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MRL Injury & Illness Prevention Plan

Materials Research Laboratory Combined
Injury & Illness Prevention Plan and
Hazard Communication Plan


This document is formally adopted by the Materials Research Laboratory.

Dr. Ram Seshadri

It is the policy of the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) that all persons working under our auspices are entitled to as safe a work environment as possible. It is also our policy that all health, safety, and environmental protection regulations and good practice are to be followed by all persons working within the MRL.

This combined Injury & Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) and Hazard Communication Plan (HCP) spell out our specific commitments to this goal.

The following policies apply to all persons working in the MRL Building and otherwise working under the auspices of the MRL, including Faculty, Staff, Post Doctoral Researchers, Graduate Students, Undergraduate Researchers, Summer Interns, and paid student helpers. All of these people will be referred to as employees.

The following people hold the offices specified in this document.

  • Director: Dr. Ram Seshadri

  • Hazard Communication Coordinator(HCC): Amanda Strom

  • Management Services Officer (MSO) & Alternate Hazard Communication Coordinator: Sara Bard

  • Chemistry Laboratory Development Engineer: Amanda Strom

  • Spectroscopy Laboratory Development Engineer: Jerry Hu

  • X-Ray Laboratory Development Engineer: Youli Li

Injury & Illness Prevention Plan

Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations specifies eight specific topics that must be addressed by every employer in California as part of the required IIPP. In the following the MRL adopts specific policies to meet the demands of Title 8 and to protect the people working under the MRL.

Authority & Responsibility

The Director of the MRL has the authority and responsibility to carry out the terms of this plan. The Director delegates authority for implementation of this plan to the departmental Hazard Communication Coordinator (HCC) and the departmental Management Service Officer (MSO).

Compliance with Safe Work Practices

The Director, the HCC, and the MSO are responsible to see to it that all safe work practices are followed at the MRL.

The Principal Investigators and laboratory Development Engineers are responsible to see to it that work within their laboratories follow safe work practice.

Each person working at the MRL is responsible to understand the nature and hazards of their work and to take all necessary and prudent precautions.

Communicating Safety Issues

The MRL will make sure that employees become knowledgeable about health and safety issues, practices, and protections through the following practices:

  1. A Safety Bulletin Board will be maintained in Room 2042 on the second floor of the MRL Building.
  2. All persons working within MRL laboratories are required to attend the EH&S Laboratory Safety Class at least once while at UCSB.
  3. Employees are required to read the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and/or other references for all potential hazardous materials that they may come in contact with. The HCC will maintain reference materials including Sax's Dangerous Properties of Industrial Materials, the Merck Index, and hard copies of some MSDS. Computers for the downloading of MSDS are available to everyone. MSDS may be found on the Internet at
  4. Research group meetings should address safety issues whenever helpful.
  5. New employees shall be introduced to the MRL laboratories by more senior employees.
  6. New or continuing employees are not to begin new procedures until they have been checked out on the apparatus or process by a more experienced team member and/or they have comprehensively studied the required operation and its hazards.

Identifying Work Place Hazards

Whenever a unsafe situation is discovered it should be reported to the Laboratory Development Engineer, the Principal Investigator, and/or the HCC.

Campus EH&S is to periodically inspect each MRL Laboratory and work place for hazards. The results of these inspections will be transmitted in written form to the MRL MSO, HCC, and Principal Investigators by EH&S.

Laboratory Development Engineers are to review laboratory safety practice and hardware periodically.

Hazard Report Forms are to be available on the Safety Bulletin Board in Room 2042 of the MRL Building. These forms may be used anonymously.

Procedures for Investigating Injuries and Illness

Any injury to an employee requires the following response:

  1. Any employee injured on the job must report the injury to their supervisor, the MSO, or the HCC as soon as possible after the injury.
  2. The HCC is to investigate the nature and cause of the injury.
  3. EH&S may also investigate the nature and cause of the injury.
  4. The "Employee Claim for Worker's Compensation Benefits Form" must be given or mailed to the injured employee within one working day from the time when the injury is reported to the employer. The employee has the option of filling out and returning this form to the MSO.
  5. The injured employee's supervisor, usually the Principal Investigator or the MSO, is required to complete the "Report of Injury to Employee Form" within 24 hours of the injury and give it to the MSO.
  6. The MSO will forward all injury report forms to the Campus Business Services Office and EH&S as specified in the Worker's Compensation Claim Report Procedure.

