Audit

1. Electrical Safety
Misc. Electrical.

Damaged electrical outlet (Item of Concern): Repair is needed on electrical outlet. Submit request for repair through AggieWorks.

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Blocked electrical panel (Item of Concern): Remove items that block access to the electrical panel.

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Extension Cords/Power Strips/Plug Adapters.

Power strips in fume hood (Item of Concern): Remove electrical strips from fume hood.

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2. Fire/Life Safety
Clearance.

Blocked evacuation routes (Deficiency): Keep evacuation/exit routes clear of obstructions.

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Fire Extinguishers.

Blocked fire extinguisher (Deficiency): Remove obstruction blocking fire extinguisher.

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Discharged fire extinguisher (Item of Concern): Fire extinguisher has been discharged. Complete an “Accident/Investigation Form” for the incident or near-miss, and submit the form to the EHS inspector within 24 hours.

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Damaged fire extinguisher (Item of Concern): Fire extinguisher is damaged. EHS inspector will notify Fire & Life Safety personnel.

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3. Safe Lab Practices
Food/Beverages.

Food/drink in lab (Deficiency): Food and beverages may not be consumed, stored, or prepared in lab areas.

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Hand-washing Facilities.

Sink/water needed (Item of Concern): Provide running water for hand washing.

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Soap needed (Item of Concern): Provide soap for hand washing.

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Paper towels needed (Item of Concern): Provide paper towels for drying hands after washing.

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Sharps Handling, Storage, and Disposal.

Unsecured sharps (Deficiency): Secure razors, knives, needles, microtome blades, and other sharps to be reused in rigid protective cases.

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Housekeeping/Misc.

Spilled chemicals (Deficiency): Clean up spilled chemicals on bench top, in fume hood, or on floor.

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Clutter in lab (Item of Concern): Dispose of clutter, including unnecessary boxes, old equipment, and trash.

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Dirty fume hood (Item of Concern): Clean dirty fume hood.

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Dirty work surface (Item of Concern): Clean dirty or untidy workspace or lab bench.

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4. Physical Hazards
Cryogenic Cylinders and Dewars.

Damaged cryogenic cylinder (Deficiency): Ribbing, excessive ice buildup on tank, cracked gaskets, excessive rust, etc. are indications that the cryogenic cylinder is in poor condition. Contact service provider to have cylinder serviced.

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Compressed Gas Cylinders

Improperly secured gas cylinder (Item of Concern): Properly secure compressed gas cylinder(s) with a device designed for such use. Ropes and bungee cords are not permitted for securing cylinders.

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Gas cylinders secured in group (Item of Concern): Secure compressed gas cylinder(s) individually, not in groups.

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Gas cylinder missing safety cap (Item of Concern): Apply safety cap to cylinders when not in use.

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Glass Equipment or Containers.

Unshielded glass under pressure (Item of Concern): Shield and/or wrap tape around glass that is under vacuum pressure (Rotovap, glass Dewars, etc.).

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Glass items on floor (Item of Concern): Do not store glass items directly on the floor. Place in cabinets or in secondary containment.

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Misc. Hazards.

Unguarded moving parts (Deficiency): Guard exposed, moving parts of equipment, including pinch points and belts.

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Tripping hazard (Item of Concern): Relocate, tape down, or otherwise secure electrical cords, computer cables and/or hoses that present tripping hazards.

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5. Chemical Fume Hood
Misc. Fume Hood.

Items on fume hood knobs (Item of Concern): Remove items that are hanging on fume hood control knobs.

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Obstructed Fume Hood.

Airflow obstructed in fume hood (Deficiency): To avoid obstructing airflow in the fume hood, place items at least 6 inches back from the face of the hood and 6 inches away from the baffles in the rear of the hood.

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Clutter in fume hood (Item of Concern): Remove clutter from fume hood.

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Chemicals stored in fume hood (Item of Concern): Remove chemicals stored in fume hood. Return them to chemical storage cabinets.

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Loose paper in fume hood (Item of Concern): Remove loose paper (paper towels, Kim wipes, notebook paper) from fume hood. Paper can become lodged in the ductwork, and removing it requires significant monetary costs and labor.

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Improper Use of Fume Hood.

Fume hood sash left up (Item of Concern): Pull fume hood sash down completely when the hood is unattended. Pull down to lowest working level when working in the hood.

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6. Personal Protective Equipment/Eyewash/Showers
Emergency Shower.

Blocked emergency shower (Deficiency): Remove obstruction(s) blocking emergency shower to ensure clear access to this safety equipment.

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Eyewash.

Flush the eyewash unit and make sure it's functional

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Ensure appropriate PPE (eye protection, lab coats, gloves, etc.) and clothing (no shorts, bare midriffs, unsecured long hair, dangling jewelry or open-toed shoes) are available in the lab.

