Job Posting

Job Title: Lab & Research Safety Officer
Company: University of North Dakota
Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota - USA

Application Procedure:

Apply online by clicking here.

Job Description:

Salary/Position Classification

  • $63,000-$67,000 Annual, Professional
  • 40 hours per week
  • 100% Remote Work Availability: No
  • Hybrid Work Availability: No

Purpose of Position
Reporting to the Director of Safety, the Lab and Research Safety Officer is responsible for developing, implementing, coordinating, and maintaining a comprehensive laboratory and biosafety program within the Office of Safety for the Department of Public Safety (DPS) unit at the University of North Dakota (UND).

Duties & Responsibilities

Serves as Subject Matter Expert (SME) for UND on matters related to the laboratory and biosafety programs.

  • Interpret federal, state, and city rules and regulations to provide guidance to the Division of Research and Economic Development, Departments, Principal Investigators, staff, students, and the campus community on all matters related to laboratory safety.
  • Serve as a “conduit for information exchange” through facilitation and dissemination of safety, health and environmental information (particularly information sent out by the Office of Safety) to all personnel, including visiting faculty and researchers, and student employees, within the areas they represent.
  • Works with laboratories, the Office of Safety, Facilities, and other University groups to integrate safety into daily operations and promote safe work practices based on regulatory requirements, best management practice guidance, and University policy.
  • Attend University meetings and other college or unit level safety, health, and environmental related meetings and serve as the liaison at these meetings.
  • Identify and recommend changes to existing University policies and procedures to support effective laboratory safety programs.
  • Functions as a point of contact during regulatory inspections (NIH, CDC, etc.) related to laboratory safety.
  • Provide general safety and biological safety training for laboratory personnel.
  • Continually evaluate and improve the University’s Laboratory Safety Program.
  • Ensure that guidelines are in place and communicated for particularly hazardous substances regarding proper labeling, handling, use, and storage, selection of proper personal protective equipment, and facilitating the development of standard operating procedures for laboratories using these substances.
  • Reports routinely the results of this inspections.
  • Coordinate the acquisition, testing and maintenance of fume hoods and emergency safety showers and eyewashes in all laboratories where hazardous chemicals are used.
  • Provide initial, general laboratory safety training for laboratory personnel with guidance and contribution from experts selected by the Division of Research and Economic Development when appropriate.
  • Serve as primary point of contact with local officials regarding applicable regulations and reporting requirements in the area of laboratory safety.
  • Assist laboratory personnel with the evaluation and control of laboratory hazards (physical, electrical, chemical and biological).
  • Coordinate with Fire Safety and Emergency management regarding spills or releases and fire safety.
  • Work with campus stakeholders to evaluate, implement, review annually, and make updates as needed to the Chemical Hygiene Plan and Laboratory Safety Manual.
  • Promote safety, health, and environmental training programs and workshops by distributing fliers and safety newsletters and forwarding safety training announcements and other announcements via email or hardcopy. Inform individuals working in areas about the requirements to obtain necessary training as identified by their supervisor, department, college and the Office of Safety.

Provides technical expertise to the campus community including the Division of Research and Economic Development, Departments, faculty, staff, and students to facilitate success in biological research and teaching activities.

  • Serves as a technical expert and liaison to provide guidance in the development of research protocols by principal investigators.
  • Provide training and education to researchers regarding potential research hazards to prevent unsafe experimental conditions.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain programs, systems, and procedures necessary to ensure the overall safety and health of faculty, staff, and students in research and teaching labs.
  • May act as a lead or technical expert and provide direction to less experienced personnel working on health/safety programs.
  • Provide consultations in experimental design, operating procedures, and safe use of laboratory and shop equipment.
  • Support technical analysis of laboratory incidents and near misses. Work with researchers to understand root causes and identify controls to prevent recurrence.
  • Conduct laboratory safety training sessions for laboratory personnel and upon request, assist laboratory supervisors in developing and conducting hands-on training sessions with employees.
  • Conduct independent compliance assurance reviews of environmental, health, and safety policies and procedures; and prepare accompanying safety evaluations, management reports, and other relevant documentation.
  • Represent campus interests during inspections by local regulatory agencies.
  • Provides support regarding air, water, waste biology and other environmental programs.
  • Assists investigators in the development of laboratory and research safety manuals and standard operating procedures.
  • Reviews research protocols involving lab operations, University policy, and regulatory agencies.
  • Conducts facility risk assessments, testing, and audits along with the development of corrective action plans.
  • Performs post-approval monitoring of laboratories, including direct inspections of facilities.
  • Develops emergency response procedures related to research projects.
  • Functions as the BSL laboratory administrator, managing investigators within those spaces (scheduling, decontamination, PPE, timing, etc.).

Serves as Subject Matter Expert (SME) for UND on matters related to biosafety programs

Serves as chemical hygiene officer and biological materials shipping officer.

Manages the laser and magnet safety program for the University.

Required Competencies

  • Knowledge of chemistry laboratory techniques with experience in developing/ evaluating experimental design and laboratory Standard Operating Procedures.
  • Understanding of the academic research environment and culture.
  • Technical proficiencies in one or more of the following: Chemical synthesis and reactive chemistry; mechanical or electrical engineering; laboratory ventilation and laboratory building design; high pressure systems; hazardous gas delivery systems, controls, and fabrication; process safety; shop safety.
  • Working knowledge of occupational health and safety principles and applications.
  • Proficiency to recognize and assess health and safety hazards.
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct laboratory/ shop health and safety surveys.
  • Familiarity with environmental and occupational health and safety laws, codes, and regulations.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work with diverse groups of people, faculty, staff, students.

Minimum Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, Engineering Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biomedical or directly related field.
  • 2 years of health and safety experience or research experience with demonstrable health and safety responsibilities.
  • Experience with risk assessment and biological safety principles for working in biosafety. Handling bio-hazardous materials.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for Master Safety Professional, Certified Safety Professional, Registered Biosafety Professional or Certified Biological Safety Professional within the first year.
  • Must qualify for approval to have access to Select Agents within 6 months.
  • Must successfully complete OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER certification/recertification within the first year.
  • Experience interpreting and applying regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Experience drafting laboratory standard operating procedures.
  • Must obtain a certification in DOT 6.2 within the first year.
  • 1 year of supervisory experience.
  • Successful completion of Criminal History Background Check

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the US and to complete the required employment eligibility verification form upon hire.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s or terminal degree in chemistry, engineering sciences, environmental sciences, biomedical, or related discipline.
  • Eligible for Professional Biosafety Certification (either Registered Biosafety Professional or Certified Biological Safety Professional) within the first year.
  • Health and safety work experience in an academic research environment.
  • Experience with laboratory safety regulations and guidelines, including NIH Recombinant DNA guidelines; OSHA regulations; and CDC/NIH Guidelines.
  • SLS (ASCP) certification preferred (Specialist in Laboratory Safety, American Society for Clinical Pathology)

Please note, all employment postings close at 11:55pm CST.

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