Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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General Safety Questions

biosafety

Biological Questions

Chemical Questions

Radiological Questions

 

The following list of Frequently Asked Questions has been compiled by EH&S Specialists and members of the EH&S Users Advisory Committee. This list is intended to answer some of the questions that are regularly posed by researchers. If you have additional questions, please consult your EH&S Specialist.

 

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General Questions:

  1. Who is my EH&S Specialist (Department Safety Advisor)?
  2. What is LHAT?
  3. How do I get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for new lab employees?
  4. Where can I find the Supervisor Injury Report (SIR) form?
  5. Which vendor should I contact to clean lab coats/PPE?
  6. Where can I order biohazard/radioactive/chemical waste bags?
  7. Recommended vendors who can decon/clean lab equipment.
  8. How do I dispose of the broken glass cardboard boxes?
  9. How do I dispose of pipette?
  10. How often does EH&S inspect laboratories?
  11. What safety training do I need to take?
  12. Whom do I contact to have a fume hood or a biosafety cabinet certified?
  13. When do I add or remove users to authorizations?
  14. Where do I submit Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?

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Biological Safety Questions:

  1. How do I dispose of biohazardous waste/sharps?
  2. Where do I get the hepatitis B forms for new employees?
  3. How do I store biohazardous waste?
  4. How do I get a BSL 2 lab/tissue culture room floor cleaned?
  5. Where can I get information regarding hazardous materials usage in animal studies?
  6. How can I transport biological materials between campuses?
  7. How can I ship/import/export biological material?
  8. Who needs to take safe shipper training?
  9. Who is allowed to work in a lab (researchers, volunteers, collaborators, etc.), and what do they need before they are allowed to start work?
  10. When is a Biological Use Authorization modification required?
  11. What is the process for disposing toxin waste?

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Chemical Safety Questions:

  1. How do I request a chemical waste pickup?
  2. What are SOPs/CUAs?
  3. When do I need to submit chemical inventory? What needs to be listed on the chemical inventory?
  4. How do I dispose of empty chemical containers?
  5. What chemicals can I pour down the drain?
  6. How do I store hazardous chemicals?
  7. Where can I procure pocketed waste tags?

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Radiation Safety Questions:

  1. How do I dispose of radioactive waste?
  2. How do I dispose of uranyl acetate?
  3. How do I apply for a radiation dosimetry badge or ring?
  4. Who do I notify about a lost dosimeter?
  5. I am pregnant and work around radiation. Who can I talk to about making sure my baby is safe?
  6. What precautions are recommended for safe laser usage?
  7. Our lab uses a Liquid Scintillation Counter. How often should standards be run on the LSC?
  8. Our radiation survey meter is out of calibration. How do I get it recalibrated?

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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

General Questions:

1.Who is my EH&S Specialist (Department Safety Advisor)?

.You can look up your EH&S Specialist on the EH&S website.

2. What is LHAT?

. The Laboratory Hazard Assessment Tool (LHAT) is a web-based system intended to identify hazards and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in laboratories. LHAT identifies appropriate PPE in laboratories based on these hazards identified.

3. How do I get Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for new lab employees?

. Principle Investigators must ensure new employees complete the LHAT and associated PPE training to obtain PPE from EH&S (while supplies last). Please contact EH&S PPE coordinator at ppe@ucsf.edu for more information.

4. Where can I find the Supervisor Injury Report (SIR) form?

. Supervisor Injury Report (SIR) form is available on the UCSF Human Resources and EH&S website.

5. Which vendor should I contact to clean lab coats/PPE?

. EH&S is providing free lab coat laundry service to all campus researchers. For more information, please visit LHAT &PPE section.

6. Where can I order biohazard/radioactive/chemical waste bags?

. Hazardous material waste bags can be ordered through BearBuy.

7. Recommended vendors who can decon/clean lab equipment, see below:

. Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc.: (408) 391-6214; PSC: (925) 244-1803; Advanced Chemical Transport: (408) 548-5050

8. How do I dispose of the broken glass cardboard boxes?

. Broken glass must be disposed of in cardboard boxes clearly labeled with “Broken Glass”.Cardboard boxes must be taped closed. Please notify custodial services or place a note on the box for removal.

9. How do I dispose of pipette?

Glass Pasteur pipettes must be disposed of in a sharps container. Contaminated plastic serological pipettes must be disposed in a container displaying the appropriate label (e.g. Radioactive, Biological or Chemical). Non-contaminated plastic serological pipettes must be placed in a plastic-lined cardboard box. When the box is full, it should be taped up for removal by custodial staff.

