Environmental Health and Safety

Safety Procedures

General Safety

General safety documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive folders linked below.

Biosafety

All facilities involved in the use of human pathogenic microorganisms and recombinant DNA must be appropriate for the biosafety level established by the University.

The following must be considered:

  • The biosafety level (BSL) and animal biosafety level (ABSL) established for the activity.
  • Current OSHA, EPA, and CDC-NIH requirements and guidelines pertaining to biohazard use.
  • Education/training provisions related to to biohazard use and disposal.
  • Restricted access to authorized personnel only in biohazardous areas.
  • Observing the concept of “universal precautions” when infectious materials or by-products are present.

Please contact the EHS Department for additional guidance.

Chemical Safety

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standards and Virginia State Fire Prevention Code require employers to maintain an inventory of the hazardous chemicals present in the workplace. The Inventory of Hazardous Products Form should be used as the mechanism to convey information about hazardous materials used and stored in each department to the EHS Department for tracking purposes. This hazardous product inventory information will be added to the online database managed by EHS (MSDS Online) on a regular basis.

For departments without direct access to MSDS Online, inventory information should be added to this sheet as the hazardous products are received. Additionally, the hazardous product inventory should be reconciled annually. In July of each year each departments storing hazardous products will receive an inventory list that should be updated to match what is currently on hand. Please contact the EHS Department at ehs@cnu.edu with any hazardous product or chemical inventory questions.

Chemical safety documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive files linked below.

Laboratory safety

Laboratories involve a greater variety of possible hazards than do most workplaces. Faculty and students who work in scientific laboratories are exposed to many kinds of hazards. The links below provide the regulatory requirements and safe work guidelines for work in university laboratories.

  1. Review the Laboratory Safety Manual for guidelines on safety in the laboratory setting.
  2. Complete a Laboratory Safety Plan for your lab room (where there is shared space, only one plan is required).
  3. Complete a Hazard Assessment for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by identifying hazardous material(s) (chemical, infectious, physical, etc.) and processes that necessitate the use of PPE.
  4. Provide lab-specific safety training to affected lab personnel:
    • Students - person-to-person instruction by the PI or lab supervisor, general laboratory safety session (offered by EHS once per semester), CITI training modules. “On-the-job” instruction must be documented; you may use the Training Certification Form.
    • Employees (faculty / staff) - CITI Training course modules, a CNU Knowledge Center course module is available for chemical hazard communication and bloodborne pathogens.
  5. Lab work involving certain hazardous or potentially hazardous materials or operations present a greater health and safety risk to personnel, and may warrant air sampling, exposure assessment and/or occupational health assessment of the employee(s).
  6. Designate a “Satellite Accumulation Area” for hazardous wastes generated within the lab. Maintain a current inventory of wastes collected in containers. Ensure all containers are labeled and stored properly. Review the Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide for Laboratories.
  7. Maintain records in the lab; these records may be requested for review by University committee members during official inspection or regulatory authority enforcement officers (e.g. VOSH, DEQ, State Fire Marshall, etc.):
    • Lab Safety Plan,
    • Hazard Assessment for PPE,
    • Safety Data Sheets,
    • Training records,
    • Any operating manuals or instructions on equipment for users.
  8. Consult with EHS for technical assistance.
  9. Report accidents promptly. More information can be found in Incident Reporting.

Laboratory safety documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive files linked below.

Research safety

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) provides consultation and support for laboratory and field-based research in order to assist faculty with compliance in federal, state, local guidelines and regulations as well as university policies.

Laboratories involve a greater variety of possible hazards than do most workplaces. Faculty and students who work in scientific laboratories are exposed to many kinds of hazards. Research in the laboratory involving particularly hazardous substances or processes may necessitate special permits, facility renovation, specialized engineering controls or occupational health services and require review by EHS.

Laboratory safety training must be completed by all personnel working in a laboratory setting.

Research activities involving certain hazardous or potentially hazardous materials or operations (identified in the list below) present a greater health and safety risk, and may necessitate special permits, air sampling, specialized engineering controls and/or occupational health services.

