Laboratory Maintenance
Safety Portal

Laboratory Maintenance
Safety Portal

Case Study EHS Administrator – LabAide

Pete Bootman (CSP) is the EHS Director for the Department of Chemistry at Colonial University. Pete’s primary responsibilities are:

  • Develop environmental policies and practices.
  • Modify and implement compliance tracking programs and record keeping systems.
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state and University environmental, health and safety regulations.

While attending a Laboratory Equipment Maintenance and Safety Seminar, Pete learned the laboratory equipment in his Department:

  • Consists of a wide range of technologies, which have unique principles of operation, maintenance needs and present a variety of potential safety hazards.
  • Is operated by diverse User Groups with varying skill levels and familiarity with the equipment.
  • Has User Groups often under extreme time pressure who may not be able to pay sufficient attention to the care, maintenance and safety of the equipment they use.
  • Poorly maintained Laboratory Appliances present many potential hazards.

Pete’s key takeaway from the seminar were:

  • The current Safety Policies and Procedures in place for his Department are not sufficiently addressing the maintenance and safety requirements of the various laboratory appliances.
  • An effective Lab Safety Plan must include an inventory of the Lab Equipment.
  • The Department’s six-month Safety inspection did not comply with the safety requirements of a considerable segment of the Department’s equipment, based on manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • The Department’s current compliance tracking programs and record keeping system for laboratory equipment is not sufficient and needs substantial modifications.

Upon returning to his office, Pete realized he did not have a complete inventory of the Department’s Laboratory Appliance assets and it is not possible to ensure compliance without cataloging the assets. Pete requested his EHS Team Leaders take an inventory. The Team Leaders reported back nearly one thousand appliance assets and keeping the assets in compliance will be a daunting task.

Pete recalled the recent seminar he attended outlined a new resource leveraging new technologies for cataloging equipment, maintaining a safety policy and reporting compliance. Pete registered for a free trial of LabAide, a Laboratory Appliance/Asset Maintenance and Safety portal. LabAide will allow Pete to:

Gain full access for his Department to the portal, of which he is the Administrator (top of the LabAide hierarchy).

View, manage, run one click reports on all members, assets and associated activity under his management.

View his Dashboard upon login to see a snapshot of all assets “in compliance” - “out of compliance” – “overdue” statuses to track compliance.

Assign Team Leaders, who can create Groups containing members (lab personnel).

Assets are cataloged by Type, Nickname, Location, Make, Model and Serial Number.

Optionally upload photo(s), Owner’s Manuals, Safety Program, Maintenance Procedures or other files for specific asset and upload policies or other files for Groups to share.

Set up e-mail and text alerts to determine when the Safety/Maintenance activity needs to be performed.

If alert activities are not performed, asset record is Yellow (out of compliance), if not corrected in 14 days, asset record is red (“Overdue” - severely out of compliance). Both yellow and red are flagged as “Out of Compliance” on Dashboard and reports.

When the activity is performed, the activity will be stored in the asset history record and asset status returns to “in compliance”.

Members can belong to Groups managed by Team Leaders and/or Administrators.

Asset database and Members database can be downloaded into .xls files with in/out of compliance data.

Proof of Compliance to Safety and Maintenance programs (download records) and maintain historical proof of compliance.

Pete acquired access to LabAide. Upon gaining access to the portal, Pete immediately set up accounts for his EHS Team Leaders, who in turn created Groups and added their members to their respective Groups (i.e., Novak Research Group, Singh Research Groups, etc.)

The Team Leaders reported back to Pete that each member on average only had several assets under their management to enter into LabAIde. The Team Leaders took responsibility to enter the shared assets into LabAide. Due to splitting up the initial data entry, the task was not overly time consuming for anyone in the Department.

However, based on the Asset’s Owner’s Manuals, many of the assets were either directly out of safety compliance, or indirectly out of safety compliance due to being severely out of compliance with maintenance requirements according to the appliance’s manufacturer recommendations (poor maintenance fuels hazards).

The teams learned most of the laboratory equipment needed to be periodically; cleaned, adjusted, calibrated, have fluid changed and other maintenance & safety activity performed to remain safe and reliable. Pete learned many appliance assets did not receive the required care since entering the labs and nearly all appliance assets were out of compliance according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

After the Assets were entered into LabAide, Pete realized out of 879 total assets under his management, 704 were out of safety or maintenance compliance.

Due to the Group’s efforts, within 30 days, Pete was able to report a substantial improvement. Of 894 total assets and only 7 were out of compliance.

The Groups continued adding more asset types and new assets to LabAide and performing the appropriate safety and maintenance activities prior to adding the assets to add them as “in compliance”.

In 60 days, Pete was able to report 921 total assets with zero out of compliance.

Reporting all assets in compliance demonstrates all assets are being maintained according to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and safety requirements in addition to any of the University’s requirements.

Pete continued to monitor his Portal Dashboard, download and save reports on a weekly basis to ensure compliance of the Department’s Assets, as well as satisfy his Compliance Tracking and Record Keeping responsibilities.

Using LabAide, Pete:

  • Develops environmental policies and practices.
  • Modifies and implements compliance tracking programs and record keeping systems.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state and University environmental, health and safety regulations.

Pete utilizes LabAide as an important tool in the fulfillment of his key responsibilities.