August 24, 2012


SUBJECT:    Laboratory Safety

On August 3, University of California Provost Aimee Dorr issued a letter regarding actions UC has undertaken to improve research and laboratory safety. The basis of the letter addresses the settlement agreement related to the death of a UCLA lab researcher.

Safety for all laboratory personnel is of paramount importance for every campus researcher, and it is my expectation as Chancellor that our laboratory safety practices will continue to meet the high standards of our world-renowned scientific research endeavors. Therefore, I would like to express my commitment to three important initiatives that UC San Diego is launching that will strengthen our health and safety program and will meet required elements of the UC settlement:

1. The Chemical Hazard Use Application (CHUA), which is a new online application that has been created in collaboration with the Chemical Safety and Surveillance Committee (CSSC) and Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S). It provides Principal Investigators with an important resource to effectively educate and train employees on the safe management of hazardous chemicals. The CHUA has three primary functions:

  1. Create and assign Hazard Control Plans (Standard Operating Procedures) for use in the laboratory.
  2. Document the issuance of Personal Protective Equipment to all research staff.
  3. Ensure safety training records are maintained and up to date.

2. Classification of all laboratory spaces in order to assign chemicals to one of five tiers that establish the minimum level of personal protective equipment that is required to be worn by all personnel who occupy that room. EH&S will determine and post these levels.

3. Basic PPE (lab coats and non-prescription safety glasses) will be provided to all research personnel at no additional cost to the Principal Investigator or the researcher. Laundering of lab coats will also be provided at no charge.

Faculty support is critical to the success of these initiatives. Please join me in fully embracing these programs as quickly as possible to ensure the safety of our researchers and the efficacy of our research.

Pradeep K. Khosla