Health & Safety Programs

June 2008

Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories -
Sensitive Information in Your Emergency Plan

The Health and Safety Programs Office received an excellent question today regarding who should have access to sensitive information contained in your department's emergency plan. Since this quarter's topic for the Self Inspection is Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories, we wanted to provide clarification on what information should be provided to all personnel.

The online portion of your department's emergency plan should only be available to those with key emergency preparedness and/or response functions. Chairs, DFAs, Emergency Coordinators and other selected personnel should know your department's unique password to the online portion of the emergency plan. That said, all personnel should be aware of the general contents of the plan. Basic emergency procedures, floor plans, SoM overview information and emergency checklists are non-sensitive items that you can provide. Most of this information is available on the Health and Safety Programs Office website at

For any additional information, please contact Lisa M. Johnson at 650-721-6269 or at

Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories - Weekly Tip
SoM Basic Emergency Procedures

This week's emergency preparedness tip for laboratories focuses on basic emergency procedures for the School of Medicine.

As part of the Q2 Self Inspection, we are requesting that laboratory managers spend 5 to 10 minutes reviewing emergency procedures with their personnel. The Health and Safety Programs Office has developed general emergency procedures (flow charts) that are included with all Department Emergency Plans. By providing this information to your personnel, you are able to check the 'yes' box for question #22 of the Q2 Self Inspection Checklist.

The Emergency Flow Charts cover emergencies such as fires, medical emergencies, power outages, earthquakes, hazardous materials spills, etc. Please print these flow charts out and post them in your laboratory. Also, verify that all personnel are aware of these procedures and can access them during emergencies.

In addition, we encourage departments to have specific emergency procedures when warrented. If your department, division or laboratory has its own procedures, verify that personnel understand these procedures and can active them without trouble.

For any additional information, please contact Lisa M. Johnson at 650-721-6269 or at

Thank you for your continued support of Emergency Preparedness at the School of Medicine! Next week's tip will provide tips for electronic and hard copy data preservation.

Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories - Weekly Tip
Evacuation and Emergency Assembly Points

Continuing our blog to assist laboratories in completing the Q2 Self Inspection Checklist, this week's tip is regarding Evacuation and Emergency Assembly Points.

Personnel (regardless of if they work in a laboratory or not) should be familiar with Stanford University Evacuation Procedures. This quarter during your self-inspection checklist, verify that all lab staff members are familiar with the following:

  • Appropriate Emergency Number to call for help
    • School of Medicine Buildings - Call 286
    • Stanford Hospital, Clinics and LPCH Buildings - Call 211
    • Payphones, cell phones, on- an off campus - Call 911

  • Location of the fire alarm pull box

  • Location of ALL emergency exits from the building

  • Location of your building's assigned Emergency Assembly Point (EAP)

  • Individual's responsibilities during evacuations

The Health and Safety Programs Office recommends providing staff with a 10 minute refresher training on these procedures. If needed, a fire drill can be scheduled for your building.

For any additional information, please contact Lisa M. Johnson at 650-721-6269 or at

Chemical Inventory Update:
Grant, Alway and Lane

Updates for the Grant (07-306), Alway (07-307) and Lane (07-308) buildings are due by July 10, 2008.

Stanford policy requires labs to:
- add chemicals that are not currently in the inventory system
- delete items that are no longer in the lab and no longer in use
- adjust quantities of inventory items if ongoing changes have been made
- include all compressed gas cylinders and bleach (both often overlooked)

All chemical inventories need to be updated ONLINE using Chemtracker v1. Upon request, EH&S can provide current inventory summaries for your overall review. Contact Shelly Navarro ( for printouts, questions on accessing the system or for a username/password.

The Chemical Inventory Update is an annual process where labs review and update information in the ChemTracker database; the University uses this information as part of the Hazardous Materials Management Plan (HMMP) submitted to regulatory and response agencies.

Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories - Weekly Tip
Personnel Rosters and Emergency Phone Trees

For the next few weeks, the Health and Safety Programs Office (HSPO) will be posting emergency preparedness tips on our blog to assist laboratories in completing the Q2 Self Inspection Checklist . This week's tip is regarding creating and maintaining lab/department personnel rosters and emergency phone trees.

It is vitally important to have accurate emergency contact information for all personnel working in your laboratory/department. Information should be collected for all faculty, staff (full and part time), students and contractors. Here are a few emergency situations to illustrate the need for accurate contact information.

Situation 1:
A power outage has occurred early Saturday morning. The event is expected to last longer than 8 hours. Your laboratory is currently conducting research where loss of power would cause major issues with the equipment and/or specimens. A key person on the project changed his/her cell phone number last month and you do not have the updated information. You are unable to reach that person and have no clue about emergency shut down procedures.

Situation 2:
There was a major fire in your lab the night before. You need to advise staff to telecommute from home for the day. You thought you were able to contact everyone, but you missed the part-time contractor that comes in only a few times a month. That person just commuted from San Francisco and has no way of contacting you for instruction.

As shown above, not having the right contact numbers for personnel can be a major issue. The HSPO recommends the following actions to improve your laboratory/department's preparedness:

- Take five minutes during every quarterly self-inspection to update your roster and provide that information to key personnel.

- Develop an emergency phone tree, train personnel and practice making phone calls at least once a year.

- Develop a department Emergency Hotline, train key staff on how to leave messages, provide call-in information to all personnel and practice posting/receiving messages at least once a year.

- Make sure that all personnel know the School of Medicine Emergency Hotline at 3-(SAFE) or (650) 723-7233.

For any additional information, please contact Lisa M. Johnson at 650-721-6269 or at

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