If you are setting up a new laboratory, evaluate the space to determine if it meets the requirements for handling the materials you intend to use. The use of hazardous materials requires the following:

Room Requirements

The laboratory space must have:

  • Impervious and chemically resistant work surfaces;
  • A sink; two sinks if you are using radioactive material;
  • Safety shower (if hazardous chemicals are used);
  • Eye-wash station (if hazardous chemicals and/or biological material is used);
  • A fire extinguisher mounted to the wall or in an extinguisher cabinet;
  • A functioning chemical fume hood for use of hazardous chemicals;
  • A functioning biosafety cabinet for BL2;
  • Chairs and furniture that are constructed of non-cloth material so that they can be effectively decontaminated;
  • Electrical outlets sufficient in number and location to minimize the use of extension cords.

Laboratory Safety Management

  • Handling hazardous materials requires a laboratory safety plan that identifies the hazards present and explains how to control them. Refer to the Laboratory Safety Plan Overview page for assistance in establishing a plan.
  • Identify hazards in the laboratory space.
  • Establish lab-specific training (e.g., conduct, PPE use) and emergency procedures (e.g., chemical spills, fire) for the lab.
  • Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all hazardous procedures.
  • Ensure that all training on SOPs, lab specific information, and emergency procedures is documented.
  • Post emergency contact signs.
  • Ensure that emergency equipment (e.g., fire extinguisher, spill kits, eyewash stations, and shower) is present.
  • Establish correct waste disposal procedures.

Chemical Use

Refer to the DRS safety library for appropriate chemical storage and for storage limitations of flammable liquids and flammable, oxidizing, and toxic compressed gases.

  • Maintain a list of hazardous chemicals that includes chemical name, CAS#, location, hazard, and quantity.
  • Provide access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all chemicals.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate chemical storage and segregation.
  • Keep the amount of flammable liquids, flammable, oxidizing, and toxic compressed gases within the allowable limit.

Radiation/Radioactive Material Use

  • Submit a radiation permit application for use of radioactive materials or X-rays.
  • Obtain the appropriate equipment to monitor for contamination (e.g., Geiger counter, LSC, scintillation detector).
  • Effectively secure and shield radioactive materials.

Laser Use

Biological Material Use

  • Complete an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) registration for required biological materials (human, non-human primate, recombinant or synthetic nucleic acids, pathogens, transgenic animals or plants, biotoxins).
  • Use leak-proof and lidded waste containers that are labeled with a biohazard symbol to collect BL2 or recombinant BL1 biological waste.
  • Ensure access to an autoclave in the building to decontaminate biohazardous waste for BL2 work.
  • Use centrifuge safety cups or o-ring tubes when centrifuging BL2 materials.
  • Protect vacuum lines from biohazards with secondary liquid traps and inline HEPA filters.
  • Decontaminate biosafety cabinets (BSC) and other equipment prior moving to new location.  Note: If a BSC must be disassembled to move, it must be professionally decontaminated by a BSC certifier.
  • Re-certify BSCs after they are moved to new location.
Last Updated: 9/30/2019