. More information is available in our Plastic Pipette Packaging and Disposal Procedures Guide.

10. How often does EH&S inspect laboratories?

. EH&S Specialists conduct inspections of laboratories every four months.

11. What safety training do I need to take?

. Safety training is required for all laboratory staff. Please refer to the “What training is needed?” matrix to determine which safety training applies to you.

12. Whom do I contact to have a fume hood or a biosafety cabinet certified?

Fume hood certification is conducted by technicians from the Office of Environment, Health & Safety. Please call (415) 476-1771 at Parnassus or (415) 514-4107 at Mission Bay/SFGH to have your fume hood certified.

. Biosafety cabinet certification can be performed by Technical Safety Services or Adapt Certification.

13. When do I add or remove users to authorizations?

. All new laboratory workers must be added to laboratory research authorizations before they start bench work. Users should be removed when they leave the laboratory.

14. Where do I submit Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?

EAP can be submitted online at UCSF Police Department.

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Biological Safety Questions:

1. How do I dispose of biohazardous waste/sharps?

. Please call (415) 476-1771 at Parnassus or (415) 514-4107 at Mission Bay to coordinate biohazards/waste sharps disposal.

2. Where do I get the hepatitis B forms for new employees?

. The hepatitis B vaccination or declination form is available from UCSF Occupational Health Services.

3. How do I store biohazardous waste?

. Biohazardous waste must be stored in a hard-sided leak-proof labeled container. In laboratories this is generally a small red waste container purchased by the laboratory. The gray 35 gallons waste containers are provided by the Office of Environment, Health and Safety. To request additional containers, please contact your EH&S Specialist. Please refer to a list of recommended laboratory medical waste containers.

4. How do I get a BSL 2 lab/tissue culture room floor cleaned?

. Custodial staff from Campus Life Services to clean the floor in your BSL2/tissue culture room. Before custodial staff can enter, all biohazardous waste (including liquid-filled vacuum flasks and sharps containers, etc.) must be removed. A work order can be submitted online via the Campus Life Services website.

5. Where can I get information regarding hazardous materials usage in animal studies?

. If a laboratory is conducting animal studies that involve biological agents, controlled substances, radioisotopes, or particularly hazardous chemicals, the following Authorization requests must be submitted: Biological Use Authorization (BUA), Controlled Substances Authorization (CSA), Radioactive Use Authorization (RUA) or Chemical Use Authorization (CUA). More information is available here: http://ehs.ucsf.edu/animal-safety

6. How can I transport biological materials between campuses?

. Transport of frozen and/or active biological materials (Risk Group 1 or 2) between UCSF campus locations within San Francisco city limits is permitted. This process may not be used to transfer biomaterials between different UC campuses or to other off-site destinations (including UCSF affiliates located outside of San Francisco) without approval from the Biosafety Officer. Those with Biosafety Level 3 (BSL3) laboratories must call the UCSF Biosafety Officer (BSO) for special instructions.

7. How can I ship/import/export biological material?

. Instructions for the shipping (import and export) of biological materials are available in the UCSF Biosafety manual. For questions that are not addressed in the biosafety manual, please contact the Biosafety Officer.

8. Who needs to take safe shipper training?

. Anyone packaging, handling, shipping or transporting biological material, and dry ice, must receive training. UCSF requires refresher training every two years.Contact your EH&S Specialist for instruction on shipping radioactive materials or chemicals.

9. Who is allowed to work in a lab (researchers, volunteers, collaborators, etc.), and what do they need before they are allowed to start work?

. Staff, volunteers, students, post-doctoral scholars, and collaborators are all allowed to work in a lab and they have been added to the appropriate use authorization. New laboratory workers must complete the New Employee Safety Orientation checklist and other necessary training prior to being added to use authorization. Minors are permitted in laboratories in a restricted capacity. Please contact your EH&S Specialist for more information.

10. When is a Biological Use Authorization modification required?

. Modifications to a BUA can be either administrative (adding rooms or staff), or involve adding materials such as blood borne pathogens, infectious agents, toxins, or recombinant DNA.

11. What is the process for disposing toxin waste?

. Biological toxins are disposed of as chemical waste. Please generate a tag via WASTe.

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Chemical Safety Questions:

1. How do I request a chemical waste pickup?

. Chemical waste pickups can be requested by generating a tag in WASTe. Your PI, lab manager or EH&S Specialist can add you to your lab’s Waste Group.

2. What are SOPs/CUAs?

. All particularly hazardous chemicals require a Chemical Use Authorization (CUA) including a corresponding Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) In addition, a training verification form must be completed for all users to document training.

