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Research Lab Safety

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What is a research lab safety issue?

A research lab safety issue is any spill, accident, or other incident that resulted in a breach of containment, environment release, or exposure to hazardous material in a laboratory environment. Any incident where an individual sought medical care should also be reported. Any general feeling of being unsafe or witnessing of unsafe practices in a laboratory environment should also be reported.

Examples of Lab Safety Issues

  • Needle stick
  • Chemical hazard spill
  • Exposure to viral pathogen
  • Improper PPE use
  • Faulty PPE
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How to report a lab safety issue

Report online using Ethics Point

Any individual can use EthicsPoint, which has anonymous reporting options. (While such complaints will retain anonymity, the University's ability to investigate and respond to anonymous complaints is limited.)

File an EthicsPoint Report

Learn more about this issue

Frequently Asked Questions

Who will see my report?

The report will be shared with the appropriate leader in the Research Safety department and may be shared with appropriate University and federal officials or agencies based on the details of the incident.

What will happen to me after I report?

Someone will contact you for further information.

What are the next steps? Will I be told the resolution or outcome of what I shared?

Follow-up will occur.

Know your rights: Northwestern's Non-Retaliation Policy

Northwestern's Policy on Non-Retaliation strictly prohibits retaliation against any member of its community for reporting or inquiring in good faith about suspected wrongful or unlawful activity, or participating in an investigation or proceeding related to such activity. The University considers such actions to be protected activities in which all members may freely engage without worry of negative consequences.