Laboratory Moves and Closeouts
Upon moving or closing a lab, Research and Lab Safety (RLS) and a departmental safety coordinator require notfication. RLS must be notfied 90 days prior to, or at earliest knowledge of, the evacuation date.
All laboratory rooms, chemical storage areas, and areas where hazardous equipment or materials are used or stored need to be cleared before being vacated, whether due to a PI leaving the institution, relocating or terminating laboratory research activities, or a renovation project. The Principal Investigator (PI) and the PI’s department are responsible for ensuring that the space, including shared space, is cleared of all hazards belonging to the PI prior to the transfer to the next occupant, and that all biological, chemical and radiological materials are removed prior to vacating the space.
All remaining equipment, including biosafety cabinets and storage cabinets, must be properly decontaminated, as well as all surfaces, such as counters, drawers, floors, fume hoods, etc. In addition, all unwanted lab equipment, supplies, electronics, and furniture are also to be removed following proper cleaning or decontamination.
Please use the documents and guides provided on thie page to help with this process.
Review the following close-out items. General points are covered to help you safely and efficiently vacate your lab spaces. Where needed, more consultation will be provided by RLS.
- Review your lab space to ensure all hazardous and unknown materials have been identified and no new ones have been created while preparing to vacate the space. It is productive to repeat this step of the process because identifying and disposing of “unknowns” is a major cost in laboratory close-outs.
- Seek assistance from RLS and Departmental Safety Coordinator(s) in planning the safe transfer and disposal of any high hazard materials (violently reactive chemicals, toxic gases, etc.).
- Follow-up on the status of time-critical closeout steps such as radioactive and chemical waste collection, moving of special equipment, posting of your new laboratory for biological or radioactive materials, etc.
- If you are moving to new lab space, visit that space to ensure that no equipment or materials remain from prior occupants, as necessary.
- Verify that all modifications in your new space will be completed before your move. No laboratory activites should be started until all equipment is in service (Safety Showers, Eyewash Stations, Fire Extinguishers, Fume Hoods/BSCs Certified, etc).
- No equipment used with radioactive materials should be moved if external removable contamination is present. You and your radiation workers can perform wipe and meter surveys to assure this for smaller items. Radiation Safety staff will provide this service for major pieces of equipment, including freezers and refrigerators; service will be arranged through the Radiation Safety Officer.
My laboratory is moving to a new location
In the event of a laboratory move please do the following:
- Notify RLS and departmental safety coordinator, 90 days prior to, or at earliest knowledge of, the evacuation date, to coordinate material handling and disposal of hazardous waste. Notify RLS via email
- Complete the Laboratory Close out Checklist (.DOC 37KB)
- Manually re-enter (move over) all chemicals from your previous Chemtracker (SciShield virtual lab) into your new Virtual lab space
- Schedule a walk through with your department and RLS.
My laboratory is closing
In the event of a laboratory closeout please do the following:
- Notify RLS and departmental safety coordinator, 90 days prior to, or at earliest knowledge of, the evacuation date, to coordinate material handling and disposal of hazardous waste.
- Complete the checklist
- Send the completed checklist to RLS, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Shedule a closeout out walk through with your department and RLS.
Preparing Laboratory Equipment for Removal or Service
Clinical and Laboratory equipment may potentially be contaminated with biological, chemical or radioisotopes. The equipment must be cleaned or decontaminated to protect workers servicing the equipment, the environment if disposing the equipment or the public if purchasing surplus equipment.
Examples of equipment which may need to be decontaminated or to assure the removal of hazardous materials prior to servicing or disposal include (but are not limited to):
- Biological Safety Cabinet
- Fume Hood
- Freezers/ Refrigerators
- Storage cabinets
- Centrifuges, and more
It is the laboratory, clinic and/or department’s responsibility to assure that the equipment is cleaned or does not pose a risk. If there presents a risk that cannot or should not be removed by the laboratory, clinic or department personnel contact RLS.
Once the equipment has been decontaminated of hazards or does not present a hazard, please fill out and attach the "Notice of Equipment Decontamination" (PDF: 168 KB) Label. An employee knowledgeable of the hazardous materials used in the equipment/fume hood must complete the label and attach it to the equipment or face of the fume hood prior to calling Asset Management. Then follow the steps in the Asset Management Policy and Procedures.
- Notify RLS that the lab space is ready for a closeout inspection.
- A member of the RLS team will review the Laboratory Closeout Checklist with the PI (or representative). If the form has been satisfactorily completed, RLS staff will also sign the form and provide a copy to the lab and department, if requested.
- After the inspection, the laboratory space will be considered clear of hazardous materials.