Research Safety

Opening Labs, Closing Labs, & Moving Lab Equipment

The instructions below define responsibilities when UGA labs are being opened or closed. Also included in these instructions are guidelines and considerations for relocating laboratory equipment.

There are minimum safety and regulatory requirements that must be met 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.


Departments ensure that all principal investigators (PI) using chemical, biological, or radioactive materials are aware of the requirements necessary to appropriately open a lab, close a lab, or relocate lab equipment. 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 completing the tasks required to open a lab, close a lab, or relocate laboratory equipment. 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 & the Office of Biosafety are responsible for providing proper guidance for any laboratory opening, closing, or relocation. ORS issues final clearance on lab openings and lab closings.

UGA Support Services is responsible moving properly cleaned and decontaminated laboratory equipment either from one lab to another or from the lab to property surplus. Support Services may call on ORS or the Biosafety Office for additional information in situations of questionable decontamination procedures.

Contact Numbers

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

Opening a New Laboratory

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

  • Submit a lab opening request by filling out the Open New Lab Request Form. A member of ORS will contact you to assist in getting your laboratory opened in a safe and compliant manner.
  • 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.
  • All new chemicals are purchased through UGA Central Research Stores (CRS).
  • You and your staff should complete all appropriate EH&S training.
  • If you are transferring chemicals from one space to another on campus, utilize the chemical inventory system within Chematix.
  • Print and read UGA’s Chemical and Laboratory Safety Manual.

Laboratory Close-out or Relocation

For retiring PIs, PIs taking another job outside of UGA, or current PIs relocating to a different lab within UGA:

Equipment Moves

For researchers needing to transfer equipment to another lab or have it removed to surplus: