Lab Inspections

Violations documented during laboratory inspections activity are defined as follows:

Other-than-serious (Other):

A condition that could result in an accident or injury that is less than serious in nature.


A condition that could result in death or serious physical harm or major regulatory action against the University (penalties of $5,000 or more).


A serious violation of the same type observed in two consecutive inspections.


A serious violation of the same type observed in three consecutive inspections.


A condition whereby equipment associated with the laboratory, e.g., emergency eyewash/showers, a chemical fume hood, fire extinguishers, etc., is compromised and requiring repair.


When two or more individual violations are found which, if considered individually represent Other-than-serious violations, but considered in relation to each other create a condition that could result in death or serious physical harm or major regulatory action against the University (penalties of 5,000 or more), the individual violations will be documented as serious.

After the laboratory inspection has concluded, present available laboratory personnel are counseled on the violations and actions to correct. Violations that are easily corrected are encouraged to be corrected at this time. Any additional concerns or questions are also discussed. The inspection report consisting of the violations and actions to correct is then forwarded via email within 5 working days to the Principal Investigator, a departmental contact if one is appointed, and to the chairs of the departments.

Effective January 1, 2007, inspections will document violations that persist year after year as a Repeat Violation. When a Repeat Violation is documented, a follow-up inspection will be conducted within 30 calendar days from the date the violation was documented. If the violation has not been corrected at the time of the follow-up inspection, the violation is referred to the appropriate senior academic official or administrative official for action.

If a Facility violation is documented, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) will forward a notice of deficiency to the appropriate department for correction, e.g., Physical Plant Division, Fire Marshal's Office.

It is the department's responsibility to determine how best to follow-up and ensure these violations are corrected. Many departments have used their safety committees for this function. OHS remains available to assist in correcting any and all violations.

Violation Examples

The violation examples below are the most common violations found at the University of Kentucky.


S - Serious Violations

O - Other than Serious Violations

F - Facilities Violations

Chemical Storage

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S Incompatible Chemicals Stored Together
  • Acids/bases
  • Flammables/oxidizers
  • Organic/inorganic Acids
  • Water Reactives/Water or Water-based Compounds
  • Oxidizers Stored on Incompatible Shelf Material
Containers Not Sealed Properly Example
Containers Compromised
  • Corroded
  • Cracked
  • Leaking
O Fume hood utilized for storage while actively being utilized for chemical operations  

CHP Manual

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S None Request
O Not Completed Example
Varying degrees of incomplete
  • No SOPs for Select Carcinogens, Reproductive Toxins and Acutely Toxic Chemicals
  • No Chemical Inventory
  • No Lab Specific Training Documentation
  • Incomplete ID Page
  • Information Not Current

Compressed Gas Cylinders

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S Unsecured Example
Not secured properly  
Exceeding limits for storage per UK policy Fact Sheet
Toxic gases not in continuously ventilated hood or gas cabinet1. Would include but not be limited to:
arsine, diborane, germane, phosphine, nitric oxide, methyl bromide, boron trifluoride, chlorine, chlorine trifluoride, dichlorosilane, hydrogen fluoride, nitrogen dioxide, phosgene, sulfur tetrafluoride, ammonia, boron trichloride, boron trifluoride, carbon monoxide, carbonyl sulfide, ethyl chloride, hydrogen bromide, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen sulfide, silane, and disilane
Incompatible gases stored together
• Flammables/oxidizers
Utilizing regulator as isolation device Example
O Valve caps not on cylinders in storage Example

Controlled Access

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O Lab left unlocked and unattended  
Children in lab Example
Pets in lab  

Door Signage

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O None Forms
Outdated/incorrect information  


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S Damaged/frayed power cords  
Use of appliances not UL listed for application
• Blenders
• Heat guns/hair dryers
O Ext cords utilized for permanent wiring Example
Use of multiple power strips inline Example
No strain relief on energized cords Example


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S Blocked/obstructed eyewash Example
F Non-compliant eyewash Example
No eyewash  

Fire Extinguisher

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S No Fire extinguisher E-mail
Fire ext. discharged and not reported  
Fire ext. blocked Example
O Fire ext. not in wall mount  
F Fire ext. not inspected annually  
Fire ext. not charged – “not in the green” Example
Fire ext. not mounted  

Flammable Storage

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S Storage amounts exceed Solvent Storage Policy Policy
Flammables stored in unapproved refrigerator  
Unapproved flammable storage cabinet
• Three latch inoperable
• Not FM or UL listed
Cabinet not closed Example
Vent caps removed  


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S Evidence consistent with eating and/or drinking in the lab Example
Storage of food in lab area Example

Fume Hood

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S Sash above working height during use Example
Alarm rendered inoperable via tampering  
Using hood when failing Example
Baffles obstructed Example
Incompatible chemical utilized with standard fume hood
• Perchloric acid
O Excessive chemicals/equipment in hood Example
F Hood in alarm mode E-mail
Alarm not functioning E-mail
No flow indicator and/or alarm Guide

Hazardous Waste

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S No label  
Label incomplete
• “Hazardous Waste” not on label
• No date as to when full
• No name of contents listed
Waste not ticketed for pick-up when container full E-mail
Open containers of HW Example
Evidence of improper disposal  


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S Means of egress, i.e., aisles, doorways blocked  
O Chemical stored in aisle ways – obstructing egress and spill potential  
Slip/Trip hazards – power and extension cords, liquids on floor Example
Overabundance of combustibles  


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S Chemical containers not labeled Example
Illegible container labels Example
Label incomplete
• No chemical name
O Food stuffs utilized for research not labeled for intended use, i.e., “food not to be used for human consumption”  


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S Machine not guarded  
O No vacuum trap utilized with vacuum source  
Utilizing chipped or broken glassware  
Improper disposal of glassware (deposited in regular trash in lab)  
Overfilled sharps container Example
No annual certification of biological safety cabinet Example

Peroxide Former

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S Not dated for disposal in accordance with guide sheet Policy
Not disposed of by mfg’er expiration date Example


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S Not wearing PPE in accordance with CHP PPE Hazard Assessment Request
Improper storage
• Contamination of PPE
• Degradation of PPE
Improper PPE selected  
Improper use of PPE
• Improper type
• Wearing gloves outside of lab
O Improper attire  

Safety Shower

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S Blocked/obstructed Example
Shower activation handle tied back Example
F No shower  
Non-compliant shower
• No stay open valve
Handle height greater than 69  


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O All affected employees not received Chemical Hygiene Plan/Laboratory Safety Training Training Page
All affected employees not received Lab Specific Training Training Forms

Research Safety

102 Animal Pathology
1081 Veterans Drive
Lexington, KY 40546-0076

Phone: (859) 257-1049
Fax: (859) 323-4752