Section 2 presents the principles and responsibilities that make up the policy framework supporting the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Chemical Hygiene Program.
2.1 Principal Investigator or Supervisor
The primary responsibilities of the PI or supervisor concerning the control of hazardous materials and the health and safety of lab workers under their supervision are as follows:
- Appoints a lab safety coordinator (LSC) for each lab or project. The LSC serves as the contact between EH&S and the lab, promotes safe lab work practices, and cooperates with EH&S in conducting lab safety audits annually. If an LSC is not appointed, the PI performs the duties of lab safety coordinator in the lab(s) under his or her direction.
- Receives authorization from EH&S to use a select carcinogen by completing the Chemical Carcinogen Memorandum of Understanding and Agreement for each project. (See Section 4, CMUA.) (The term select carcinogen is defined in Section 12.11.) An authorized MUA user or holder is a Fred Hutch faculty (member, associate member, assistant member), staff scientist, director or other qualified personnel recognized by EH&S to have sufficient knowledge, experience, and training to fulfill the role and responsibilities of holding an MUA. MUA holders are responsible for complying with Fred Hutch, local, state, and federal regulations for health and safety with respect to the specific MUA (carcinogens, etiologic agents, and radioactive materials).
- Ensure that his or her lab staff are working in a safe environment. This responsibility includes ensuring adequate safety training, supplying the necessary engineering controls, and providing personal protective equipment needed for all procedures and worksites under his or her direction. PIs and supervisors must ensure that safety precautions for new or unusual procedures, worksites, or equipment are documented.
- Provides personal protective equipment such as gloves, safety glasses, face shield, goggles, disposable clothing, and safety equipment.
- Ensures that his or her employees attend the requisite safety training.
- Reviews each new worker's Hazard Exposure Assessment (HEA) Form to ensure accuracy and updates the HEA as necessary to reflect current hazard exposures. See Chapter I, Section 1 for details on the HEA.
- The PI, supervisor or LSC must provide training to new lab employees for materials and applications specific to their work which are not covered in this manual.
2.2 Lab Safety Coordinator (LSC)
The lab safety coordinator, appointed for each lab, serves as the primary EH&S contact for that lab or project, orients new staff to the lab, cooperates with EH&S in conducting lab safety audits annually, and helps to promote safe practices as follows:
- EH&S contact: EH&S will regularly contact the LSC for purposes of updating MUAs for select carcinogens, radionuclides, etiologic agents, and recombinant DNA experiments in the lab.
- New lab staff orientation: The PI or LSC must provide safety training to new lab staff for materials and applications specific to their work not covered in this manual.
- Promotes safe practices: To promote safe lab practices, EH&S recommends that the LSC perform annual lab safety audits in the areas of his or her supervision. EH&S has developed the Annual Laboratory Safety Audit Form, a copy of which can be found in Section 12.16. The LSC should ensure that the procedures found in the HAMM and department specific procedures are followed.
- Recourse for non-cooperation: When the LSC believes that required or appropriate safety procedures are not being followed in the lab for reasons beyond his or her control, the LSC should seek assistance from the PI. If requested to help, EH&S will consult with the LSC about appropriate action to take, such as EH&S contacting the PI or other concerned individuals. If health and safety policies or procedures described in this manual are willfully disregarded, the director of EH&S should be notified immediately.
2.3 Lab Staff
This chapter, as well as Chapter VI, Hazardous Waste Directory, is required reading for all lab workers handling hazardous chemicals. Lab workers should expect the LSC or PI to provide safety training for materials and applications specific to their work not covered in this manual. Each person working in a lab must:
- Know the physical and health hazards, handling procedures, and emergency response information for the chemicals he or she is handling.
- Follow the instructions provided in this chapter, during lab safety training, and by his or her LSC, PI, or supervisor.
- At a minimum, wear a lab coat, appropriate gloves, and eye protection when handling chemicals.
EH&S designs the Fred Hutch safety programs with the assistance of the safety committees, and is responsible for the instructions provided in this manual. EH&S, along with PIs, supervisors and department heads, share the responsibility for safety conditions throughout the Hutch. EH&S provides lab coats, safety training, and works with facilities to ensure a safe workplace.