This page is intended to help laboratory personnel understand Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) requirements for laboratory upkeep and to provide information about maintaining safe lab spaces.
Basic information about safety in laboratory environments can be found in the Laboratory Safety Manual. EHS highly recommends that all laboratory workers familiarize themselves with the contents of the manual.
Laboratory personnel are required to maintain and properly label equipment, such as fume hoods, biological safety cabinets, refrigerators and other appliances. Please refer to the Laboratory Equipment page for more information about equipment maintenance.
Laboratories are expected to perform general housekeeping duties. These include keeping corridors and exit doors unobstructed, disposing of waste, putting chemicals back into designated storage locations after use, and performing preventative maintenance on lab equipment. To ensure your lab is in compliance with EHS guidelines, you may refer to the inspection checklists located on the Laboratory Inspection Program page.
If you are closing out your laboratory because you are leaving the University, or if you are moving your lab to a different space on campus, please review the slide presentation and closeout procedure checklist on the Laboratory Closeout/Move Instructions page.
Safety Labels and Signage
An important part of laboratory upkeep is properly labeling all chemicals in the lab with their full chemical names and hazard information. Common chemical labels can be found on the Safety Labels and Signage page.
Laboratory equipment should also bear appropriate signage. Lab refrigerators should typically have signs that forbid food and flammable storage. Conversely, areas of the lab where food and beverages are permitted should have signs that clearly state “Food Area” or “No Gloves”.
Laboratory entrances should be marked with signs containing hazard information and emergency contact information for the lab. These signs should be regularly updated by using the appropriate form.
Radioactive and biological materials each have their own requirements for labeling and signage. Refer to the appropriate department page for more information.
Some laboratory spaces are shared by multiple lab groups. Principal investigators and lab group members are expected to actively collaborate to meet the requirements for shared lab spaces.
As part of general laboratory upkeep, accumulated waste should be disposed of in accordance with EHS and regulatory guidelines. Old chemical containers that are no longer needed should also be submitted to EHS as waste during regular inventory audits. For more information, refer to the Waste Management and Disposal page.