Ensuring student safety in our teaching laboratories is a critical part of the Health and Safety program for the University community. In an effort to ensure that students are being provided with safety training in their lab courses, the Office of the Vice President for Research, Division of Environmental Health and Safety, and the Office of the Provost launched an initiative to establish a University-wide system for documenting safety training. A working group that consisted of lab instructors and teaching lab managers from each school/college, staff from Environmental Health and Safety, and representatives from various administrative offices have been meeting to develop an appropriate system toward this end.
In collaboration with the Registrar’s Office, modifications to the Student Admin system (PeopleSoft) have been made so that instructors can easily identify which of their courses require safety training and submit documentation that students enrolled in those courses have received safety training. The integration of safety training within the Student Admin system allows for consistent university-wide documentation of safety training using a system with which faculty are already familiar. When instructors log in to the Student Admin system, they will access their courses as usual through the Faculty Center page. However, a new icon of a lock will appear next to courses currently identified as requiring some level of safety training. These courses were identified and vetted by faculty, lab instructors, and teaching lab managers as requiring safety training. Additional courses may be added in the future. You should continue to provide and document your safety training as you have done in the past. The Student Admin system will now allow you to electronically submit and record documentation of your existing safety training for each student. The new fields are defaulted to Non-Compliant for all courses (represented by an open lock icon). Once students have met your requirements for safety training, you or your designee will change their status to Compliant (represented by a closed lock icon).
Laboratory Safety Coordinator
This new Instructor type was created to assist Instructors with updating the Safety Compliance Roster. The Coordinator role can be assigned to Laboratory Staff or Teaching Assistants, however, there is no requirement that this role be assigned. It is up to the Instructor to assign this role each semester or to update the student compliance status themselves. Contact the Scheduling Office, (860) 486-3329, to assign Laboratory Safety Coordinators to your courses and sections.
In case you’re planning to revise your safety training this semester, EHS has developed a HuskyCT instructor resources site for you to conduct a safety training needs assessment for your course, or an experience in your course. All instructors on record with Safety Rosters will be automatically added to the site the first week of classes. However, you may request access sooner. To request access to the HuskyCT instructor resources site complete this form.
We have also put together some reference materials related to the most common lab safety topics: Chemical Lab Safety, Biological Lab Safety, and Bloodborne Pathogens available below. If you have any questions, or if you’d like additional resources to enhance the safety lesson(s) in your curriculum, please don’t hesitate to contact Shawna Lesseur, Training and Outreach Program Manager for Environmental Health & Safety, at firstname.lastname@example.org.