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Infrastructure

In order to provide a basic infrastructure to supervise and maintain safe, compliant, and responsible research, the Research Safety Program outlines the following:

Administration of Regulatory Compliance

The University of Minnesota will maintain compliance with all Federal, state, regional, county and city regulations that affect environment, health and safety in the research effort.

Various University committees play a role in developing the University's health and safety policies and in assuring that external regulations are met. Several of these committees have the authority to prohibit practices that do not comply with regulatory requirements or accepted safety practices.The committees are:

The Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS) is the liaison between the University community and the regulatory agencies. DEHS is responsible for keeping up to date with changing regulations, and for developing comments on proposed changes that may impact the University's research community.

Research Safety Officers (RSOs) are the liaison between DEHS and their department. Research Safety Officers are to be trained in the main points of all federal, state, regional, county and city regulations that affect environment, health and safety in their department's research effort.

An enforcement model, consistent with the Grants Management Enforcement Model, has been developed and is detailed in the Enforcement section of the Research Safety Program.

University's Responsible Parties

The following members of the research community are responsible for research safety at University:

Details of each responsible party's duties are listed in the Responsibilities section of the Research Safety Program.

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Appointment of Research Safety Officers

Each appropriate unit (college or department) shall appoint at least one RSO. The RSO is appointed by the unit head and is provided with adequate time to fully carry out the assigned responsibilities. In very large departments, it may be appropriate to have more than one RSO. RSOs should have the technical qualifications to carry out the responsibilities detailed in Responsibilities section of the Research Safety Program. It is essential that the RSO(s) be given the complete support of the unit head.

The RSO will be the primary liaison with DEHS. DEHS will be responsible for annual training for the RSOs.

Position of DEHS in University's Community

DEHS provides comprehensive services that protect faculty, staff and students and minimize the impact of their activities on the surrounding environment and community. DEHS reports, through the Assistant Vice President for Health, Safety and Transportation, to the Vice President of University Services.

Minimum Physical Requirements for Research Environments

Minimum physical requirements have been established for laboratories where hazardous materials are used. Spaces that do not meet the minimum requirement are not to be used for research with hazardous materials. Laboratory and field equipment, including vehicles, must be maintained according to manufacturers' specifications. Safety features must not be disabled.

The minimum requirements are:

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