News

April 21, 2021

Institutional Review

  • Review and follow the VCRO’s COVID-19 Field Research Guidelines & Checklist (coming soon).
  • For international travel, follow CDC guidance and the two-step approval process posted on the UC Berkeley Global Engagement website.

General precautions and considerations:

    UC Berkeley continues to take critical steps to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the campus community. Please refer to the face coverings distribution schedule below.

    Distribution schedule pending updates to campus access restrictions:

    Day

    Time

    Location

    April 16, 2021

    On March 31, 2021 Alameda County and the City of Berkeley transitioned to the Orange (“Moderate”) Tier in the State Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Given low rates of COVID-19 cases among on-campus researchers and rising availability of vaccines in the community, campus leadership has approved additional on-campus research access under a new Phase 4.

    February 11, 2021

    UC Berkeley Guidelines on Protecting Workers from COVID-19

    December 21, 2020

    November 10, 2020

    If two people need to be closer than six feet for lab work, training, maintenance or other activities, the following process needs to be applied:

    November 4, 2020

    UC Berkeley researchers have developed a unique, easy, and effective method for testing the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the wastewater flowing through municipal sewer systems. 

    October 26, 2020

    Message for Radiation Use Authorization (RUA) holders and Lab Contacts, October 2020.

    Effective immediately, the UC Learning Center will be used to deliver and document: 

    • Training of RUA SOPs and the
    • Radiological Hazards Awareness Training for Non-Users.  

    Instructions for how users can access the SOP and non-user training are below.  Radiation Safety staff will work with you during your next survey to update the LMS for those users who have already signed off on SOP training or have completed their non-user training.

    October 1, 2020

    September 1, 2020

    All EH&S web applications will be shut down for a system upgrade starting at 5 PM on Friday, Oct 2nd, 2020.

    Why?

    We’re implementing a new data model that will enable

    • better integration with our systems and others
    • easier, faster creation of new tools and features

    August 13, 2020

    As a reminder, chemical inventory and door hazard signs should continue to be updated for both emergency response and regulatory purposes. However, we understand that it may be difficult to perform a full survey of your group's inventory due to the constraints and limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    August 5, 2020

    Don't Use Methanol-based Hand Sanitizer.

    The FDA has seen a sharp increase in hand sanitizer products that are labeled to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. Hand sanitizers that contain methanol - a “toxic alcohol” - can cause blindness and/or death when absorbed through the skin or when swallowed.

    July 7, 2020

    EH&S will be performing spot checks of labs on campus to confirm that COVID-19 research ramp-up plans are being followed (checklist below). These will be coordinated with the department safety coordinator or building coordinator. A general lab safety inspector will reach out to LSCs before the inspection. However, random spot checks may occur if scheduling proves difficult.

    Lab Inspections during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    When: Starting mid-July 2020
    Findings: A summary of the spot checks will be sent to the DSC

    June 23, 2020

    May 28, 2020

    You can prevent burns by allowing alcohol-based sanitizers to dry/evaporate before resuming work activity.

    Hand sanitizers contain high concentrations of alcohol and alcohol vapors can flame or flash if exposed to an ignition source, switches, or any surface containing static electricity.

    When a disinfectant or hand sanitizer ignites it produces an almost invisible, blue flame that can quickly produce harmful burns. 

    May 26, 2020

    Guidance for Campus Food Facilities

    To reduce the risk of virus transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic, food facilities must follow guidance from the California Department of Public Health and establish a written Workplace - Specific Plan that includes Control Measures and Screening, Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols, and Physical Distancing Guidelines

    March 5, 2020

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information:

    For the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak from campus leadership, please visit the Berkeley News - Coronavirus Information website.

    October 22, 2019

    What happened?

    A vacuum chamber over-pressurized while a researcher was returning the vacuum to atmosphere by venting with nitrogen from a gas cylinder. The chamber was left to fill while the researcher worked on other tasks. By the time the researcher returned, the chamber had over-pressurized and the view window shattered.

    May 28, 2019

    What happened?

    A researcher packaged a microgram crystalline sample with dry ice to ensure sample integrity. The crystalline sample was first placed inside a glass vial, which was subsequently housed inside a plastic secondary container with a screw cap. The researcher placed dry ice around the glass vial inside the secondary container before loosely capping the top to vent.

    October 24, 2018

    What happened?

    A campus employee was holding onto the grab bars at the top of a fixed vertical ladder and was beginning to descend when one of the grab bars broke off, causing the employee to fall about 13 feet. The employee sustained significant injuries to several toes. The incident occurred on a roof mounted cooling tower.