Routine laboratory inspections support a safe work environment by helping to identify potential hazards. Both the lab group and EH&S perform periodic documented inspections. Principal Investigators are responsible for initiating correction of potential hazards noted during both self-inspections and EH&S inspections. EH&S can provide assistance with corrective actions when needed.

Laboratory inspections are typically performed:

  • On a quarterly basis by the lab group (documented self-inspection)
  • On an annual basis by EH&S (documented comprehensive inspection)
  • When a new Principal Investigator or lab group begins operations (commissioning inspection by EH&S and/or self-inspection by lab group)
  • Whenever a new substance, process, procedure or piece of equipment representing a new health and safety hazard is introduced into the workplace (self-inspection by lab group or coordinate with EH&S)
  • Whenever the PI or Lab Manager is alerted to a new or previously unrecognized hazard or safety concern (contact EH&S for assistance)

Laboratory Self-Inspections

Laboratory self-inspections should be conducted and documented on a quarterly basis. Download and use the available Laboratory Self-Inspection checklist below. This checklist can be edited and made specific for the operations of the lab group. Please note the self-inspection process is a key component of hazard identification and correction. Document findings on the self-inspection form AND document the corrective action(s) taken. If your laboratory needs assistance with corrective action implementation, contact EH&S.

 Laboratory Self-Inspection Checklist

Self-inspections can also be conducted using the online Safety Inspection Tool (SIT). Only the PI and the system Delegate(s) can use this feature. Contact for assistance with SIT. Self-inspections conducted in SIT do not need to be printed. 

EH&S Inspections

EH&S conducts annual inspections of laboratories using or storing hazardous materials. Inspection summary reports are provided to Principal Investigators and Laboratory Safety Representatives through the online Safety Inspection Tool (SIT). Findings noted in the reports will have correct-by target dates based on the risk ranking of the finding. Findings not corrected by the specified date will be subject to follow up through the UCSC Compliance Assurance process. This process involves the Campus Research Safety Committees, Department Chairs, Deans, and/or the Vice Chancellor for Research.

Departing Researcher Checklist

When a researcher prepares to leave a lab group, the Lab Safety Representative (LSR) or PI should review the Departing Researcher Checklist with the researcher. The checklist should be completed and signed prior to departure. The completed checklists can be kept in the IIPP binder. 

"Move-Out" and "Move-In" Inspections

EH&S conducts two inspections when a lab moves. After everything has been removed from the old location, EH&S conducts a "move-out" inspection. The expectation is that all materials, hazardous and otherwise, have been removed and that all surfaces have been washed with soap and water. When the lab has unpacked in the new location, EH&S conducts a "move-in" inspection. The checklists are here: Lab Move-Out Inspection, Lab Move-In Inspection.