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7. Chemical Safety
Flammable Chemical Storage

Excessive flammables outside of flammable cabinet (Deficiency): Store flammable chemicals in excess of 10 gallons in a flammable storage cabinet.

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Improper storage of flammables (Item of Concern): Store flammable chemicals in flammable storage cabinet.

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Chemical Dating & Retention.

Old non-time sensitive chemicals (Item of Concern): Noted non-time sensitive chemicals older than 5 years in the lab. Periodically review chemical inventory. Dispose of old chemicals that are no longer used. Label non-time-sensitive chemicals that are still in use with current 'in use' date.

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Peroxide forming chemicals out of date (Deficiency): Explosive peroxide forming chemicals and oxidants such as ethyl ether, tetrahydrofuran (THF), perchloric acid, cyclohexene, butadiene, isopropyl ether and dioxanes must be used within 1 year of purchase or 6 months after opening and must be disposed of before the expiration date. Tag these chemicals for disposal immediately if past these time constraints.

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Undated chemicals (Item of Concern): Date chemicals when received and again when opened. If date of acquisition or opening is unknown, back-date to the oldest known date for a reference point, e.g. "REC'D PRE-2010" or “OPENED PRE-2010”

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Faulty Containers & Unstable Chemicals.

Unstable chemicals (Deficiency): Do not attempt to open or move peroxide-forming and oxidizing chemicals (such as ethyl ether, THF, perchloric acid, cyclohexene, butadiene, isopropyl ether and dioxanes) with crust on lid, stratification of liquid, discoloration, or crystallization. (EHS will follow-up with PI).

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Damaged chemical container (Item of Concern): Repackage or dispose of chemicals in deteriorated containers.

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Missing or damaged chemical cap (Item of Concern): Replace cracked or missing cap on chemical container.

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Chemical Segregation.

Unsegregated chemicals (Deficiency): Segregate chemicals by hazard class (flammable, corrosive, oxidizer, reactive, toxic). Recommend using a color-coded labeling system on chemical containers to quickly identify the hazard class. For more information, see the EHS Laboratory Safety webpage (https://ehsd.tamu.edu/Pages/LabSafety.aspx).

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General Chemical Storage.

Hazardous liquids above eyelevel (Item of Concern): Do not store hazardous liquid chemicals above the eye level of the shortest person working in the lab.

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Chemicals on workbench (Item of Concern): To avoid cluttering workspaces, do not store multiple chemicals on workbenches. Return chemicals to storage cabinets when they are not actively being used.

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Chemicals on edge of bench top (Item of Concern): Do not place chemical bottles on the edge of the bench top, where they can easily be knocked to the floor.

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Heavy chemicals on upper shelves (Item of Concern): Store heavy chemical containers on the lowest shelves.

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Chemicals on floor (Item of Concern): Do not store chemicals directly on the floor. Rather, store them in approved cabinets or in secondary containers large enough to hold the entire contents of the bottle in case of a spill.

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8. Waste Disposal
Improper Accumulation of Waste.

Old samples present (Deficiency): Dispose of old samples that are no longer needed.

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Full waste containers (Deficiency): Dispose of filled chemical waste containers.

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Glass Disposal.

Improper glass disposal (Deficiency): Dispose of broken glass in a covered sturdy box marked "BROKEN GLASS."

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Over-filled glass waste (Deficiency): Do not overfill glass waste container. Glass should not protrude over lip of disposal container.

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Improperly Labeled Chemical Waste.

Improperly labeled chemical waste (Item of Concern): Label chemical waste container with the words "HAZARDOUS WASTE" or tie a Hazardous Waste Disposal tag on the container with string.

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Hazardous waste not identified (Item of Concern): List the chemical contents on the waste disposal container or on the Hazardous Waste Disposal tag tied to the container.

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Dated hazardous waste disposal tags (Item of Concern): DO NOT date Hazardous Waste Disposal tag. EHS will date the tag at time of pick-up.

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9. Warning Signs/Labels
Chemical Container Labels.

Damaged/missing chemical label (Deficiency): Replace missing or deteriorating labels on primary (original) chemical containers.

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Improperly labeled secondary container (Item of Concern): Ensure that all containers (squeeze bottles, flasks, dilutions, etc.) are labeled with the complete name of the contents, even those that contain water or are a part of equipment or experiments. The label should also include words, pictures, and/or symbols to notify users of the hazards of the chemicals. Replace fading/deteriorated labels.

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10. Other Violations

Other: See Comments.

Please note that this checklist is a hypothetical example and provides basic information only. It is not intended to take the place of, among other things, workplace, health and safety advice; medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment; or other applicable laws. You should also seek your own professional advice to determine if the use of such checklist is permissible in your workplace or jurisdiction.