ensure you use ladders in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Ensure your ladder is properly set up. Place the base on a firm, solid surface. Avoid slippery, wet or soft surfaces. If you must put the ladder on a soft surface, place a board under the ladder’s feet to provide firm footing. Make sure the top of the ladder has firm support as well. Never lean a ladder against a window pane or other unstable surface.
- If you’re using a straight or extension ladder, the angle of the ladder is the critical safety factor. A straight or extension ladder should be placed 1 foot away from the surface it rests against for every 4 feet of ladder height. For example, if the ladder is 4 feet high, the bottom of the ladder should be 1 foot away from the support surface.
- If you use a ladder to access a roof or platform, make sure the ladder extends at least 3 feet over the roof or platform edge. Be sure to securely fasten straight and extension ladders to the upper support.
- If you have angled the ladder properly and still have doubts about its stability, have someone hold the ladder before climbing up.
- If you’re using a stepladder, be sure to open it completely before you climb.
- If you have to use a stepladder near a doorway, lock or barricade the door and post signs so no one will open it and knock you off the ladder.
- Never climb a ladder with equipment in your hands. Use your pockets, equipment belt, or a tool pouch and raise heavy objects with a hand line.
- If you forget something, always climb down the ladder to retrieve it yourself. Don’t have someone toss it up to you.
- Never ask someone to climb up a ladder while you are on it to give you supplies, unless the ladder is designed for 2 people because it is dangerous to exceed the weight limits that a specific ladder can handle.
- To properly climb a ladder, face the ladder, keep your body square, and hold on to the rungs. When you descend from a ladder, practice the same safety rules. Always step off at the bottom rung of the ladder. Never jump off a ladder.
- Never attempt to step on the top two rungs of the ladder.
- Always keep one hand and two feet on the ladder at all times. This is called the “Three Contact Rule”. Never attempt to reposition a ladder while you are on the ladder.
- Never extend or reach outside of your arm’s length while standing properly (Three Contact Rule) on the ladder.
- Evaluate your surroundings prior to hauling a ladder around. Ladders can be heavy and unwieldy which could cause you to strike another person, object, or hit electrical power lines.
- Make the ladder as compact as possible before transporting it. Carry it horizontally while tilting it higher in front and lower in back. If the ladder is particularly long and heavy, get a coworker to help you carry it.
- Clean the ladder after each use to prevent dirt buildup.
- Don’t use a ladder as a bridge or scaffold.
- Don’t put a ladder on a box, barrel or other object to gain additional height.
- Don’t use a damaged or unsafe ladder.
- Don’t use a ladder in unsafe weather or conditions. Descend immediately if high winds, rain or other inclement weather begins. Wind force can blow you off the ladder. Rain can make the rungs and the ground slippery. Bitter cold can make metal ladders more brittle and can cause other structural damage. If you encounter bad weather while on a ladder, do not speed up to finish the job and risk injury. Wait to finish the job until conditions are once again safe.
- Practice these ladder safety rules every time you climb to reduce risk, keep yourself safe, and ensure the job is done correctly.
For detailed information about compliance policies and procedures at the University of New Orleans, or to obtain contact information for the various compliance officers, visit the University Compliance website.
Conflict of Interest Committee
The Conflict of Interest Committee reviews conflict of interest disclosures submitted to them and renders a judgment as to whether any potential conflict of interest could directly and significantly affect the design, conduct, or reporting of research. If the committee determines that a conflict exists which generates a risk related to research or technology transfer, this committee works with the faculty/staff member to eliminate the risk, if possible. If the risk cannot be eliminated the committee strives to minimize the risk of any actual or potential conflict of interest.
Human Subjects — Institutional Review Board (IRB)
All research activities involving the use of human beings as research subjects (participants) must be reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Human subjects review is designed to protect participants and researchers by ensuring ethical research design and practice. Even though investigators are ultimately responsible for ensuring that the rights and the welfare of human subjects participating in research activities are protected, and that the methods used and information provided to gain subject consent are appropriate to the research, the IRB process assists investigators in this responsibility. For this purpose, investigators may not solicit subject participation or begin data collection until they have received written approval.
Research Subjects Policy
For guidance regarding appropriate compensation for individuals included as research subjects, please review the UNO Research Subjects Policy. Research with subjects should not proceed without an approved IRB protocol. The approved protocol should be followed in addition to this policy.
Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC)
Animal research is monitored by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) on this campus. This committee follows federal regulations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (for use of certain types of animals), but primarily from a regulatory subdivision of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW). UNO IACUC provides ongoing oversight of research and teaching activities to ensure that all faculty and staff comply with all Federal and State guidelines concerning the use of animals in research and teaching.
Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC)
The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is charged under Federal Regulations with the oversight of all teaching and research activities involving: Recombinant DNA, Artificial Gene Transfer, Infectious Agents, and Biologically Derived Toxins. This also includes use of biological and hazardous materials at other research sites accessed by University faculty, staff, researchers, and non-university staff researchers under grants and contracts to the University.
Contact the UNO Laboratory Safety Officer Samantha Pallas at email@example.com for information or assistance.
The International Visitors procedure is to ensure that the university leadership is informed of international visitors on campus and to facilitate compliance with federal export control laws and regulations. An international visitor is anyone who is not a United States citizen. These procedures should be used for visitors who are coming from overseas, or for non-United States citizens who are already in the United States but would like to visit the UNO campus.
Export control policies address issues related to sharing proprietary, confidential, or restricted information or software code with foreign nationals either within the U.S. or abroad, shipping tangible items overseas, and interactions with embargoed or sanction countries, organizations, or individuals.
AP-RE-05.2 details the UNO export control policies and procedures.