3. When do I need to submit chemical inventory? What needs to be listed on the chemical inventory?

. Online chemical inventories must be updated and submitted annually. New laboratories should submit an inventory before starting bench work. Inventories are accessible in Research Information Online and must list all chemicals which may pose a physical or health hazard.

4. How do I dispose of empty chemical containers?

. Please refer to the EH&S guide for Disposal of Empty Chemical Containers.

5. What chemicals can I pour down the drain?

. Please refer to the list of non-hazardous chemicals that can be poured down the drain.

6. How do I store hazardous chemicals?

Hazardous substances must be stored in containers which are chemically inert and appropriate for the type and quantity of the hazardous substance. Incompatible substances must be separated via secondary containment or appropriate chemical cabinets.

. Refer to Chemical Segregation and Storage chart for more information.

7. Where can I procure pocketed waste tags?

. Adhesive waste container tags are available from your EH&S Specialist.

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Radiation Safety Questions:

1. How do I dispose of radioactive waste?

. Radioactive waste requests can be made in Research Information Online (RIO). After logging in, click the “Radioisotope: Inventory, Receipt, Waste, Transfer, Adjustment” link.Never dispose of radioactive waste down the drain.

2. How do I dispose of uranyl acetate?

. Laboratories with an active Radioactive Use Authorization (RUA) can request a pickup of uranyl acetate in Research Information Online (RIO). Laboratories that do not have a Radioactive Use Authorization can request a pickup by calling (415) 476-1771(Parnassus), (415) 502-1129 (Mt. Zion), or (415) 514-4107 (Mission Bay, San Francisco General Hospital, and all other locations).

3. How do I apply for a radiation dosimetry badge or ring?

. New users requiring dosimetry should submit a Dosimetry Request Form. For deleted users who were receiving dosimetry, email dosimetry.coordinator@ucsf.edu to discontinue dosimetry.

4. Who do I notify about a lost dosimeter?

. Please fill out and submit a Lost Dosimeter Report and email the form to .

5. I am pregnant and work around radiation. Who can I talk to about making sure my baby is safe?

Please contact Radiation Safety by phone (476-1300), email (dosimetry.coordinator@ucsf.edu) or pager (443-6888).A Form Letter for Declaring Pregnancy can be sent by campus mail to mail code #0942.Declaring your pregnancy is optional, but recommended so we can assist you in making safe recommendations for you and your baby.Confidentiality is our utmost priority, and we will not disclose this information to anyone without your permission.If a fetal dosimeter badge is issued, it can be mailed to you individually instead of with the rest of your department’s badges.

. For reference: The occupational exposure limit for radiation workers who are pregnant is 500 mrem per year for the duration of the pregnancy (versus 5,000 mrem per year for all other users). After a pregnancy has been declared, radiation safety will issue a fetal dosimetry badge to be worn beneath any radiation protective garments. Users who approach the 500 mrem/yr limit will no longer be permitted to work with radiation for the remainder of their pregnancy.

6. What precautions are recommended for safe laser usage?

Safety precautions will vary depending on laser classification, wavelength, source (point vs. extended), and laser application such as operation, maintenance, and service. For example, eyewear that is appropriate for one laser control area may not provide protection in another. Users should always follow the instructions printed on laser warning signs before entering a Laser Control Area.

Warning signs are required to be posted at the point where a user would have access to a Laser Controlled Area, in a way that would provide adequate notice to the user entering the area.

If you are a laser user, refer to the Standard Operating Procedures for your lab as often as necessary and complete the online laser safety training annually.

. If you are a manager or Principal Investigator, you have the fundamental responsibility to ensure the safe use of lasers owned by and/or operated in facilities under your control. If you have not already done so, please enroll yourself in the UCSF laser safety program if your have Class 3b or Class 4 laser in your lab. For more information please contact the Laser Safety Officer, Gideon Aung at (415) 502-5388.

7. Our lab uses a Liquid Scintillation Counter. How often should standards be run on the LSC?

. Standards should be run as per manufacturer recommendations.The frequency is typically weekly or monthly, but will depend on how often you use the LSC.If you are running a lot of samples daily, then you could run the standards daily or weekly.If you run samples only a couple times a month, then you could run the standards weekly or monthly.

8. Our radiation survey meter is out of calibration. How do I get it recalibrated?

. Geiger counters needing calibration can be taken to Long Hospital, Room 235 at Parnassus or Genentech Hall, Room N121 at Mission Bay between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Posted: October 2015

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