A risk assessment is required by the principal investigator (PI) to identify hazards and determine that adequate controls (appropriate facility containment, required permits, SOPs, training, safe work practices, personal protective equipment, occupational health assessment and/or monitoring) are in place and implemented to eliminate or reduce the risk.

EHS assists with risk assessment through a research review and registration process. The Research Risk Assessment & Project Registration Policy and Procedures provides the basis for and steps of the process.

EHS reviews projects that involve the following:

  • Vertebrate animal contact
  • Animals exposed to hazardous substances
  • Biohazards (infectious biological agents/material including Dual Use Research of Concern agents, toxins, and experiment categories, infected animals):
    • Infectious agents and materials (including human blood/body fluid/tissue)
    • Biologically-derived toxins
  • Recombinant DNA/RNA and transgenic plants
  • Particularly hazardous chemicals, such as radioactive chemicals, poison gas, carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, explosives and pyrophorics
    • OSHA requires medical monitoring for employees who have are exposed to certain hazardous substances and conditions above permissible limits
  • Instruments producing ionizing radiation
  • Hazardous material transportation (shipping, receipt, commercial or private vehicle transport)
  • Controlled substances / drugs
  • Field research (domestic or foreign)
  • Field specimen collection
  • Import/export of biological material
  • Building/facility alternations or renovations

Research projects are registered and assigned an approval number for tracking purposes when permitting/licensing, periodic exposure monitoring, occupational health monitoring and/or facility inspections are needed.

To initiate review of your project, complete the Project Registration form, applicable addenda and other documentation as indicated in the form, and submit to the EHS Office via interoffice mail to Forbes Hall Room 2068 or electronically scan and email to EHS@cnu.edu.

Please allow at least 2 weeks of lead time prior to the start of your work.

Field research can create unique hazards, even for activities that may be routine in a laboratory setting. The Field Health and Safety Plan is a document designed to cover the critical details of a field trip that all field research team participants should be familiar with. The plan identifies:

  • Field research location(s)
  • Team members
  • Nearest hospital or other emergency service
  • Emergency communication and on campus contacts
  • First aid
  • Travel preparations
  • Hazard assessment for personal protective equipment

Complete a field health and safety plan, review your plan with all field team members before departure from campus and keep a copy of your plan on hand while in the field.

Provide a copy to your department contact and to EHS (send to Forbes 2068, or email to ehs@cnu.edu).

Field safety training must be completed by all team members.

Research safety documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive folders linked below.

Shop safety

First aid supplies must be maintained and readily available for treating minor injuries suffered on the job. The list of contents below is suitable in first aid kits for small worksites.

Minimum requirements for workplace first-aid kits:*

  • 4”x8” absorbent compress(es)
  • Band-aids
  • Medical tape
  • Antiseptic applications
  • Burn treatment applications
  • Triple antibiotic ointment applications
  • 3”x3” sterile pads
  • Exam gloves
  • Triangle bandage
  • Eye pads
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • CPR mask(s)

*Although OSHA does not list specific content requirements for first aid kits, there are general guidelines available for minimum supplies based on the American National Standard (ANSI) Z308.1–1998

First aid kits can be tailored to the type of injury(s) anticipated in any given work area(s).

For example:

  • Machine shops should consider additional absorbent compresses for bleeding control
  • Material handling areas should consider tweezers or a splinter removal kit
  • Dining programs should consider burn applications

First aid kits should NOT contain oral medications.

When larger or multiple operations are conducted in the same location, determine the need for additional first aid supply quantities, types of supplies, and first aid equipment.

EHS does not provide first aid kits - departments must provide kits for their areas and ensure that they are adequately stocked with supplies.

OSHA requires the installation of an eyewash and deluge shower in any work area for emergency use where an employee may be exposed to corrosive substances. These units must be regularly maintained to ensure a clean water supply and that they are working properly.

OSHA 1910.176(b) requires that stored materials be secured so as not to create a hazard:

“Storage of material shall not create a hazard. Bags, containers, bundles, etc., stored in tiers shall be stacked, blocked, interlocked and limited in height so that they are stable and secure against sliding or collapse.”

Fall prevention documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive files linked below.

Shop safety documents are available via Google Drive. You must be logged into your CNU email account in order to access the Google Drive files linked below.

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