Laboratory Duties and Responsibilities


UCSF Laboratory Duties and Responsibilities


The PI/Laboratory Supervisor has responsibility for the health and safety of all laboratory personnel working in their laboratory. Specific responsibilities include:

Principal Investigator/Laboratory Supervisor

  1. Knowing all applicable health and safety rules and regulations, training and reporting requirements and standard operating procedures associated with laboratory safety;
  2. Identifying hazardous conditions or operations in the lab, determining safe procedures and controls, and implementing and enforcing identified procedures and controls;
  3. Establishing laboratory standard operating procedures for general and particularly hazardous substances;
  4. Providing prior-approval for the use of hazardous materials in the PI/Laboratory Supervisor’s laboratory;
  5. Approving the use of high risk materials, such as use of particularly hazardous substances (high hazard chemicals and known human carcinogens), BSL3 agents, select agents or radioactive materials;
  6. Maintaining an updated laboratory chemical and hazardous material inventory;
  7. Ensuring laboratory personnel supervised by Principal Investigator/Laboratory Supervisor have access and are familiar with the appropriate Laboratory Safety Manual(s);
  8. Insuring all complete all required safety trainings;
  9. Training all supervised laboratory personnel to work safely with hazardous materials and maintain written records of laboratory specific training in the appropriate Laboratory Safety Manual(s) and Lab SOPs. Training must include informing how to find health and safety resources;
  10. Promptly notifying EH&S and/or Facilities Management when work place engineering controls (e.g., fume hoods) and other safety equipment (e.g., emergency showers/eyewashes, fire extinguishers, etc.) become non-operational;
  11. Provide all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., lab coats, gloves, eye protection, etc.). Training in proper selection, use, limitation, proper care, maintenance, useful life and disposal of PPE. Insure PPE is worn in the lab based on the university policy;
  12. Prompt reporting of laboratory accidents and injuries to Risk Management and EH&S. Serious injuries MUST be reported to EH&S within 8 hours of the incident;
  13. Provide funding for medical surveillance and/or medical consultation/examination for laboratory personnel, as required;
  14. Informing facilities personnel, other non-laboratory personnel and any outside contractors of potential lab-related hazards;
  15. Implementing disciplinary procedures when health and safety regulations, lab policies and procedures are not complied with.



Laboratory Personnel

  1. Reviewing and following relevant laboratory safety manual(s) (e.g., Chemical Hygiene Plan, Radiation Safety, Biosafety, etc.);
  2. Following oral and written laboratory safety rules, regulations, and laboratory standard operating procedures required for the tasks assigned;
  3. Keeping the work areas safe and uncluttered;
  4. Reviewing and understanding the hazards of materials and processes in their laboratory research prior to conducting work;
  5. Utilizing appropriate measures to control identified hazards, including consistent and proper use of engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and administrative controls;
  6. Understanding the capabilities and limitations of PPE issued to them;
  7. Gaining prior approval from the PI/Laboratory Supervisor for the use of particularly hazardous substances and other materials;
  8. Consulting with PI/Laboratory Supervisors before using particularly hazardous substances or conducting certain higher risk experimental procedures;
  9. Promptly reporting accidents and unsafe conditions to the PI/Laboratory Supervisor;
  10. Completing all required Environmental Health and Safety training including lab specific training as required and maintaining electronic or written documentation;
  11. Participating in the medical surveillance program, when required;
  12. Informing the PI/ Laboratory Supervisor of any work modifications ordered by a physician as a result of medical surveillance, occupational injury or exposure;
  13. Laboratory personnel working autonomously or performing independent research are also responsible for:
  • Reviewing the plan or scope of work for their proposed research with the PI/Laboratory Supervisor;
  • Notifying in writing and consulting with the PI/Laboratory Supervisor, in advance, if they intend to deviate from their scope or scale of work;
  • Performing literature searches relevant to safety and health that are appropriate for their work;
  • Preparing lab SOPs and securing PI/Lab Supervisor approval prior to starting work;
  • Providing appropriate oversight, training and safety information to laboratory personnel they supervise or direct.

Posted: December 2012