SR. Lab Safety Specialist-Research Safety Affairs
University of Tennessee
 Memphis, TN

Market Range: 11

Salary Range: $51,252.35 - $71,753.29/Annually

JOB SUMMARY/ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS: Under the direction of the Chief Safety Officer, the Sr. Laboratory Safety Specialist provides regular inspections in research laboratories and acts as a safety resource to the research community. This position assists with development, implementation, and management of a comprehensive set of programs and policies to ensure biological, chemical, and radiological safety, security, and compliance with federal, state, and local regulations.


  1. Inspects laboratories and work practices to assure compliance with state, federal, and University requirements.
  2. Assists with the maintenance of chemical inventories, training documentation and record maintenance.
  3. Ensures compliance with IBC and IACUC policies and work practices. Monitors compliance of programs within areas of responsibilities.
  4. Provides process improvement that promotes a safe and compliant research work environment.
  5. Oversees chemical and biological materials inventory, including exempt quantity select agents.
  6. Drafts reports and other documentation, including use of relevant scientific data.
  7. Creates and adjusts methodologies to meet changing regulatory and scientific environment.
  8. Maintains and analyzes inspection data to promote continuous research safety improvement.
  9. Develops training materials and provides training as necessary to individuals with respect to personnel safety, containment practices, and dangerous goods shipping requirements and procedures.
  10. Assists investigators and staff with all matters related to compliance and interpretation regarding regulations and guidelines for hazardous agents, biological agent shipping requirements, containment practices, risk assessment, work procedures and practices, decontamination and disinfection procedures, and use and maintenance of contaminated equipment.
  11. Performs risk assessments, draft and review Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for use of hazardous materials.
  12. Participates in the institutional hazardous materials emergency response team.
  13. Performs other related duties as assigned.


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited institution in an appropriate scientific field such as biology, microbiology, molecular biology, environmental science, public health, or medical science or closely related field. (TRANSCRIPT REQUIRED)

EXPERIENCE: Four (4) years of related work experience in a laboratory or biomedical research setting; OR Master’s Degree in biology, microbiology, molecular biology, environmental science, public health, or medical science or closely related field, and two (2) years of related work experience in a laboratory or biomedical research setting; OR a combination of education and related work experience to equal twelve (12) years. Must be able to wear a negative pressure air-purifying respirator.


  • Excellent organizational skills; excellent written and verbal communicational skills.
  • Knowledge of chemical handling practices, hazardous waste management, biosafety standards and laboratory best practices.
  • Working knowledge of NIH/CDC/OSHA guidelines; knowledge of lab safety standards.
  • Functional knowledge of microbiology, mycology and other disciplines related to applied biosafety.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite to include Word, Outlook, Excel, and Power Point.
  • Ability to work independently and follow through on work assignments with minimal direction and in a group.
  • Experience with Biosafety Level 1 and 2 laboratory practices.
  • Experience with chemical management including hazard identification, storage, and handling.
  • Experience communicating with individuals of diverse academic and cultural backgrounds.
  • Familiar with Occupational and Environmental Management Systems (ANSI Z10, ISO 14000)
  • Knowledge of regulations specific to biosafety, infection control, and occupational health and safety including the NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules, CDC/NIH Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories 5th edition, HHS and USDA Select Agent regulations, OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, regulations on biomedical waste disposal;
  • Experience with recombinant DNA techniques.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the principles of, risk-assessment and risk management, disinfection and sterilization of biohazardous materials, disease prevention, aerobiology and environmental control.

WORK SCHEDULE: This position may be occasionally required to work weekends.

An official transcript or documentation to verify education must be submitted in a sealed envelope to the Human Resources Department prior to first day of employment if selected for a position.