Principal Investigator Responsibilities

Principal Investigators (PIs) have responsibility for the health and safety of the individuals they supervise, for safe management of the laboratories or facilities they operate and for the impacts of their activities on the environment and the health and safety of the public.


Your responsibilities as a PI include:

  • Assuring that required equipment and personal protective devices are provided, maintained and used.
  • Obtain all necessary institutional approvals for experiments when required (IBC, RSC, IACUC, etc.)
  • Inform all students, staff, visitors and collaborators about safety and health procedures, rules and regulations specific to their areas and their responsibilities
  • Conduct internal inspections, reviews or audits to assure safe and healthful conditions and compliance with applicable safety and environmental regulations and take corrective actions
  • Ensure that the lab meets the requirements for radioactive materials, radiation producing machines or potentially hazardous biological materials and blood products
  • Ensure physical hazards are adequately controlled (equipment guarding, shielding, laser controls, etc.)
  • Ensure that staff/students are informed of the location of safety equipment (including eyewash stations, safety showers, fire exits, etc.) and instructed on their use
  • Ensure all requirements are met for hazardous materials to be shipped/transported
  • Maintain security of all classes of hazardous materials used in the lab
  • Handle/store all "controlled substances" according to regulation
  • Establish a policy for working after hours and working alone
  • Taking prompt action when unsafe acts or conditions are reported or observed
  • Promptly investigating and reporting all on-the-job accidents, and/or work related health problems and requesting medical treatment if required
  • Report all emergencies, accidents, injuries, exposures, significant spills & releases
  • Develop lab specific Standard Operating Procedures as required, and train lab workers on each SOP
  • Maintain a chemical inventory for laboratories and provide Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals stored/used
  • Provide adequate supervision for workers in laboratories
  • Provide appropriate training for workers in laboratories
  • Dispose of chemical waste associated with research and laboratory work according to the UB policies and requirement

Contact an Expert

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Environment, Health & Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3301