University of Notre Dame
Flashpoint - Risk Management & Safety
February 2022

Flashpoint -

Risk Management & Safety's quarterly lab safety newsletter bringing you pertinent safety information to aid in keeping our campus safe. In this issue:

New RMS Senior Director

Risk Management & Safety is excited to welcome Anna Belote to her new position of Senior Director. Anna’s responsibilities will include overall responsibility for Environmental Health and Safety and Compliance, planning, management, and execution of safety programs, policy and procedure, strategic development, and business continuity. Anna is joining us from Fort Wayne where she had been with the Parkview Health System since 2000, serving as their Director of Safety since 2015. She was responsible for overseeing the comprehensive safety program for the 12 hospital, 14,000 employee system. Anna and her husband John have 6 children and 10 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, volunteering and spending time with her family.

Lab Safety Officers Develop Onboarding Safety Program

The Lab Safety Officers (LSO) Program in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry is a student-led initiative to spread lab safety information and promote a better lab safety culture on the researcher level.  There are 35 experimental laboratories in the Department that have an LSO representative or co-LSO representatives. Over the past year, the LSO corps has been developing "LSO Onboarding", a training program for new LSOs to learn all of the lab safety information most pertinent to a chemistry graduate student.  This onboarding initiative is being marshaled by graduate student and head LSO Daniel Hu, and divisional LSO graduate student leaders Caitlin Donahue, Kathryn Trentadue, Nathaniel Dominique, Matthew Hanson, Savannah Benjamin, and Naviya Schuster-Little. Content is primarily adapted from the Laboratory Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan, but the LSOs are including more abstract content, such as best ways to talk to your lab about lab safety. The goal is to create a one-stop resource that bridges graduate students and other lab personnel with the knowledge they need to conduct research safely.


Several months back, the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) VPP team and RMS staff visited ~80 labs with a focus on OSHA specific compliance and implementation of best practices. The reviews were observation based and did not include documentation review. The VPP team acknowledged all of the good things that are in place while suggesting items for us to consider moving forward as we continue to mature and evolve in our safety process. The severity of the items identified during the lab visits were pretty minor overall. And even though there were a few areas of concern (from a VPP requirements perspective), the requisite solutions will be genuine improvements to, and align with, our current safety programs. RMS will be distributing the reports shortly, continue to work with those labs that participated in the VPP walkthroughs on any follow up items, and provide updates on program changes as they are ready for implementation.

Radiation Awareness Week

Take time during Radiation Awareness Week, February 13-19, 2022, to review radiation emergency preparedness, health factors and radiation fact or fiction provided in this article from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

Safety Alerts

At Other Schools:
Lab Explosion - Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Jiangsu Province, China - "Deaths caused by university lab blasts have some scientists in China concerned about a lack of oversight and standardized safety protocols, especially in teaching labs." For the complete story, read here.

Safety History

"The Most Famous 4 Laboratory Accidents in History" covers just that along with surprising lab accident statistics such as "Only 40% of researchers surveyed reported wearing PPE at all times when working." from an issue of the journal Nature.

Occupational Health Corner

New Heat and Cold Stress Prevention Program and Tips for Working in a Cold Environment
RMS has published a new Heat and Cold Stress Prevention Program for use by Notre Dame personnel. Training for both heat and cold stress is available in ComplyND and should be assigned to anyone whose job description requires them to work in extreme heat or cold. Please direct any questions on the new program to Erin Hafner at or 574-631-7889.

Flashpoint Risk Management & Safety
University of Notre Dame
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