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New Faculty Information—Laboratory Responsibilities


Each faculty member who supervises a teaching or research laboratory is responsible for following all federal, state, local and institutional rules, regulations and policies as they apply to laboratory personnel, hazardous materials and licenses. The Laboratory Safety Division (LSD) of Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM) is able to provide information on the pertinent rules, regulations and policies in regards to chemical, biological, radiological and laser hazards and guidance on compliance. Art Studios and work areas fall under many of the rules, regulations and polices due to the chemicals and other hazards worked with in these locations.

Risk Assessment

Prior to beginning any new research work or classes in a laboratory, LSD must be contacted in order to perform a risk assessment. It is essential that the faculty member and any senior laboratory personnel be present for the assessment.

  • This assessment will determine:
    • · the hazard level of the laboratory,
    • · what training is necessary for laboratory personnel,
    • · what licensing is needed from state and/or federal agencies and
    • · what protocols will need to be submitted to committees.
  • Required documentation, such as inventory forms, will be provided and discussed. Information from the risk assessment will be used to generate laboratory signage.
  • LSD will also be able to provide contact information for other divisions and departments.

Institutional Officers for Regulatory Compliance

The LSD provides personnel within the division meeting regulatory qualifications for the following institutional positions:

  • Institutional Biosafety Officer
  • Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • Radiation Safety Officer
  • Laser Safety Officer
  • Alternate Responsible Official (for Select Agents and Toxins)
  • The DEA and Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS) contact for Controlled Substances

Training Courses

LSD personnel and other divisions provide safety training courses which are mandatory for personnel who work in laboratories, including faculty members. Training must be completed prior to beginning laboratory work. Most courses are available online and in class. For more information click here. Courses available both online and in class include:

Click here for a listing of all courses provided by Laboratory Safety.


Some work requires committee approval prior to beginning. UTSA committees established to provide review and approval of new and ongoing research include:

Any faculty member who plans to work with radiation, controlled substances, lasers or select agents and toxins, should make application submissions as soon as possible as they require not only permission from on campus committees, but also from state and federal agencies. The time it takes to obtain proper licensure or permissions can be lengthy and no work or acquisition of items can occur prior to obtaining licenses or permissions. Contact the Laboratory Safety Manager to begin the application process.

Laboratory Evaluations

LSD will conduct periodic evaluations of all laboratories at UTSA or leased properties. The purpose of these evaluations is to assist the Principal Investigator, supervisor and laboratory staff in a review of their laboratory area for use of good laboratory practices, standard microbiological practices and proper storage and inventory of hazardous materials. Summaries of these lab evaluation findings are provided quarterly to the Laboratory Safety Committee to include Gold Star labs—those with no deficiencies noted at the time of evaluation. The frequency of evaluation is dependent on the hazard level of the laboratory. High hazard laboratories are evaluated four times per year. Medium hazard laboratories are evaluated two times per year. Low hazard laboratories are evaluated one time per year.

Waste disposal service is provided by EHSRM.

For further information contact the Lab Safety Division.