Ball State University is dedicated to providing a safe and secure academic research environment for all faculty, staff, and students. As a university, it is all of our responsibilities to grow and maintain a culture of safety for all of our community.

Stemming from lessons learned during the 2021 Cooper move, the EHS and ORI-Lab Safety/Chemical Hygiene Committee was created to address the concerns and needs initially uncovered. This committee began to meet formally as a standing committee under the direction of the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Vice President for Business Affairs/Treasurer in Jan 2022.

The committee consists of senior administration officials and members from Business and Auxiliary Services, Office of Risk Management (RM), Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Office of the Vice Provost for Research (VPR) and the Office of Research Integrity (ORI). This team covers a range of scientific and professional disciplines responsible for the oversight and compliance of regulatory issues involved with laboratory safety, chemical hazards, research integrity, and lab security on campus.

Roles and responsibilities of the committee and committee members were established based on an internal needs assessment, issues encountered during the Cooper move, and a reflection for a strong culture of safety. The Committee has received the support from the Office of the Provost and the Vice President for Business Affairs and Treasurer.

The needs assessment and subsequent prioritization list were established in response to lessons learned and through the initial meetings of the committee. Starting in 2021 and running through 2022, a team of EHS and ORI staff conducted a complete and comprehensive lab inspection process (3-phased inspection). The results were very positive and constructive. As a partial result, this shifted priorities and job assignments during the 3-phased lab safety inspection process and helped to ensure the completion by summer 2022.

As part of the current plan of action:

  • Created the Ball State University Lab Safety Policy.
  • Parties, such as PIs, lab managers, and department chairpersons, are responsible for ensuring their personnel and students understand internal and/or specific emergency procedures; and are aware of potential hazards and potential risks.
  • Lab safety inspection schedules have been created and will rollout each year.
  • Individual lab safety inspection reports will be sent to each researcher/lab manager covering the inspected area.
  • Action steps identified during the lab safety inspections are to be addressed by the appropriate office/department (ex. Facilities Planning and Management notified if an eyewash station was needed; EHS when hazardous waste needs to be removed; etc.) and by the applicable person(s) responsible for the lab area.
  • The ORI will act as the public face for the lab safety inspection process, including scheduling the lab safety inspections, fielding questions, sending out the final reports to researchers, etc.
    • If there are any questions, please direct them to the ORI.

In addition to providing oversight and guidance, the committee may recommend the modification, suspension, or termination of any laboratory activities that are deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to life, security, or safety.

Finally, the Committee is responsible for making sure the Chemical Hygiene Plan is regularly reviewed, that any needed policies and procedures are developed, and that EHS/ORI have the necessary resources to support the inspection program.

The EHS & ORI-Lab Safety/Chemical Hygiene Committee website will be updated with new content as it becomes available.

Committee Members
Member Title
Julie Hopwood Associate Vice President for Business and Auxiliary Services
Stephanie Simon-Dack Vice Provost for Research 
Member Title
Terry Hunt Chemical Health Safety Officer Environmental Health and Safety
Jim Klenner Associate Director of Research Integrity and Biosafety Officer
Chris Mangelli Director of Research Integrity
Kim Miller Director of Risk Management and Insurance and Safety
Anthony Rench Associate Director of Environmental Health and Safety

The Ball State University Chemical Hygiene Plan (PDF) provides guidelines for individuals working in the campus laboratory community.

The laboratory supervisors, safety managers, principal investigators, or individual Departments should produce standard operating procedures to accompany this CHP or choose to customize this CHP to suit their individual needs in order to more precisely portray the hazards and controls of their individual laboratories.

This CHP includes policies, procedures, equipment, personal protective equipment, and work practices that are capable of protecting laboratory personnel from the general health hazards in laboratories. It is intended to satisfy the requirements of the federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Laboratory Safety Standard, also known as the "Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories."

The CHP will be administered by the BSU Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office on a University-wide basis, with the individual academic and research Departments being responsible for its implementation on a Department and research or educational laboratory specific basis.

ChemTracker is a software program that is designed to solve comprehensive chemical inventory management and reporting challenges. ChemTracker enables users to:

  • Add and upload chemical inventory information.
  • Link inventory data to safety and regulatory information for easy access.
  • Access safety information and link to MSDS's for specific chemicals.
  • Search for specific inventory information using unique identifiers.
  • Update, delete, and copy single or multiple inventory records.
  • Manage demographic data such as chemical owners (Principal Investigators), users, and facility information.
  • Provide room and inventory activity reports.
  • Produce a variety of regulatory and safety reports.

The Hazard Communication Administrator maintains the written program and provides training and technical materials to the Departmental Administrators who are responsible for implementing the program requirements within their respective Departments or areas.

The EHS Office is also the administrator of the BioRAFT/ChemTracker system for inventory and tracking of chemicals and chemical products across the Ball State University campus including laboratories, shops, and other chemical and chemical product storage and use areas. BioRAFT/ChemTracker is a web-based inventory management and reporting system predominantly used by laboratories.

The safe management and disposal of wastes including hazardous wastes, and other chemical and biological waste streams require special training and procedures to be accomplished safely and in conformance with numerous federal, state, and local laws and regulations. The BSU Waste Management Guide outlines procedures for the identification, classification, storage, and handling of such wastes generated by laboratories and shops, as well as a number of other departments involved in research, art, photography, printing, vocational studies, and other activities that may generate such waste materials. Particular procedures for the handling of laboratory wastes are provided in the BSU Laboratory Waste Management Plan and overall laboratory waste management is described in the related Laboratory Waste Management training document.

Hazardous chemicals are not allowed to be disposed of in the drains (without EHS and Muncie Sanitary District approval), in the trash, or by evaporation. The document, Disposal of Laboratory Wastes: Requirements for Chemical Disposal to Sinks and Drains provides guidance on allowable and prohibited wastewater discharges. All chemical waste is required to be held in the generating location (this location is defined as a "Satellite Accumulation Area") for subsequent pick-up and disposal by EHS and an approved waste disposal vendor. Some wastes may be relocated by EHS staff to one of two hazardous waste accumulation areas maintained by the University for secure storage pending removal by the approved waste disposal vendor.

These hazardous and other chemical or material wastes, not suitable or destined for landfill disposal as normal refuse, are gathered for disposal on a quarterly basis following an announcement to all departments known to generate such wastes. These wastes may also be picked up at other times from campus locations or departments as needed and accumulated for subsequent disposal.

Other materials such as infectious wastes (red bags) or sharps containers can also be picked up for safe interim storage pending disposal as they are generated.

The Environmental Specialist should be contacted regarding such materials.

Managing Laboratory Hazardous Waste (PDF)

The Laboratory Safety Institute has compiled lab safety resources all in one convenient location. The LSI offers training courses, tutorials, and a list of helpful resources for faculty, staff, graduate students, or anyone who works in a laboratory setting.