An expanded policy, designed by the Research and Academic Safety Committee (RASC) and Environment, Health & Safety (EHS), aims to enhance how the University of Michigan community addresses and resolves laboratory and research safety concerns.
Schools, colleges, and research units have safety accountability plans in place to define local processes to appropriately manage safety issues and, if needed, elevate issues within the unit for resolution.
Faculty, staff, and students should first follow their unit’s process for reporting issues. If after following the procedures outlined by their local unit, they still feel the issue is not adequately addressed, the safety resolution policy allows them to follow up directly with the RASC, as appropriate.
The RASC will discuss an issue with the unit safety committee, EHS, and unit leadership to determine if additional review by the RASC is appropriate, or if referral back to the unit or another review body is more suitable.
If the RASC determines that further review is necessary, it will conduct a balanced, unbiased investigation and vote on a recommendation for resolution. The RASC executive leadership team will then make a final determination, based on the recommendation for resolution.
Compliance issues that fall under the purview of other compliance committees, including the Institutional Biosafety Committee, Radiation Policy Committee, and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, will continue to be referred to those compliance entities, according to applicable policies and processes.
“This policy serves as an additional resource to ensure researchers have every opportunity to voice any possible concerns they might have about safety in their space,” said Karl Jepsen, associate dean for research at the Medical School and RASC chair.
“Creating a culture of safety for every student, researcher, and staff member in a U-M space is our ultimate goal.”
Where to Learn More
Detailed information about the processes for reporting and investigating animal welfare concerns is available on the Animal Care & Use Program’s website and in the Policy on Investigating Noncompliance & Animal Welfare Concerns.