University of Notre Dame
Flashpoint - Risk Management & Safety
November 2018

NRC Inspection Results

On October 23, 2018, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) conducted an unannounced regular inspection to assess compliance to our radiation license. The inspection included a documentation review and physical tours of laboratories. No issues or findings were identified and the compliance officer was very complimentary on the conditions observed. This could not have been achieved without a strong commitment to safety and dedication to protecting everyone who works and studies on our campus.

New Lab Safety Resource

"Let's Talk About Safety: Open Communication for Safer Laboratories" is an article written by two post docs who share their inspirations and detail the importance of collaborating with other professionals to create a stronger lab safety culture. The article explains an online lab safety resource they created called The Safety Net. It is a public site focused on a curated collection of standard operation procedures (SOPs) related to work with chemicals in academic settings. To read the full article, please click here.

Safety Alerts

At Notre Dame:
  • While an employee was cleaning cookware, too much detergent was free poured into two sinks filled with hot water resulting in chemicals becoming airborne by steam/mist. Fourteen employees experienced symptoms of chemical exposure and were evaluated at the Wellness Center and released to return to work. Read Chemical Exposure - October 2018 for complete information.
  • An employee tripped, fell and broke an ankle after tripping on an uneven transition between sidewalk pavers and concrete. The employee was transported to the hospital and hospitalized overnight as a result of the injury. Read Trip and Fall - August 2018 for more information.
At Other Universities
  • A small fire ignited from a laser cutting machine in a lab at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. For more information, read here. 
An Important Reminder for Laboratories
In emergency situations, time is of the essence for all involved. When laboratories are involved, making contact with the correct individuals responsible for the space and familiar with its inner workings is crucial. These individuals can help in sharing valuable information to aid responders in expediting remediation processes.

To ensure that timely notifications can be made to the appropriate persons, it's vital that laboratory emergency contact information postings located on the outside of each lab entrance door is current. We ask that you please take a minute to check the information posted at your lab space and ensure there are after hour numbers for each person listed. We recommend home or cell numbers are entered for after hour contact numbers. Click here to download a new Emergency Contact List card.


In an effort to enhance our ability of tracking support for the complyND system, we are excited to announce that we have transitioned to using Service Now to log and track complyND questions and concerns. Given this transition, below are a few things we would like to bring to your attention:
  • All emails to will be forwarded to Service Now. This will automatically create a case in Service Now and the initiator will receive an email back informing them a case has been created.

  • If you contact a member of the complyND team directly via email or phone, he/she will enter a case into Service Now where it will be tracked to closure.

  • When the complyND team is notified of a new Service Now ticket, a member from our team will respond from within the Service Now system.

  • Users will receive an email response from Service Now that will contain information pertinent to the case, including any updates.

  • Users can reply to the Service Now email and do not have to go into the Service Now system to email the complyND team.
We feel that this change will enhance our ability to more effectively track complyND support cases. Additionally, it will provide us the ability to collect and report metrics related to system support and gives users a consistent interface used university wide for reporting system related issues.

Environmental Corner

Risk Management and Safety has partnered with a consultant (APEX Companies, LLC) to conduct industrial hygiene surveys over the next three years. These surveys are conducted to assess employee workplace exposures to chemicals and provide recommendations for exposure reduction or elimination when necessary. To date, APEX has reviewed chemical inventories for six labs in McCourtney Hall and visited operational areas within Campus Services and Auxiliary Operations.
During their visits, they were seeking to understand how people interact with particular chemicals and current measures being taken to protect individuals from overexposure.
The next steps are for APEX to recommend where air monitoring is necessary and provide assessment reports for the spaces reviewed in October. These results will be shared with areas accordingly. They will return to campus in early 2019 to continue with the industrial hygiene surveys as we work through the three-year schedule. If you have any questions related to this process, please contact Erin Hafner at or Thomas Waldschmidt at

Any suggestions?

We'd like to know if you have any comments, thoughts, or suggestions regarding our newsletter. Specifically, is there additional information you would like to see? Do you have a best practice or a topic in mind that would encourage and promote safety awareness? If you do, please submit them to
Flashpoint Risk Management & Safety
University of Notre Dame
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