Annual Safety Update

All research groups are required to hold an annual safety update! Please see the guidelines below:

Suggestions from DRS and the Joint Safety Team:

Labs should review and evaluate the effectiveness of the Lab Safety Plan annually.
This includes removing outdated information, adding information that is needed because new hazards are present, making sure personnel, hazard profiles, and updating any trainings in the DRS database.

The Lab Safety Plan shouldn’t just be a compliance check but a useful tool for researchers. The safety info for a group should be specific for the work occurring in the lab. Remove irrelevant information so the important information is not buried. However, there are things in the Lab Safety Plan that are also there for compliance (DRS lab safety guide, SCS plan) so don’t remove those.

What should you go over during an annual safety update?

DRS annual lab audit:
Discuss with the group where there were issues and how to avoid them in the future.
The LSO should communicate this to everyone else in the group so it is not just the
LSO that is aware of the DRS audit report.

Review of top hazards in lab space:
Do a review of the main hazards that researchers face on a regular basis in your
specific lab. Use this as a time to make sure everyone is using proper engineering
controls and PPE for experiments.

Discuss any lab incidents/near misses at the lab group level, SCS, or other universities:
This is a good discussion topic so researchers can ask questions and learn from
others’ experiences. The JST is working on constructing a better incident/near miss
communication system to distribute information to the department. We’ll update you
as more resources become available.

Evaluation of the Lab Safety Plan:
This is primarily an LSO responsibility, but deciding what safety information should
be added can be a conversation with the whole group. Do we need new SOPs? Are
there changes to group policies regarding safety? How are we distributing group jobs
(eyewash testing, peroxide testing, etc)?

If there are any questions that arise during your annual safety update then please feel free to contact the JST (, and we will put you in contact with people who can answer any questions.