Pursuant to UCLA Policy 811, all members of the UCLA community are required to conduct university operations in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations as well as with university health and safety standards and practices. The OSOC is charged with promoting a safe working environment in all research and teaching laboratories on campus. OSOC is staffed with the faculty chairs of the research safety committees, the Assistant Vice Chancellor for EH&S (as a single representative for the safety officers), a delegate from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs, and delegates of the Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR). The purpose of this committee is to review and adjudicate broad policy issues and to facilitate coordination between the different laboratory research safety areas at UCLA. OSOC serves as a mechanism for communication between existing campus safety committees on topics of mutual safety concerns. The Committee advises and reports to the Chancellor through the Vice Chancellor for Research.
- Develop, recommend, update and maintain policies applicable to health and safety at UCLA in order to promote safety in research.
- Establish and review strategies to ensure ongoing and adequate surveillance, hazard identification, and risk evaluation of laboratory activities.
- Advise the Vice Chancellor for Research regarding compliance with safety related policies through general observations, review of incident reports and similar activities.
- As needed, discuss findings of inspection and hazard surveillance programs carried out by authorized EH&S personnel and State and Federal Regulatory authorities.
- Review requests for variances from established safety policies and advise the Executive Vice Chancellor on accepting or not accepting these requests.
- Using a sub-committee of members, evaluate conditions to determine the safe progression of actions moving forward after a serious incident in a non-clinical laboratory at UCLA. (see Appendix A)
Committee Structure and Administration
The position of Chair shall be filled by an Ex Officio member who also individually serves as a Chair of one of the respective campus safety committees. The position of Chair is a 1-year appointment and will rotate to include all faculty members.
- Ex Officio Members
- Assistant Vice Chancellor for EH&S
- Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research – Radiation Safety
- Chair, Animal Research Committee
- Chair, Chemical & Physical Safety Committee
- Chair, Dual Use Review Entity
- Chair, High Containment Laboratory Oversight Group
- Chair, Institutional Biosafety Committee
- Chair, Radiation Safety Committee
- Director, Research Safety & Animal Welfare Administration
- Member of the Office of Legal Affairs
- Non-Voting Advisory Members
- The Vice Chancellor for Research may appoint individuals who have special interest and/or expertise to serve as non-voting advisors to the committee on an ad hoc basis.
Administrative and support services for the Committee will be provided by the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research through the Office of Research Administration (ORA).
Terms of Appointment
- Membership in the OSOC is contingent on current involvement in other campus safety committees or a related stakeholder organization as defined in Committee Composition.
- The term of appointment for an advisory member is contingent on the advisory need as determined by the OSOC.
OSOC Meetings and Operations
- The Committee shall act by majority vote of the members present.
- A quorum shall be a majority of the membership.
- Electronic voting for all OSOC business matters is acceptable at the discretion of the Chair provided a complete electronic document of all issues relating to the item is forwarded to each member for their appraisal, comment and approval. Members shall be given at least three days to cast their vote electronically to the Chair. The ability to vote electronically shall not be regarded as a reason for OSOC meeting nonattendance.
- The OSOC shall meet at least four times each calendar year. Quarterly OSOC meetings shall be scheduled by ORA after consultation with OSOC members.
- Meetings will preferentially be held in-person, but may be conducted remotely (e.g., via Zoom video conferencing) as needed.
- At the discretion of the Chair, special meetings may be called to:
- Review and act upon laboratory incidents or causes for concern
- Review and modify Laboratory Safety policies
- Consider possible action items referred to the Vice-Chancellor for Research or members of the OSOC.
ORA, in partnership with the Chair, shall distribute an agenda to all members prior to each meeting.
ORA shall provide administrative support to record, maintain and distribute minutes of meetings and other records. Copies of the minutes shall be sent electronically to all members of the OSOC.
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research Safety Oversight Committee (OSOC)
Incident Sub-Committee Review Process
The purpose of this process is to evaluate conditions to determine the safe progression of actions moving forward after a serious incident in a non-clinical laboratory at UCLA. Through this process, a sub-committee of OSOC members will assess the incident and make recommendations regarding restrictions/closures of laboratory space and/or other corrective actions needed to address the incident. Based on the nature of the incident, restrictions on activities may be extended beyond the immediate research group to
the entire campus community.
Incidents that will be evaluated by the OSOC sub-committee pursuant to this process include
- Serious fires
- Release of Risk Group 3 or higher biological agents
- Radiation releases or exposures greater than the general public dose limit
- Chemical releases that pose an immediate threat to life or health of those in the immediate vicinity
- Any incident that results in an injury that is reportable to OSHA or would be reportable to OSHA if it occurred to a UCLA employee
- Any incident expected to close the lab for more than five days
- Any other serious incident that the Assistant Vice Chancellor-EH&S (“AVCEH&S”) determines should be evaluated by the sub-committee pursuant to this process, including repeated incidents
OSOC Incident Sub-Committee Process
- Incident response by emergency personnel to ensure safety pursuant to normal procedures.
- The Fire Marshal has authority to close/lock laboratory space following a fire or explosion; OSHA can also lock laboratory space.
- Additional response may include temporary suspension of certain procedures or full laboratory closure as directed by the AVC-EH&S.
- As soon as reasonably practical after incident response described in 1, but no more than five business days after the incident, the AVC-EH&S will send a report to the OSOC Chair (with a copy to the Vice Chancellor for Research [VCR],
Vice Chancellor for Administration [VCA], and RSAWA Director), summarizing the incident and detailing any safety concerns.
- The OSOC Chair will establish a sub-committee of at least three voting members of the OSOC to convene within five business days of receipt of the AVCEH&S’s report.
- Required sub-committee members include: OSOC Chair, relevant safety committee Chair, the AVC-EH&S, and Campus Counsel.
- If the relevant safety committee Chair is the current OSOC Chair, a second faculty OSOC member will participate in the meeting.
- If a required Chair is unavailable to participate, another OSOC faculty member with relevant experience may serve on the sub-committee.
- The sub-committee will convene via phone or in-person to discuss the incident and the AVC-EH&S’s report and make any additional recommendations it believes are necessary.
- A report detailing the sub-committee’s conclusions and recommendations will be sent to the AVC-EH&S, VCR, and VCA.
- The AVC-EH&S and the VCs will implement the subcommittee’s recommendations. They may also refer the report to other University leaders for review and further action.
- The sub-committee report will be distributed to the full OSOC membership for review at or before its next regular meeting.
- Upon conclusion of EH&S’s investigation, the AVC-EH&S shall make a report to the full OSOC. A majority of the full OSOC membership must vote to reopen any closed/locked laboratory. If other corrective actions were applied, the OSOC will vote on the resolution of those actions.
Administration, Communication, and Substitutions
- The RSAWA Director will coordinate administrative support for the subcommittee, including meeting management and report preparation.
- All communications regarding sub-committee activities are to be privileged, except for the final sub-committee report.
- University leadership including the Provost, Administrative Vice Chancellor, and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications, should be kept appraised of the subcommittee review and outcome.
- In the event that the AVC-EH&S is not available, the EH&S Director of Research Safety is empowered to serve in that role until the AVC-EH&S becomes available.