1. K-State home
  2. »University Operations
  3. »Environmental Health and Safety
  4. »Laboratory and Research Safety
  5. »Lab Safety Manual
  6. »Introduction
  7. »Responsibilities

Environmental Health and Safety

Environmental Health and Safety
135 Dykstra Hall
1628 Claflin Rd
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506

785-532-1981 fax


Environmental Health and Safety Department

The role of Environmental Health and Safety is to ensure uninterrupted research and learning in a safe, healthy environment. In carrying out this charge, EHS is responsible for development and implementation of campus safety standards. Division personnel will also serve as consultants to assist departments with environmental health and safety issues. EHS will designate an internal employee as the university's Chemical Hygiene Officer and will manage the university’s Hazard Communication Program, and will update the Laboratory Safety manual and related policies.

EHS will employ the following institutional officers as required by policy, regulation or license:

Radiation Safety Officer

The radiation safety officer (RSO) provides oversight to all groups who use radiation sources on campus. This includes: assisting those interested in applying for permission to the Radiation Safety Committee to use radioisotopes under the university’s State of Kansas Radioactive Materials License, conducting inspections to ensure compliance with relevant policies and radiological health practices, providing dosimetry and record keeping services, managing the radioactive waste program, ensuring security of licensed material, establishing and overseeing radiation emergency procedures, and developing, reviewing, and revising the university:

Radiation Safety Manual

Laser Safety Officer

The laser safety officer (LSO) maintains an accurate inventory of all class 3-4 lasers on campus, inspects locations where class 3-4 lasers are in use to ensure compliance with standards of care and procedures identified in the Laser Safety Manual, and develops, reviews, and revises the university:

Laser Safety Manual

Chemical Hygiene Officer

EHS will designate an employee as the university's Chemical Hygiene Officer. The Chemical Hygiene Officer will provide technical guidance and assistance for the implementation of the Chemical Hygiene Plan. This individual will work with departments to ensure proper compliance with the laboratory safety rules of Kansas State University, which include but are not limited to:

Laboratory Safety Manual

Chemical Hygiene Program

Hazard Communication Program

Respiratory Protection Program

Safety with Chemical Carcinogens in Research and Teaching

Blood Borne Pathogens Program

University Research Compliance Office

The University Research Compliance Office (URCO) helps researchers meet university, state and federal regulatory requirements, by providing support and oversight of research involving human subjects, laboratory animals, and recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules and biohazards. Additionally, URCO administers online training related to research compliance and oversees institutional biosafety and export control programs as well as an Occupational Health and Safety Program for individuals who work with animals.

Institutional Review Committees

Institutional Biosafety Committee

The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) is responsible for the oversight of all activities involving research with microbiological agents, recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, or toxins of biological origin. The IBC is mandated by federal laws and regulations, providing a compliant biosafety program for researchers and students.

Radiation Safety Committee

The Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) is responsible for formulating University policies concerning the acquisition, use, and disposal of radioactive material and radiation producing machines. The RSC investigates incidents and ensures regulatory compliance with University, State, and Federal laws. Additionally, the RSC reviews and approves radioactive material related project proposals and updates the Radiation Safety Manual as needed.

Laser Safety Committee

The Laser Safety Committee (LSC) reports to the Radiation Safety Committee. The LSC is responsible for the University’s compliance with the most up-to-date standards for the safe use of lasers and updates the Laser Safety Manual as needed.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

The Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) is responsible for providing a humane and compliant environment for research animals at Kansas State University. The IACUC is administered by the University Research Compliance Office, supporting the efforts of researchers and students in collaborative research and teaching environments.

Institutional Review Board

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is committed to providing a comprehensive and compliant Research with Human Subjects program for researchers, students, and potential human subjects. At K-State, the Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects serves as the IRB and is mandated by federal laws and regulations for oversight of all activities involving research with human subjects.

Institutional Review Entity

The Institutional Review Entity (IRE) is responsible for ensuring KSU compliance with Federal policies requiring regular review of government-funded or government-conducted research with 15 high-consequence pathogens and toxins for their potential to be dual use research of concern (DURC) to mitigate risks where appropriate and collect information needed to inform the development of an updated policy, as needed, for the oversight of DURC.