All forms may be obtained from the Campus Business Service Office at x4440, from the HCC, or from the MSO.

Procedures for Correcting Unsafe or Unhealthy Conditions

Whenever an unsafe condition is discovered the Laboratory Development Engineer, the Principal Investigator, and/or the HCC should take timely steps to mitigate or eliminate the hazard.

If the unsafe condition poses an immediate hazard to life or health the affected area must be evacuated.

If the unsafe condition does not pose an immediate threat, it should be mitigated through improved training, improved procedures, engineering controls, alternative materials, administrative controls, and/or personal protective devices.

Safety & Health Training

Each supervisor is responsible to see to it that all employees under their direction have received appropriate training for the assigned tasks. Each supervisor must also document that such training has occurred.

It is most important that each employee hear their supervisor say that they truly expect the employee to work in a safe and environmentally responsible way even if that requires that work will take more time and/or cost more money.

Record Keeping & Documentation

The MRL HCC and MSO will see to it that records are kept of safety training, laboratory inspection, and actions taken in response to laboratory inspections.

Hazard Communication Program

Most of the requirements for the HCP are covered in the IIPP above. Additional policies of the MRL follow.

Individual supervisors have the primary responsibility for implementing and assuring compliance with the HCP within their work areas. Usually the supervisor will be the Principal Investigator.

The primary focus of the program is to identify all hazardous substances used in the workplace and to identify those employees who may be exposed to hazardous substances so that appropriate training and mitigation occurs and accidents are avoided.

Each supervisor is responsible to identify those work areas and procedures which involve the potential use of or exposure to hazardous substances; and ensure that all employees in those areas are fully aware of the specific hazards and mitigation measures.

All hazardous substances used in each work area are to be identified and inventoried. A paper copy of the full inventory will be posted on or near the Safety Bulletin Board. Digital copies will be available from the HCC to MRL personnel or other responsible parties on request.

Material Safety Data Sheets for all chemicals used in the workplace are to be available for any employee to review at the Hazard Communication Coordinator's office. Such review may be over the Internet. The MRL acknowledges that MSDSs are required by law and are often technically deficient, therefore, other chemical safety reference data shall be kept at the HCC's office.

All employees using or potentially exposed to hazardous substances shall be trained in working safely with those hazards. New employees must be trained prior to their beginning work with the materials. Existing employees must be trained regarding the introduction of new hazardous materials into the workplace prior to using new hazardous materials. Such training may consist of verbal instructions, safety classes, reading assignments, group discussions, or other activity as assigned by the supervisor. The training shall include the following:

  1. That the Department's written Hazard Communication Program, Injury and Illness Prevention Program, and Emergency Action Plan are posted near the Safety Bulletin Board and that they may be obtained from the HCC.
  2. Physical and health effects of the hazardous substances to which employees may be exposed.
  3. Methods and techniques (e.g., instrumentation) used to determine the presence of hazardous substances.
  4. Protective measures to be implemented (e.g., work practices, personal protective equipment).
  5. Emergency and first aid procedures.
  6. How to read and evaluate an MSDS or labels to properly understand appropriate hazard information. How to find and use other chemical safety references.
  7. Requirements of the Hazard Communication Regulation (California Code of Regulations Title 8, General Industry Safety Order 5194). Employees shall learn about this when attending EH&S's Laboratory Safety Training.

There shall be no unlabeled containers of chemical substances allowed in the workplace. All containers must be labeled minimally with the following:

  1. Name of the contents in written English, chemical symbols are not enough
  2. Appropriate hazard warnings
  3. The name of the person who purchased or uses the chemical
  4. The expiration and target disposal date, if appropriate.

Likewise any tubing or piping carrying hazardous materials must be labeled with at least the name of the material.

Outside contractors working at the MRL must be informed about any potential chemical or physical hazards to which their workers may be exposed.