Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards

Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards

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Image credit:
Scott Strazzante

The Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards is temporarily on hold. 


The  Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards program was developed by EH&S in 2015. Every year, it distinguishes small and large labs in four categories including chemical sciences, life sciences, field sciences, and physical sciences for their demonstrated commitment to safety. The labs are evaluated based on the variety of hazards they are confronted with, the findings from EH&S lab inspections, the strength of safety leadership by the principal investigator, and the follow-up and communications of the lab safety coordinator. From among the labs that win within these categories, a grand prize winner is selected and awarded the Excellence in Laboratory Safety trophy.

Eligibility and Prizes

Eligibility

Any campus research laboratory that has been inspected in the prior fiscal year (July 1-June 30) by EH&S lab safety, biosafety, radiation safety, or laser safety programs is eligible for these awards.

Category Prizes

All category award winners will receive the following:

  • Door ribbon
  • A lunch party for the research group
  • A certificate signed by the Vice Chancellor of Research in acknowledgment of the lab’s accomplishment

Grand Prize

One of the eight category winners will be selected for outstanding performance among the top-performing labs. In addition to the prizes, the winner of the grand prize University of California, Berkeley Award for Excellence in Laboratory Safety will receive a safety bear trophy presented by the Vice Chancellor of Research at the award ceremony.

Categories and Criteria

Lab Categories

Excellence in Laboratory Safety awards will be awarded to eight labs in the categories listed below.

Chemical Sciences

  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Large Chemical Sciences Lab
  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Small Chemical Sciences Lab

Field Sciences

  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Large Field Sciences Lab
  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Small Field Sciences Lab

Life Sciences

  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Large Life Sciences Lab
  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Small Life Sciences Lab

Physical Sciences

  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Large Physical Sciences Lab
  • Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award: Small Physical Sciences Lab

Of these eight labs, one will be awarded the grand prize University of California, Berkeley Award for Excellence in Laboratory Safety.

Lab category assignments are determined by the nature of the lab’s research activities, not departmental affiliation. Lab size categories are determined by the number of lab members listed in the lab’s roster in Labs @ Berkeley on June 30th. Sign in to Labs @ Berkeley to see which award category your lab is in.

Criteria

Initial Evaluation:
Each lab will be evaluated based on data from EH&S inspections. Labs without inspection findings -- or whose findings were immediately corrected -- will rise to the top. Labs inspected multiple times each year will have the additional inspections factored into their safety score. Labs will not be penalized for reporting incidents or spills; however, appropriate response to incidents or spills may improve their standing in the final evaluation.

Final Evaluation:
After creating a short list based on inspection criteria from the initial evaluation, EH&S specialists and other stakeholders will consider a variety of factors -- including safety communications within the lab, improvement efforts, collaboration with EH&S and department safety coordinators, and creative approaches to establishing the lab’s “safety culture” -- to choose the eight winners based on category and size. Finalist labs will be visited for a walkthrough before the winners are selected.

Grand Prize Winner:
From the eight winners, a single, grand prize University of California, Berkeley Award for Excellence in Laboratory Safety will be assigned to the research lab that best demonstrates outstanding safety stewardship.

Previous Winners of the UC Berkeley Excellence in Laboratory Safety Award

2018 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards Winners

The winners of the 2018 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards have been announced! Principal investigators and lab safety coordinators for each lab were recognized for their demonstrated commitment to safe practices and promotion of a positive lab safety culture on the Berkeley campus.

Vice Chancellor for Research Randy H. Katz delivered the awards at a ceremony held at The Faculty Club on February 27, 2019.

The grand prize was awarded to the Arnold group, headed by Professor John Arnold from the College of Chemistry. Lab safety coordinators Michael Boreen and Trevor Lohrey accepted the award on Prof. Arnold’s behalf.

The Arnold Group sets a high bar for campus safety culture. Professor Arnold is always available to discuss problems that are affecting his own lab, as well as other labs in their department and college. His group generates creative solutions to challenging safety problems and shares those solutions with others, including safety resources they collect from colleagues overseas. Their lab safety coordinators are top-notch; they are helpful, engaged, and they take their jobs seriously.

Prof. Lane Martin passed on the grand prize trophy to the Arnold Group, which had been awarded to his lab last year.

List of 2018 Winners

Grand Prize

  • Arnold Group

Large Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Chang Lab

Small Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Arnold Lab

Large Field Sciences Lab

  • Suneri Lab

Small Field Sciences Lab

  • Wang Lab

Large Life Sciences Lab

  • Herr Lab

Small Life Sciences Lab

  • Lewis Lab

Large Physical Sciences Lab

  • Messersmith Lab

Small Physical Sciences Lab

  • Hellman Lab

2017 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards Winners

List of 2017 Winners

Grand Prize

  • Prometheus Lab

Large Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Balsara Lab

Small Chemical Sciences Lab

  • McCloskey Lab

Large Field Sciences Lab

  • Museum of Paleontology

Small Field Sciences Lab

  • Agarwal Lab

Large Life Sciences Lab

  • Bateup Lab

Small Life Sciences Lab

  • Lishko Lab

Large Physical Sciences Lab

  • Prometheus Lab

Small Physical Sciences Lab

  • Variano Lab

2016 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards Winners

List of 2016 Winners

Grand Prize

  • Schaffer Lab

Large Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Peidong Yang Group

Small Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Arnold Group

Field Sciences Lab

  • Gadgil Lab

Large Life Sciences Lab

  • Schaffer Lab

Medium Life Sciences Lab

  • Saijo Lab

Small Life Sciences Lab

  • Roelink Lab

Large Physical Sciences Lab

  • Berkeley Imaging Systems Lab

Small Physical Sciences Lab

  • Francis Hellman Group

Core Facility

  • Marvell Nanofabrication Lab

2015 Excellence in Laboratory Safety Awards Winners

List of 2015 Winners

Grand Prize

  • Quantum Electronics Laboratory

Large Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Hartwig Group

Small Chemical Sciences Lab

  • Boering Group

Large Field Sciences Lab

  • Atmospheric Biogeochemistry Lab

Small Field Sciences Lab

  • Han Lim Lab

Large Life Sciences

  • Kuriyan Lab

Small Life Sciences Lab

  • Collins Lab

Large Physical Sciences Lab

  • Quantum Electronics Laboratory

Small Physical Sciences Lab

  • Francis Hellman Lab