Laboratory Safety Specialist

Updated: about 2 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: FullTime

Department
 

PME Administration


About the Department
 

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) was established in May 2019 and evolved from the Institute for Molecular Engineering, which was founded in 2011. The PME integrates interdisciplinary science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up. The PME’s rigorous academic and research programs are made possible through the University of Chicago’s unique partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first new school at the University of Chicago in three decades and the first school in the nation dedicated to molecular engineering. In the next phase of growth as a School, the PME will continue to expand its team of world-class faculty researchers and empower students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. The PME aims to bring solutions for urgent societal problems to the forefront, while training the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs.


Job Summary
 

The job participates in the development and implementation of programs and procedures that promote healthy and safe educational and work environments for the University and the surrounding community. Acquires higher-level job-related skills and builds working knowledge of the University's environmental health and safety processes.

Responsibilities

  • Serves as the primary point of contact for PME principal investigators (PI) and research teams and acts as a liaison for these PIs to ORS and EHS on research safety issues.  Stays abreast of any changes within the lab and builds a strong partnership with PIs and their research teams.

  • Collaborates with PIs and/or their delegates on a regular basis as a partner in addressing research safety needs, meeting as often as necessary to discuss research work performed, safety risks, training and safety material needs, and other measures to mitigate risk. Works with ORS to identify training offerings and/or assists the PI in determining training elements that the PI will need to provide via team-specific training.

  • Works with PIs or their delegates to assess safety risk and develop appropriate safety controls for research experiments or procedures with significant safety risks with support from ORS.  Reviews and researches appropriate hazard control and mitigation strategies, including engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment, and supports faculty and research support staff in the implementation of these control strategies.  Works with PME administration and Facilities teams to establish and assess needs for capital projects and new lab construction/renovation.

  • Establishes and maintains a safety knowledge base for use by both PME and ORS; generates reports and provides actionable analysis as needed.

  • Works with ORS and PME administration to monitor adherence to training requirements and inform PIs about non-compliance.

  • In partnership with ORS representatives, and in collaboration with departmental personnel, conducts inspections of all research laboratories and lab support areas as determined by risk level for unsafe conditions and work practices.  Recommends corrective actions and performs follow-up verification of deficiency correction status.  

  • Conducts orientation training sessions with new PIs, staff, and incoming students, ensuring they understand their research safety roles and responsibilities and how to acquire required support. Monitors implementation of controls and corrective actions.  Documents and analyzes monitoring and risk trends and provides reports on safety as needed.  

  • Participates as a member of the emergency response team including the rotation of On-Call Safety Officer and responds to emergency incidents, including carrying a pager to respond to after-hours events, and the investigation of all research accidents/illnesses. 

  • Works with research teams and ORS to develop systems and procedures for maintaining their laboratories’ chemical inventory and monitor status of records. Develops recommendations to improve the overall laboratory safety management system including the tracking of chemical inventories, inspections, and laboratory assets.

  • Monitors overall safety compliance and ensures compliance of laboratory safety equipment (e.g., fire extinguishers, eyewash stations, fume hood certifications).  Identifies benchmarking metrics for laboratory safety and uses database technology and tracking systems to generate reports on a regular basis.  Provides detailed and actionable analysis of trends to PME and ORS as needed.

  • Interfaces with EHS to determine non-laboratory specific training needs for the assigned laboratory areas and research teams and works with team members and the PI to ensure those requirements are met.

  • Works with PIs and departments to procure safety equipment and supplies (e.g., personal protective equipment, hazardous materials) for assigned research teams.

  • Serves on laboratory safety related committees and participates in departmental and campus-wide work groups to facilitate laboratory injury prevention, best practices, and lessons learned. 

  • Reviews assessments and assists faculty, administrative, and academic department staff in assessment of chemical hazards and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs for laboratory research operations.  Assists labs in maintaining training records in EHSA or other software in a timely manner, for the purposes of access to secure labs and other areas.

  • With a moderate level of guidance, interprets University environmental health and safety standards to assist in the design and implementation of programs. Ensures legal compliance and develops procedures. Monitors and evaluates health and safety concerns.

  • Performs risk analysis on the University's environmental and occupational health and safety programs and implements alternatives or improvements to current programs.

  • Performs other related work as needed.


Minimum Qualifications
 

Education:

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

---
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

---
Certifications:

Driver's License - Multiple States

---

Preferred Qualifications

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in STEM field strongly preferred.

Experience:

  • Engineering, Biotechnology or bioengineering background.

