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Lab Safety Programs, Procedures, & Guides        

Lab Safety Guide - Chapter 10 - Accident Reporting

The following gives information on accident reporting procedures for laboratory work. Adapted from the NMSU Lab Safety Guide (modified - dls)



Everyone must be familiar with the location and use of safety showers, eye wash equipment and personal protective equipment. Emergency telephone numbers to be called in the event of fire, accident, flood, or hazardous chemical or radioactive spill must be posted prominently in each laboratory. In addition, the numbers of the laboratory workers and their supervisors must be posted. These persons must be notified immediately in the event of an accident or emergency.

Every laboratory should have an internal accident-reporting system to help discover and correct unexpected hazards. This system should include provisions for investigating the causes of injury and any potentially serious incident that does not result in injury. The goal of such investigations should be to make recommendations to improve safety, not to assign blame for an incident. Relevant federal, state, and local regulations may require particular reporting procedures for accidents or injuries, Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemical in Laboratories, section I.A. 16


The New Mexico Worker Compensation Statute requires immediate submission of all accidents and failure to do so can be cause for assessment of monetary penalties. In addition, late submission of report delays statutory benefits to the injured worker. Report all accidents requiring medical care immediately! Do not wait for medical report! If in doubt, call the Employee Benefits Section (575) 646-1741, for assistance.


As used in the Worker's Compensation Act, unless the context otherwise requires, "injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment" shall include accidental injuries to workers, and death resulting from accidental injury, as a result of their employment and while at work in any place where their employer's business requires their presence, but shall not include injuries to any worker occurring while on his/her way to assume the duties of his/her employment or after leaving such duties, the proximate cause of which is not the employer's negligence.

In the event the worker is seriously injured or killed and cannot report the accident, the supervisor with knowledge of the accident is still responsible for completion of the reports.

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Effective November 1, 1990, the procedures for receiving medical care for work-related injuries were changed. ALL EMPLOYEES IN THE LAS CRUCES AREA NEEDING NON-EMERGENCY CARE DURING NORMAL WORKING HOURS WILL UTILIZE CAMPUS HEALTH SERVICES IN THE CAMPUS HEALTH CENTER, on Breland Drive  (map). The physician may refer to other medical providers if appropriate. Medical providers may not refer employees to other providers without prior approval of employee health services

Emergencies and work-related injuries occurring after hours or on weekends will be treated by the nearest emergency room. On the next working day, call Employee Health Services at 646-6600 for instructions.

Note: Critical emergencies should be sent immediately to the nearest emergency room (call 911 for emergency response), then contact the Employee Health Services

All employees, including part-time and student employees, are subject to these procedures. Supervisors are responsible for directing their subordinates to the appropriate medical provider whenever possible.


Procedures for reporting work-related injuries have been revised. Every injury should be reported whether or not medical care is needed. A new form will be used by the employee: "Employee's Statement of Work-Related Injury." Please give the form to the injured employee to complete and sign. This is the only form the employee will complete. The forms are available from Campus Health Center and on their website.  The supervisor will then complete the "First Report of Accident" and the "Supervisor's Accident Investigation Report." The employee will not be involved in completing these two form. The employee and supervisor forms are forwarded to Employee Benefits within 24 hours of the injury.

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