Research Safety

Opening & Closing a Lab

GUIDELINES FOR LABORATORY OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS

The purpose of this document is to define responsibilities when UGA labs are being opened, closed, or relocated. The goal is to achieve a safe and regulatory compliant transfer of laboratory supervision.

There are minimum safety and regulatory requirements that must be met by laboratory personnel before any lab is allowed to become operational.  Similarly, when laboratories are vacated, they must be left in a condition that is safe and suitable for a new occupant or other employees involved in renovation projects.

Responsibilities

Departments ensure that all principal investigators (PI) using chemical, biological, or radioactive agents are aware of the requirements necessary to obtain clearance from the Office of Research Safety (ORS) and the Office of Biosafety in order to open, close, or relocate a lab. If any hazardous materials or equipment is left behind by an absent or unidentified PI, the department head assumes responsibility for the proper closing of the laboratory.

Principal Investigators are responsible for the safe operations of labs under their supervision, as well as completing the tasks required to open, close, or relocate a laboratory at UGA. The PI is responsible for the relocation or removal of all hazardous agents as well as the decontamination of all equipment and surfaces occupied in the laboratory area. The PI may delegate tasks to another party such as lab personnel possessing appropriate training and knowledge, but this does not absolve the PI of the responsibility of ensuring these tasks are completed according to the applicable guidelines.

Office of Research Safety is responsible for providing proper guidance for any chemical and/or radioactive laboratory opening, closing, or relocation and for alerting the UGA Office of Biosafety when applicable. ORS will issue final clearance on lab openings, closings, and relocations.

Contact Numbers

  • Chemical and Laboratory Safety:  706-542-5288
  • Radiation Safety:  706-542-0107
  • Biological Safety:  706-542-7265
  • Hazardous Waste Group:  706-369-5706
  • Chematix Assistance:  706-542-5801

 Opening a New Laboratory

 Closing or Relocating a Laboratory

Opening a New Laboratory

This information is intended to guide principal investigators, department heads, and lab contacts through the process of opening and beginning work in a new laboratory. It should be used by PIs new to UGA and current PIs that are relocating their operations from one area on campus to another. Please read and follow all instructions within this document. Once the Open New Lab Request Form has been completed, please click “Submit.” A member of Chemical and Laboratory Safety will contact you to assist in getting your laboratory open in a safe and regulatory compliant manner.

For new PIs or current PIs opening a new lab within UGA:

  • Any chemicals being transferred must be in usable condition.
  • Do not transfer chemical waste from one room to another. Have all chemical waste picked up through the hazardous materials program prior to vacating a lab.
  • You and your staff should complete all appropriate EH&S training.
  • To transfer chemicals, utilize the chemical inventory system within Chematix.
  • Acquire and correctly fill in a laboratory entrance caution sign.
  • Chemical and Laboratory Safety (CLS) is the lead department in assisting personnel in lab openings, if you have any questions, please contact CLS at 706-542-5288

 Open New Lab Request Form

Laboratory Close-out or Relocation

This information is intended to guide principal investigators, department heads, and lab contacts when operations within a lab are scheduled to be discontinued or relocated. Please read and follow all instructions below. Once the Close-out or Relocation Lab Request Form has been completed, please click “Submit.” A member of Chemical and Laboratory Safety will contact you to schedule a close-out survey.

  • Submit this form 60 days prior to your departure date.
  • Refrigerators, freezers, and cold rooms should be emptied and decontaminated.
  • Remove gas cylinder connections, replace valve stem covers, and make arrangements to return gas cylinders to the supplier. Call Chemical and Lab Safety for guidance if the supplier will not accept them.
  • Do not transfer chemical waste from one room to another. Have all chemical waste picked up through the hazardous materials program prior to vacating a lab.
  • Never dispose of hazardous materials by sink or trash receptacles.
  • If there are chemicals that are still usable and another lab is willing to accept them, use Chematix to transfer them to the lab(s) that have agreed to accept them. Otherwise, use Chematix to create waste cards for all chemicals and submit a waste pickup request. For large quantities of chemical containers (75+), call the Hazardous Materials Group at (706) 369-5706 for assistance before creating waste cards in Chematix. For Chematix assistance, call 706-542-5801.
  • Place all needles, scalpels, etc. into sharps boxes for disposal.
  • All shared lab areas must be cleared by departing PI and staff or another PI must assume responsibility for the entire space and contents. This includes labs, freezers, cold rooms, dark rooms, autoclave rooms, storage areas, etc.
  • Chemical and Laboratory Safety (CLS) is the lead department in assisting personnel in lab close-outs and relocations, if you have any questions, please contact CLS at (706) 542-5288.

 Close-out or Relocation Lab Request Form