Professional Conduct Policy

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Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (LNF) User Professional Conduct Policy

This policy defines the expectations for safe utilization of the LNF ensuring a respectful environment while providing for integrity of research and user safety. 

Professional Conduct/Baseline Behavior

Due to the highly specific nature of research at the LNF, an exhaustive list of rules is not possible. Instead, guidelines supporting the baseline use of the facility will be promoted, and harmful actions will be met with remedial responses. No user or project is more important than the safety of the user or the laboratory itself. These baseline behaviors are to protect the user and the laboratory are as follows:

  1. Be honest, fair and courteous in dealing with others.
  2. Safety glasses shall be worn at all times (Except while using optical microscopes).
  3. Always wear correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task/process.
  4. Have personal identification (ID badges) clearly visible at all times.
  5. Equipment within the laboratory may only be operated after having been properly trained and checked-out on that equipment. Adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs), signs, and staff requests.
  6. Be considerate and respectful of the lab, its equipment, as well as work and materials of others by keeping an organized workspace and lab, returning all workspace to clean status prior to leaving that space.
  7. Responsibly schedule reservations.
  8. Work with another user present when working with, or handling, chemicals.
  9. Responsibly transport, use and store chemicals. Minimize waste
  10. No chemical or process may be left unattended without proper labeling and user identification.
  11. Assist and mentor other users in safe use of equipment and lab.
  12. Provide feedback for positive and harmful behavior.

If the answer to a question is unknown, find that answer prior to proceeding. DO NOT assume, DO NOT guess. Know the answer before proceeding. Suggestions for new and improved baseline behaviors will be welcomed and adopted if appropriate and agreed upon by the LNF User Committee.

Positive Behavior

Positive behavior is any action that improves safety, efficiency and cleanliness such as: mentoring and assisting other users and staff; asking about baseline behaviors and suggesting new or improved procedures; assisting in building a closely bonded user community; and providing feedback to the user committee representatives or staff.

Know and Recognize Harmful Behavior

Users are expected to understand all baseline behaviors. If a harmful behavior occurs, users are expected to identify this and provide feedback so that it may be corrected. It is imperative that any harmful behavior is brought immediately to the attention of the user conducting the behavior. The behavior could very easily be a mistake rather than intent. The purpose of informing and/or retraining is to reiterate:

  • Baseline behaviors exists
  • There was a violation of the baseline that affects safety or process, and
  • Behaviors are being monitored to maintain safety.


It is an expectation that each user diligently observes and reports any positive or harmful behavior that may jeopardize safety, equipment and the facility itself. This can be done with the feedback system, e-mail, telephone or verbally. Reporting of harmful feedback is not a punitive measure; it is to help ensure continued safe functioning of the lab and integrity of world-class research.

Feedback for positive behavior should highlight the following:

  • what was observed (where, when)
  • who is believed to be responsible (and why)
  • how this improves safety, equipment or facility

Feedback for harmful behavior should highlight the following:

  • what was observed (where, when)
  • who is believed to be responsible (and why); Identification may occur by reviewing access and video logs.
  • what was done about it (notified user/lab)
  • if an alternative behavior was suggested (what)

Disciplinary Policy and Remedial Response

The primary goal is to educate the users about the correct baseline procedure leaving restrictive and disciplinary measures as a last resort. The severity of the behavior dictates the response. Staff will confirm that a baseline behavior was ignored and why and will try to positively identify the offending users. The staff will inform the users concerned via e-mail, and arrange the necessary next steps. If it is impossible to establish the users at fault, all users within the relevant area of the lab at the time of the incident will be reminded about the baseline behavior. Anyone confirmed ignoring baseline procedures will first be reminded of the existing baseline policies and appropriate behaviors. Users will then be required to demonstrate a real understanding of the philosophy underlying the policies, through a discussion with appropriate staff, tool engineers or Lab Director. Repeated non-compliance with baseline behavior will necessitate further restrictive remediation as outlined below:

  1. Written or verbal communication with the user’s supervisor/advisor/company
  2. Limitation to normal business-hours access
  3. Temporary removal from LNF
  4. Permanent removal from LNF

The LNF reserves the right to immediately suspend access during any investigation. A record of all reported occurrences will be maintained (accessible only by the specific user and key staff). The goal of this record is to identify reoccurring problems and take appropriate actions. ' 

Disputes and Records

Users have the right to dispute any remedial response. Ignorance of written and posted guidelines will not be considered. The dispute may be discussed by a random rotating selection of both users and staff.