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Laboratory and research safety

Find information about submitting your research for safety review at VA Houston. We have special guidelines for research involving animals subjects, human subjects, and radiation.

Information about research safety

The VA Houston Research Service Line is committed to promoting a safe and environmentally sound laboratory setting that is conducive to the highest level of education and research.

RSL works with the Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS), Facilities Management Service Line (FMS), Safety Section and Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and reduce or eliminate all safety hazards at the VA Houston while striving to protect health and the environment.
The various services work together to inspect, train, and ensure compliance with all VHA, federal, state, and local policies and regulations.

•    RSL Safety Manual and Chemical Hygiene Plan (PDF)

Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS)

The Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS) is charged by the R&D Committee with the responsibility to review and oversee the biosafety of all research activities involving biological, chemical, physical, and radiation hazards for compliance with all applicable regulations, policies, and guidelines. This also includes a review of all laboratory-based research activities (either funded or non-funded) that will be conducted at the VA Houston or conducted off-site by VA personnel with VA funding. 

•    The forms required to initiate SRS review, VAHAR and VARAD, are available via the eVACS Form.

SRS Meetings 

The SRS meets on the first Wednesday of each month.

Quarterly Safety Meetings 

The Quarterly Safety Subcommittee meetings cover annual refresher information and training on hazardous chemicals used in their work area, emergency preparedness, and all relevant research updates.  

Attendance of representative from each lab is required. Contact the SRS Coordinator for schedule and information. 

The Quarterly Safety Subcommittee meetings occur on the second Tuesday of the third month of each quarter. 

Anjali Raval
Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS) Coordinator
Email: Anjali.Raval@va.gov
Phone:  713-770-1890

Equipment

New equipment installation, moves, and repairs

You should begin the planning process as early as possible when receiving new equipment for installation or moving equipment or laboratories. 

Contact the Manager of Safety Operations for the equipment install/move/repairs form to initiate this process, seek guidance, plan appropriate protection procedures, and plan positioning of equipment before beginning any new operation.

Tagging equipment

All VA and BCM equipment, including electronic equipment, e.g., computers, used for research purposes must be tagged and placed in the equipment inventory system. 

If you have equipment that is NOT tagged, notify the Manager of Safety Operations .

Equipment inventories

Questions regarding equipment inventories? Please contact the Research Safety Coordinator

Equipment removal and transfers

Questions regarding equipment removal or transfers? Please contact the Research Safety Coordinator

Research safety contacts

Dorellyn Lee, MPA 
Manager of Laboratory Safety Operations
Email: dorellyn.lee@va.gov 
Phone: 713-794-7949

Areas of responsibility

  • Laboratory compliance
  • Laboratory training
  • Laboratory safety supplies
  • Waste disposal
  • RSL Chemical Hygiene Officer
  • Chemical inventories
  • New equipment installs/tagging equipment for repair
  • Work orders (leaks, broken lights, etc.)

Anjali Raval
Research Safety Coordinator, Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS) Coordinator
Email: anjali.raval@va.gov 
Phone: 713-770-1890
 

Areas of responsibility

  • Subcommittee on Research Safety (SRS)
  • Laboratory safety and compliance
  • Equipment inventories
  • Equipment removal and transfers
  • VA and BCM network port install and activation
  • Freezer monitoring
  • Chemical inventories
  • New equipment installs/tagging equipment for repair
  • Work orders (leaks, broken lights, etc.)
  • Key and building access requests
  • Subject vouchers

Dionne Nichols
Research Safety Assistant
Email: dionne.nichols@va.gov 
Phone: 713-578-5822

Areas of responsibility

  • Package delivery and shipment
  • Laboratory safety and compliance
  • Laboratory safety supplies
  • Work orders (leaks, broken lights, etc.)
  • Veterinary Medical Unit (VMU)
  • Space remodeling
  • Scanning consents
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