University of Notre Dame
Flashpoint - Risk Management & Safety
January 2017
Since the University has contractual and insurance requirements, please note that all laboratory gas purchases should be made through Procurement Services.  RMS and Procurement Services have identified providers that follow those important requirements. Please contact Procurement Services at 1-6401 or for further information.
"Warning:  This Lab May Cause Injury or Death" is an article that discusses incidents and conditions in academic laboratories and asks some probing questions.  The publication is from UnDark which is a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program headquartered at MIT.  This article reviews a number of academic lab incidents where young scholars have been injured and asks if the current safety practices are enough.  Findings from the US Chemical Safety Board (CSB) are provided such as, one significant academic injury occurred per month from 2001-2011.

Along with the CSB, safety experts describe these incidents as "totally foreseeable...and preventable."  The article shares incident information as an important reminder for all those supervising lab workers as it conveys that "each injury or fatality studied so far adds up to this conclusion:  It could have been prevented had anyone in power at the institution insisted on the kind of training, hazard analysis, risk mitigation, and adherence to accepted safety practices that are standard in the chemical industry..."
Tales from the Trenches - Prior to group meetings, Senior lab personnel (PIs, post docs, staff scientists) can mention a lab safety mishap or near miss that they witnessed (or heard of) at one of their previous institutions.  The anecdotes help to reinforce the notion that "stuff" really does happen in labs.
First Aid Kits

Several departments and colleges have asked Risk Management and Safety (RMS) for advice on appropriate First Aid Kits.  First Aid Kits have a use in minor injury situations as long as the injury reporting process remains intact (employees notifying supervisors of injuries).

If you are interested in purchasing a new first aid kit for your workspace or laboratory, RMS recommends a General First Aid Kit like Model # 54630 from Grainger.

First Aid Kits must be maintained by a supervisor or someone in authority in the work space to maintain injury reporting requirements.

The Notre Dame Wellness Center (NDWC) pharmacy can restock first aid kits for campus. Provide the pharmacy with a list of items to order for the kit.  Since the NDWC pharmacy cannot charge a FOAPAL, items need to be paid for with a Pro Card.

Please contact Erin Hafner with any questions at
At Notre Dame:
Unstable Chemical
A flask containing tetrahydrofuran over sodium metal was found in a hood after 4 months of inactivity.  Lab personnel noted the potential peroxide formation and the  presence of sodium so an outside vendor was brought in to test, treat and contain the material.  For additional information see Unstable Chemical.
Laser Safety Training
Starting this January, a stand alone Laser Safety Training course  is now available in complyND. It is required for all Class IIIB and IV laser users prior to use.  
Because the University is required to maintain a listing of Class IIIB and IV lasers, we are asking all labs with these lasers to provide pertinent information to Andy Welding at to update our laser records.  Please refer to Appendix A of the Laser Safety & Ultraviolet Light Source Safety Manual.
Annual Emergency & Eyewash Inspections
Niezgodski Plumbing is underway with conducting annual emergency shower and eyewash inspections. Please see Annual Emergency & Eyewash Notice for more detailed building and scheduling information.

At Other Universities:
Battery Fire - Boise State
Lithium batteries left unattended while charging caused a fire at Boise State University. Lithium batteries can be hazardous when they are overheated or overcharged and should be stored away from combustible materials. For more information see Fire at BSU.
                                    TRIVIA CONTEST
What is the OSHA Standard number and official title of the Laboratory Standard?
Hint:  Look at the RMS webpage under Lab Saftey Regulatory Requirements.

A drawing will be made from all the correct responses sent to by January 23, 2017.  A prize will be awarded and the winner will be announced in our next issue.

Congratulations to Dana Schrader, the winner of our November Trivia Contest! The question asked how many labs undergo joint assessments during FY16-17?  Her answer of 624 was correct.
As we transition to the start of a new semester, there may be the need to create and assign safety training to new faculty, staff or students.  To assist supervisors and dotted line supervisors with this, please refer to the complyND Tip and How To Video detailing the steps for creating ad-hoc assignments.  For users completing a training assignment, please see the same training detailing the steps on how to submit a training course.

For more information on these tips and other helpful items such as User Guides and How To Videos, please visit the complyND website at or contact the complyND Team at
                              OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
Changes in Category A & B Forms for Animal Handling

For those working with animals, Risk Management and Safety (RMS) is excited to announce the use of online Category A & B forms with the start of the 2016-17 spring semester.  This will increase efficiency for the users by expediting requests and improving record keeping.   Paper forms will no longer be accepted after January 17, 2017.

Category A & B Forms will now be completed electronically.  Freimann Life Science Center (FLSC) will send a link to appropriate laboratory personnel to complete the forms in OnBase.  The forms are then routed to the Notre Dame Wellness Center (NDWC) for review and recommendations.  The NDWC will notify the laboratory personnel electronically of any requirements.  The Category A and Catefory B forms and any associated medical recommendations or declinations are to be completed prior to working with animals in a laboratory.

The links to the new Category A and Category B forms can be accessed here.

All NON_ND Affiliates and Indiana University employees will continue to fill out the paper Category A and Category B forms and route them to Wipperman Occupational Health. 

If you have questions related to completing Category A & B Forms, please contact Erin Hafner at
Flashpoint Risk Management & Safety
University of Notre Dame
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