  • Experience with live cell cultures, human tissue, animal husbandry.

  • Five plus years of experience in a laboratory or related industry (chemical manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, research laboratory, etc.). 

  • Competence in electrical safety matters, particularly in a research setting.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of safety issues related to the operation of overhead cranes and fall protection.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental health and safety codes, regulations, and ordinances.

  • Knowledge of basic principles of laboratory safety and chemical hazards, cryogens, lasers.

  • Experience in Chemical Hygiene/laboratory safety practices.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Valid driver's license and ability to successfully complete the University’s Motor Vehicle Records check process is required.

  • Relevant certifications (e.g., Hazardous Materials Technician or higher classification, certified safety professional, certified industrial hygienist, safety management certificate, qualification in laboratory safety) strongly preferred.

  • Within the first six months of employment, will be required to obtain medical clearances for using respiratory protection necessary for HAZMAT response as well as 40-hour HAZWOPER certification.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Preferred Competencies

  • Must be detail oriented and able to prepare documents and/or reports as necessary.

  • Ability to maintain professionalism, credibility and good service delivery practices when dealing with all contacts, internal and external.

  • Ability to remain calm and objective throughout stressful and unpleasant situations.

  • Willingness and ability to make timely, sound decisions and accept concomitant responsibility.

  • Communicate effectively and consistently with others using tact when necessary.

  • Manage sensitive emergency situations appropriately.

  • Synthesize complex material to assist decision-making and to communicate priorities.

  • Manage multiple tasks and competing priorities simultaneously.

  • Considerable skill in working both independently and as part of a team.

Working Conditions

  • Ability to be on call and available to work nights/weekends/holidays as necessary.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover (required)


When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


Job Family
 

Legal & Regulatory Affairs


Role Impact
 

Individual Contributor


FLSA Status
 

Exempt


Pay Frequency
 

Monthly


Scheduled Weekly Hours
 

37.5


Benefits Eligible
 

Yes


Drug Test Required
 

No


Health Screen Required
 

No


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
 

Yes


Posting Statement
 

Applicant Inquiry Form. <span>Applicant Inquiry Form</span> The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity /Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

 

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

 

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

 

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

 

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.



Department
 

PME Administration


About the Department
 

The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) was established in May 2019 and evolved from the Institute for Molecular Engineering, which was founded in 2011. The PME integrates interdisciplinary science and engineering to address global challenges from the molecular level up. The PME’s rigorous academic and research programs are made possible through the University of Chicago’s unique partnership with Argonne National Laboratory. The Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering is the first new school at the University of Chicago in three decades and the first school in the nation dedicated to molecular engineering. In the next phase of growth as a School, the PME will continue to expand its team of world-class faculty researchers and empower students from diverse backgrounds to collaborate with faculty in cutting-edge facilities. The PME aims to bring solutions for urgent societal problems to the forefront, while training the next generation of scientific leaders and entrepreneurs.


Job Summary
 

The job participates in the development and implementation of programs and procedures that promote healthy and safe educational and work environments for the University and the surrounding community. Acquires higher-level job-related skills and builds working knowledge of the University's environmental health and safety processes.

Responsibilities

  • Serves as the primary point of contact for PME principal investigators (PI) and research teams and acts as a liaison for these PIs to ORS and EHS on research safety issues.  Stays abreast of any changes within the lab and builds a strong partnership with PIs and their research teams.

  • Collaborates with PIs and/or their delegates on a regular basis as a partner in addressing research safety needs, meeting as often as necessary to discuss research work performed, safety risks, training and safety material needs, and other measures to mitigate risk. Works with ORS to identify training offerings and/or assists the PI in determining training elements that the PI will need to provide via team-specific training.

  • Works with PIs or their delegates to assess safety risk and develop appropriate safety controls for research experiments or procedures with significant safety risks with support from ORS.  Reviews and researches appropriate hazard control and mitigation strategies, including engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment, and supports faculty and research support staff in the implementation of these control strategies.  Works with PME administration and Facilities teams to establish and assess needs for capital projects and new lab construction/renovation.

  • Establishes and maintains a safety knowledge base for use by both PME and ORS; generates reports and provides actionable analysis as needed.

  • Works with ORS and PME administration to monitor adherence to training requirements and inform PIs about non-compliance.

  • In partnership with ORS representatives, and in collaboration with departmental personnel, conducts inspections of all research laboratories and lab support areas as determined by risk level for unsafe conditions and work practices.  Recommends corrective actions and performs follow-up verification of deficiency correction status.  

