Roles and Responsibilities

Environmental Health & Safety


The Chancellor of Duke Kunshan University has the final responsibility for the health and safety of the students, faculty, and staff working at the university.

Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

The Chancellor delegates authority to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, who is tasked with overseeing all aspects of laboratory health and safety.  The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs has the authority to approve and oversee all plans, policies, and procedures related to laboratory safety at Duke Kunshan University.

Office of Environmental Health and Safety

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for providing technical guidance on the development and implementation of the provisions and guidelines listed in the Laboratory Safety Manual. The Office of Environmental Health and Safety will be responsible for the following:

  • Review and update the Laboratory Safety Manual annually or on an as needed basis.
  • Investigate laboratory incidents todetermine root causes and recommend corrective actions.
  • Develop and provide appropriate general safety and emergency preparedness training for faculty, staff, and students working in the laboratory.
  • Develop and implement the university hazardous waste (chemical, biological, medical, and universal) disposal program to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations and best management practices. Monitor the generation, storage, and disposal of hazardous waste.
  • Conduct regular laboratory inspections to ensure that each laboratory is in compliance with the Laboratory Safety Manual.
  • Coordinate clean-up operations in the event of a chemical spill or other contamination.
  • Provide technical guidance in all matters of laboratory safety, and assist laboratory personnel with the evaluation and control of laboratory hazards.
  • Perform exposure monitoring upon request.

Office of Campus Operations

The responsibilities of the Operations Office include the following:

  • Oversee the maintenance and testing of eyewash stations/showers, fume hoods, fire extinguishers, and other safety equipment in the laboratory.
  • Conduct regularly scheduled maintenance and repair reported problem (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, etc.) in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that housekeeping and maintenance staff who works in the laboratory are adequately trained in safety procedures.
  • Communicate with housekeeping staff in the event of release of toxic or hazardous chemicals.
  • Maintain laboratory facilities and facility-related safety systems to ensure smooth and continuous operation of laboratories.

Principal Investigator (PI)/Laboratory Manager

Principal Investigator/Laboratory Supervisor is responsible for the health and safety of all laboratory personnel working under his or her authority or within his or her research laboratory.  Duties include the following:

  • Ensure that all work conducted in the laboratory complies with the requirements and guidelines listed in the Laboratory Safety Manual.
  • Identify and correct potential laboratory hazards.
  • Maintain an up to date inventory of all hazardous chemicals in the laboratory.
  • Develop and implement a chemical labeling system to ensure that all hazardous chemical containers are correctly labeled and appropriate warning signage(s) is displayed.
  • Ensure that hazardous wastes are being stored and disposed in accordance with the university policies.
  • Ensure that Safety Date Sheet (SDS) for all laboratory chemicals are readily available and accessible to all laboratory employees.
  • Report laboratory incidents to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that laboratory employees receive appropriate safety and procedure specific training. Maintain written or electronic records of laboratory-specific training(s).
  • Ensure that all appropriate personal protective equipment (lab coats, gloves, and eye protection) is provided and maintained.
  • Conduct periodic (quarterly) inspection of laboratory spaces.
  • Promptly notifies the Office of EH&S and/or Operations Office when work place engineering controls (e.g., fume hoods) or other emergency safety equipment (e.g. safety shower, eyewash, etc.) become non-operational.

Laboratory Employees and Students

Employees and students are responsible for understanding the requirements and guidelines listed in the Laboratory Safety Manual and ensuring that all work is conducted in accordance with the requirements of this manual.  Duties include the following:

  • Report unsafe conditions to the laboratory Principal Investigator (PI) and/or Lab Manager.
  • Ensure that appropriate Personal Protective Equipment is being worn at all times.
  • Report laboratory incidents and accidents to the Principal Investigator and/or Lab Manager.
  • Complete all required safety training (s).
  • Be knowledgably of the following:
    • Location of the Laboratory Safety Manual;
    • Location of the Safety Data Sheets;
    • Guidelines on the proper storage, handling, and disposal of hazardous substances;
    • Location and use of emergency safety equipment such as safety shower/eyewash station and fire extinguisher.

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