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Safety in the laboratory

Role descriptions for IMB's systematic Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) work in the laboratory.

HSE responsibilities follow IMB's organizational management structure[1] and regulatory requirements.

Principal roles in HSE associated with IMB laboratory work

Head of Institute has overall responsibility for HSE management at the institute.

Research group leader shall ensure that the work they lead is performed within the framework of the HSE system at IMB. This includes responsibility for all activities that occur within the research group's facilities, including the activities carried out by chemical supervisor and laboratory engineers. The group leader shall ensure that the research is documented through the consistent use of a laboratory journal. Research group leader is responsible for risk assessment of procedures used in the laboratory before they are introduced, and that a substitution assessment is made of all hazardous chemicals used in the laboratory.

Group leader shall also ensure that the research group has a chemical supervisor at all times, and may delegate additional tasks in the HSE work to other employees in the research group. The group leader shall ensure that they have the necessary conditions and adequate training to perform their duties.

Chemical supervisor's main tasks shall primarily be maintenance and supervision of the research group's chemical inventory, including the disposal of chemicals, updating UiO's chemical Inventory system (ECOonline), ensuring proper storage and updated labeling of chemicals in accordance with applicable rules and regulations. The chemical supervisor shall notify the Laboratory Advisor for further clarification if they discover areas of unclear responsibility and / or shared chemical inventory across research groups.

Head of Administration has been delegated responsibility for supervision, internal control and documentation of the HSE work at the Institute.

Safety representatives (Norwegian: verneombud) shall safeguard the interests of staff in matters related to the working environment and ensure that the Working Environment Act is observed. Safety representatives have a duty to notify staff and their research group leader if they become aware of circumstances that may result in accidents or health hazards. The employer shall perform the necessary steps to avert any danger and make sure the situation is resolved within a reasonable timeframe. If the employer does not react within these guidelines the representative should contact the local working environment committee (LWEC/Norwegian: LAMU).

The safety representatives shall have an active role in our HSE system. The safety representative shall be involved in the planning and follow up of measures that affect the work environment within their safety zone, including the establishment, practice and maintenance of compliance (internal control).

Read more about safety representatives and their function.

All employees must:

  • contribute in the design, implementation and monitoring of the systematic HSE work, and participate in the organized environment and safety work
  • actively participate in the implementation of the measures being implemented to create a good and safe working environment
  • report unacceptable conditions or HSE deviations

All issues should first be sought resolved by the people closest to the situation, for example by an employee taking up a matter with their immediate superior. If the matter is not resolved, it is common to involve the local safety representative.

Support functions in the HSE system

HSE coordinator assists the institute management to fulfill HSE responsibilities at the Institute as a whole. HSE coordinator acts as an advisor to the management on HSE issues, and works closely with the Head of Institute, Head of Administration and Laboratory Advisers (see below) in the laboratory departments to coordinate, develop, quality assess and document the HSE work at IMB. HSE coordinator assists Head of Administration with the implementation of internal control practices so to ensure compliance to the HSE system.

The HSE coordinator function is organized under the main administration and reports to Section Manager at the HR/Personnel function unit.

Laboratory Adviser (lab adviser) assists the department management in monitoring, execution and internal control of the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) responsibility in laboratories. Read more about the tasks of the lab advisers at IMB laboratory departments.

[1]Management structure at IMB follows this order: Head of Institute, Head of Department, Head of Division, Research group leader.


Published Feb. 24, 2017 5:35 PM - Last modified May 2, 2019 3:41 PM