Section 8 - Self-Auditing Procedures
Being in compliance with the many hazardous waste rules is an ongoing task and challenge for University departments. With large, diverse, and rapidly changing student and staff populations, it is difficult for departments to guarantee that every container is labeled properly at all times or that all training is documented in a timely manner. But the regulations require precisely that - complete compliance with all the rules or severe financial penalties may be assessed of departments that are not in compliance.
One of the simplest tools a department can use to stay in compliance (and avoid expensive fines) is to audit itself on a quarterly or semiannual basis for compliance with hazardous waste and basic health and safety regulations.
A self-audit with proper follow-up shows regulatory agencies that a department is being proactive in its compliance duties and regulatory agencies will take that into account when determining whether a fine should be issued for specific violations.
An audit is only useful if performed properly:
The department head must endorse the audit program, support the auditors, and commit to correcting deficiencies found in his or her department
- The department head must endorse the audit program, support the auditors, and commit to correcting deficiencies found in his or her department
- The audits should be performed at least semiannually and preferably on a quarterly basis
- A written audit plan and inspection schedule should be in your department files
- The auditing task can be rotated, but a faculty member should be involved, to avoid organizational hierarchical problems when communicating deficiencies to other faculty
- If deficiencies are found, they must be corrected in a timely manner!
The Chemical Waste Program, (612) 626-1604, can train departmental safety officers in how to perform their initial audit.
Use the Chemical Safety Audit Checklist form.