EHS Committees

University EHS Committee

The University Environmental Health & Safety Committee is responsible for acting as the oversight committee for the administrative units (Provost, VP for Administration & Finance, and VP for Institutional Advancement). Additionally, EHS committee is charged with evaluating college Environmental Health & Safety Committees and developing university-wide policies for Environmental Health & Safety.

College or Department EHS Committees

Every College must have an active safety committee. This must be a goal of each Dean. If the Dean desires, departments within a College may also have safety committees. The University Environmental Health & Safety Committee recommends that large departments or departments with high hazards have a safety committee.

The College Environmental Health & Safety Committee aids and advises the dean or department head and the faculty, staff, and students on matters of safety and health pertaining to Kansas State University operations. It performs essential monitoring, educational, investigative, and evaluative tasks. Attendance by nonmembers should be encouraged. The College Environmental Health & Safety Committee is responsible for:

  1. actively participating in safety and health instruction programs and evaluating the effectiveness of these programs
  2. assisting supervisors with enforcement of safety policies by educating fellow employees in proper procedures
  3. regularly inspecting the facility to detect unsafe conditions and practices and hazardous materials and environmental factors
  4. assuring safety inspections of operations and facilities including shops, storage and storeroom areas, teaching and research laboratories, and offices, are conducted
  5. planning improvements to existing safety and health rules, procedures, and regulations
  6. review hazards for all department/unit activities to determine requirements for personal protective equipment
  7. periodically reviewing and updating existing work practices and hazard controls
  8. assessing the implications of changes in work tasks, operations, and processes
  9. monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of safety and health recommendations and improvements
  10. compiling and distributing safety and health and hazard communications to the employees
  11. investigate workplace accidents with prevention in mind
  12. studying and analyzing incident and injury data


The Dean of each college is responsible for appointing a College Environmental Health & Safety Committee and to ensure that personnel adhere to current safety standards. Ensuring corrective actions are taken when concerns are identified.

Department Head

The Department Head is responsible for appointing a Department Safety Coordinator, if necessary, and informing EHS whenever a new DSC is appointed.

College or Department Safety Coordinator

If a College or Department Safety Coordinator (SC) has been appointed, the SC would serve as a liaison to assist EHS with inspecting laboratories for chemical safety, chemical spill notification, emergency contingency plans, communicating with PIs and lab supervisors, and documenting necessary training.

These required functions may also be performed by other departmental faculty or staff, as assigned by the College or Department's EHS committee.

Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for the training of employees and students in assigned work duties, maintaining a written Chemical Hygiene Program, Hazard Communication Standard Program, and other safety documentation that may be required by institutional entities (ex. Biosafety Manual), and for seeing that safe practices are followed. This individual is responsible for general laboratory safety, hazardous waste disposal, and liaison with EHS to include Laboratory Signs and Registration under their oversight.

The Hazard Communication Standard Program includes an inventory of every hazardous chemical on campus, proper chemical labels, collections of Safety Data Sheets with Right-to-Know access, training, and a written program detailing how each portion of the Hazard Communication Program operates. The PI is responsible for fulfilling these requirements within their area of control.

The Chemical Hygiene Program includes creating written Standard Operating Procedures, taking necessary precautions to limit employee exposures below OSHA’s permissible exposure limits, providing employees with exposure monitoring and medical surveillance in the event that these levels (OSHA’s action level for certain hazardous chemicals, or OSHA’s short term exposure limits) may be reached, inspecting laboratories for safety, and safety training.

Teaching Laboratory Instructors or Coordinator

Laboratory instructors and teaching assistants are responsible for incorporating safety controls into laboratory experimental or teaching procedures and adhering to hazard communication and hazardous waste management requirements. Training appropriate with the responsibilities may include, but not be limited to receiving one time or annual training in the areas of hazard communication, laboratory safety and hazardous waste awareness.

Employees and Students

Employees and students working in or using laboratory facilities in the course of their employment or studies are responsible for knowing and following all safety procedures. This includes completing all required training and reviewing safety documents prior to work.