When a Researcher leaves the University, retires, moves to another lab area, or the existing lab is to be renovated, the department is required to do a “Hazardous Materials Laboratory Closeout Procedure” for the researcher’s laboratory area. The purpose of the Hazardous Material Closeout Procedure is two-fold;. the first is to avoid situations where unknown chemicals or contaminated spaces and equipment are discovered after researchers have vacated the premise. The second is to help ensure a safe work environment for the new occupants of the laboratory, or in the case of renovations in the laboratory, the protection of the renovation personnel from potential chemical, biological or radioactive hazards. The scale of the closeout procedure will depend upon the the scope of the renovations to be undertaken.
For minor renovations or maintenance in laboratories and other hazardous areas, a “Clearance to Work Form” is filled out. The Clearance to Work in Laboratories procedure is to be used whenever maintenance, repairs or renovations are required in a laboratory. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure a safe work environment for maintenance/construction workers. A review by EH&S is required when there is a possibility of radioactive contamination, if the renovation causes significant disruption in the laboratory, for all work in a Level 3 Biohazards lab. Some examples of a small lab repair are:
- repair/replacement of large areas of flooring
- removal of a single lab bench
- removal of a fumehood
For renovations that involve >50% of the lab, the Laboratory Closeout Procedure must be followed.
If your lab will be undergoing renovations, contact the Assistant Chair to initiate a Hazardous Materials Laboratory Closeout or a Clearance to Work form.