Laboratory Safety Advisor

Updated: 3 months ago


Campus Services


Job Summary

The Laboratory Safety Advisor is responsible for supporting the implementation of the Harvard University Laboratory Safety Programs at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering in the Fenway area and Harvard Medical School in the Longwood Medical Area.  This position is under the supervision of the Associate Director Lab Safety Services and will perform duties in Laboratory Safety in a multi-disciplinary Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) environment with strong emphasis on research laboratory safety (chemical and biological safety, occupational safety & health, industrial hygiene and radiation protection).  The primary purpose of this position is to provide services directly to the clients through field consultations, technical assistance, inspections, training, data collection and analysis.  Participates in cross-functional project teams to provide EH&S services to University customers.  Responds to emergencies and participates in 24-hour rotational on-call program.  This role is eligible for flex-work arrangements in accordance with departmental policies and manager approval.

Position Description

  • Works with laboratories to integrate safety into laboratory operations and promotes safe work practices based on regulatory requirements, best management practices, and University and Wyss Policy. Assists laboratories in performing risk assessments and makes recommendations on appropriate lab safety practices. 
  • Conducts inspections, compliance reviews and hazard assessments of research laboratories, research animal facilities and other support facilities.  Prepares and provides timely peer-reviewed reports, assists in and monitors corrective actions, as necessary.  Consults with Principal Investigators and laboratory personnel on inspection findings and provides appropriate recommendations based on regulatory compliance and best practice guidance.
  • Maintains and updates records of laboratory inspections, internal and external correspondence and investigations.  Monitors completion of required tasks such as inspections, lab permit/registration renewals, regulatory filings and takes action (with School, EHS and Labs) to complete in a timely manner.
  • Prepares and conducts Lab Safety training including chemical, biological, general, and physical protection in laboratories, hazardous materials shipping, and other customized trainings.
  • Prepares, updates, and drafts policies, guidelines, and procedures for chemical, biological, and physical hazards and processes.
  • Assists in the response and investigation of laboratory-related accidents or exposures.
  • Implement multi-disciplinary EHS programs including chemical, biological and physical hazard exposure monitoring, animal experimentation protocols, hazard communication and other program areas.  Develop written plans, training modules, fact sheets and other communications.
  • Samples for air quality, biological, toxic and other hazards.  Interprets sample/inspection results, makes decisions on findings, reports results to clients and maintain records.  Use independent judgment to evaluate potential exposure to hazardous materials, physical hazards and/or conditions.  Provides practical and feasible solutions to control exposures and ensures compliance with University guidelines, best management practices and occupational and environmental regulations.
  • Participates in special projects and assists in the provision of EHS services as requested.
  • Organizes safety committee meetings with researchers and regulatory compliance staff in assigned areas.
  • Interprets and maintains proficiency in regulations, standards, guidelines and trends in laboratory safety and environmental health and safety; anticipates and evaluates their impact on clients; communicates requirements to EHS and client management.
  • Maintains strong collaborative and professional relationships with EHS staff, Principal Investigators, researchers and clients while actively promoting a culture of safety.  Participates in special projects, either as part of a team or as an individual contributor.

Basic Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required. Minimum of 5 years’ relevant work experience with environmental health and safety in laboratory environments, chemical safety, hazardous waste, or as a researcher with relevant EHS experience.  Ability to communicate complex technical issues to diverse clients.  Must take initiative. 

Eligible to work in the US.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Professional certification or eligibility for certification (Certified Safety Professional, Certified Hazardous Materials Manager, Certified Industrial Hygienist) desired; experience in a University research environment or EHS program preferred.

  • Equivalent combination of education, military, and relevant experience will also be considered. 
  • Excellent relationship building, interpersonal, communication, writing, and presentation skills. 
  • Proven ability to think critically, innovate, solve problems, research effective solutions. 
  • Must be able to manage competing priorities in a fast-paced decentralized environment in a hands-on and proactive manner. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work cross-functionally and to influence without authority.  
  • Ability to turn concepts into action. 
 Special Requirements  
Participates in the EHS Emergency Response Program on a rotating basis as a cross-trained EHS Responder.  Will be required to carry a cell phone and occasionally respond to emergencies during non-business hours.   

Physical Requirements

Must have sufficient mobility, dexterity, and endurance to perform emergency response activities and field visits. Must be capable of using personal protective equipment and monitoring equipment be able to access any area of the University to perform designated work functions including but not limited to inspections, job safety assessments, and emergency response. 

Working Conditions

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up-to-date on CDC-recommended vaccines.

Emergency Status Designation: Critical Operations Personnel

Pre-Employment Screening: DMV, Drug Testing, Education, Identity, Employment 


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Department Office Location

USA - MA - Boston

Job Code

396057 Environmental Health & Safety

Work Format

Hybrid (partially on-site, partially remote)


Environmental Health & Safety


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening

DMV, Drug Testing, Education, Employment, Identity

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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