Chemical Hygiene Inspections

The Office of Environmental Health and Safety routinely conducts chemical hygiene inspections of research and other spaces where chemicals are stored and/or used. The purpose of the inspection is to work with researchers and other staff in identifying and correcting chemical and general laboratory safety concerns and ensuring compliance with federal, state, local, and university regulations, guidelines, and policies. An additional goal of the inspection process is to provide continuous education to personnel on best safety practices. OEHS is dedicated to being a resource for laboratories in the development of lab specific safety programs. 

The following documents can help facilities better prepare for a chemical hygiene inspection: 

Self-Inspection Checklist 

Chemical Segregation Flow Chart 

Laboratory Chemical Inventory Form: Use this template to complete your annual chemical inventory and submit a copy to OEHS. 

Hazard Communication in Shared Laboratory Spaces 

Laboratory Training Checklist 

Also visit our Laboratory Safety Fact Sheets, Chemical Safety Fact Sheets, and Chemical Safety Standard Operating Procedures pages for critical safety information; research safety topics ranging from general laboratory safety to handling highly hazardous chemicals; and for guidance documents on how to safely use common laboratory equipment. These guidance documents are provided to aid laboratory personnel in identifying hazards within the lab and for identifying appropriate controls. 

A general overview of the chemical hygiene inspection process is as follows: 

  1. WSU Chemical Hygiene Officer notifies the department chair of the intent to begin inspections within the department and requests to attend a faculty meeting to explain the process and to answer any faculty questions. 

  1. OEHS inspectors send out notifications to faculty/principal investigators (PI) requesting completion of a lab self-inspection checklist (within 14 days) and an annual chemical inventory. The lab self-inspection checklist provides an overview of the topics of concern which OEHS will cover during the full inspection and can also be used by lab personnel as a monthly safety checklist. OEHS also requests the faculty/PI send the name of their lab representative who will be coordinating inspections. 

  1. The OEHS inspector reviews the submitted self-inspection checklist and prepares educational information and other resources to help lab personnel with any safety concerns identified during the self-inspection. 

  1. The OEHS inspector schedules and conducts the full laboratory inspection. 

  • If no additional safety concerns are identified during the full inspection, then the inspection cycle for the laboratory will be complete and no further actions will be required. 
  • If the OEHS inspector identifies any safety concerns during the inspection, a corrective action plan (CAP) will be sent to the faculty/PI. The faculty/PI will be required to outline their specific corrective actions with actual or estimated completion dates and must return the signed CAP to OEHS within 30 days of the notification. 
  • If the OEHS inspector finds conditions which could potentially be immediately dangerous to life, health, and/or property, OEHS will request immediate stoppage of work and will work with the faculty/PI and lab personnel to render the hazard safe as soon as possible. 
  1. After the CAP is returned to OEHS, the Chemical Hygiene Officer or an OEHS inspector will conduct a random spot check to verify satisfactory completion of select corrective actions. 

  • If corrective actions are complete and satisfactory, then the inspection cycle for the laboratory will be complete and no further actions will be required. 
  • If corrective actions are incomplete or are not satisfactory, the faculty/PI will be notified and will be required to ensure completion of the actions and provide evidence of completion within 7 days. 

During the inspection process, if there is a lack of response or inadequate corrective actions by the faculty/PI/responsible staff, OEHS may refer the matter to the WSU Chemical Safety Committee (CSC). This process is outlined in the WSU-CSC Laboratory Safety Compliance Procedure and Summary WSU-CSC Laboratory Safety Compliance Procedure. OEHS may also consult with the WSU Chemical Safety Committee to help WSU personnel find solutions to their unique chemical safety concerns. 

If you have any questions regarding the chemical hygiene inspection process or chemical safety, contact the Wayne State University Chemical Hygiene Officer or OEHS at (313) 577-1200.