  • Conducts orientation training sessions with new PIs, staff, and incoming students, ensuring they understand their research safety roles and responsibilities and how to acquire required support. Monitors implementation of controls and corrective actions.  Documents and analyzes monitoring and risk trends and provides reports on safety as needed.  

  • Participates as a member of the emergency response team including the rotation of On-Call Safety Officer and responds to emergency incidents, including carrying a pager to respond to after-hours events, and the investigation of all research accidents/illnesses. 

  • Works with research teams and ORS to develop systems and procedures for maintaining their laboratories’ chemical inventory and monitor status of records. Develops recommendations to improve the overall laboratory safety management system including the tracking of chemical inventories, inspections, and laboratory assets.

  • Monitors overall safety compliance and ensures compliance of laboratory safety equipment (e.g., fire extinguishers, eyewash stations, fume hood certifications).  Identifies benchmarking metrics for laboratory safety and uses database technology and tracking systems to generate reports on a regular basis.  Provides detailed and actionable analysis of trends to PME and ORS as needed.

  • Interfaces with EHS to determine non-laboratory specific training needs for the assigned laboratory areas and research teams and works with team members and the PI to ensure those requirements are met.

  • Works with PIs and departments to procure safety equipment and supplies (e.g., personal protective equipment, hazardous materials) for assigned research teams.

  • Serves on laboratory safety related committees and participates in departmental and campus-wide work groups to facilitate laboratory injury prevention, best practices, and lessons learned. 

  • Reviews assessments and assists faculty, administrative, and academic department staff in assessment of chemical hazards and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs for laboratory research operations.  Assists labs in maintaining training records in EHSA or other software in a timely manner, for the purposes of access to secure labs and other areas.

  • With a moderate level of guidance, interprets University environmental health and safety standards to assist in the design and implementation of programs. Ensures legal compliance and develops procedures. Monitors and evaluates health and safety concerns.

  • Performs risk analysis on the University's environmental and occupational health and safety programs and implements alternatives or improvements to current programs.

  • Performs other related work as needed.


Minimum Qualifications
 

Education:

Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

---
Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.

---
Certifications:

Driver's License - Multiple States

---

Preferred Qualifications

Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in STEM field strongly preferred.

Experience:

  • Engineering, Biotechnology or bioengineering background.

  • Experience with live cell cultures, human tissue, animal husbandry.

  • Five plus years of experience in a laboratory or related industry (chemical manufacturing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, research laboratory, etc.). 

  • Competence in electrical safety matters, particularly in a research setting.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of safety issues related to the operation of overhead cranes and fall protection.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of federal, state, and local environmental health and safety codes, regulations, and ordinances.

  • Knowledge of basic principles of laboratory safety and chemical hazards, cryogens, lasers.

  • Experience in Chemical Hygiene/laboratory safety practices.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • Valid driver's license and ability to successfully complete the University’s Motor Vehicle Records check process is required.

  • Relevant certifications (e.g., Hazardous Materials Technician or higher classification, certified safety professional, certified industrial hygienist, safety management certificate, qualification in laboratory safety) strongly preferred.

  • Within the first six months of employment, will be required to obtain medical clearances for using respiratory protection necessary for HAZMAT response as well as 40-hour HAZWOPER certification.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

Preferred Competencies

  • Must be detail oriented and able to prepare documents and/or reports as necessary.

  • Ability to maintain professionalism, credibility and good service delivery practices when dealing with all contacts, internal and external.

  • Ability to remain calm and objective throughout stressful and unpleasant situations.

  • Willingness and ability to make timely, sound decisions and accept concomitant responsibility.

  • Communicate effectively and consistently with others using tact when necessary.

  • Manage sensitive emergency situations appropriately.

  • Synthesize complex material to assist decision-making and to communicate priorities.

  • Manage multiple tasks and competing priorities simultaneously.

  • Considerable skill in working both independently and as part of a team.

Working Conditions

  • Ability to be on call and available to work nights/weekends/holidays as necessary.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover (required)


When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.


Job Family
 

Legal & Regulatory Affairs


Role Impact
 

Individual Contributor


FLSA Status
 

Exempt


Pay Frequency
 

Monthly


Scheduled Weekly Hours
 

37.5


Benefits Eligible
 

Yes


Drug Test Required
 

No


Health Screen Required
 

No


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required
 

Yes


Posting Statement
 

Applicant Inquiry Form. <span>Applicant Inquiry Form</span> The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity /Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

 

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

 

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

 

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

 

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: http://securityreport.uchicago.edu . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.


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