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516 - Environment, Health & Safety

Section: 516-32
Effective: 09/16/2021
Supersedes: New
Next Review Date: 09/16/2024
Issuance Date: 09/17/2021
Issuing Office: Environment, Health & Safety

PPM 516-32 Policy [pdf format]
PPM 516-32 Addendum 1 [pdf format]




This policy applies to all laboratories at all UC San Diego locations.





This policy addresses laboratory openings, closures, transfers, the associated disposition of hazardous materials, closure / amendments of permits and the treatment and repatriation of human remains and cultural items. The policy is intended to ensure laboratory space openings, closings relocations, and renovations are conducted in a safe and secure manner, that administrative requirements such as permits and authorizations are properly completed, and that hazardous materials are handled, identified, labeled, transferred, shipped, and disposed of appropriately.





Green Tag: Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) posts a green clearance tag after hazards are removed, indicating the facility is safe for contractors and other non-laboratory service personnel to enter and begin work.


Red Tag: EH&S posts a red tag when researchers vacate a lab to indicate decontamination and clearance procedures have begun in the facility. A red tag will still allow custodians to enter and empty regular trash.


Responsibility: “Responsible individual” can include, but is not limited to: faculty, staff, post-doctoral, and graduate students. The primary responsibility for the proper disposal of all hazardous materials used in laboratories lies with the principal investigator (PI) or researcher. Ultimate responsibility for hazardous materials management lies with each department or Organized Research Unit (ORU).





Upon opening a laboratory, and prior to beginning research, all required trainings and authorizations involving hazardous materials, biohazardous materials, radioactive materials, controlled substances, non-ionizing radiation (lasers, RF), nuclear magnetic resonance, Select Agents, human gene transfer clinical trials, human subjects, human remains, cultural items, or animal subjects must be completed..


Prior to closing, vacating, relocating, or renovating a laboratory, written notification must be sent to Research Affairs and the appropriate Dean, if any.  


Using the procedures and resources listed below, the laboratory must be made safe for future or planned renovations, repair, maintenance or occupants. All non-fixed equipment and supplies must be removed from laboratories upon closeout or relocation. Any materials left in the space will become the responsibility of the department. Examples of non-fixed equipment includes: spectrometers, low temperature freezers, ductless fume hoods, centrifuges, etc. Examples of fixed equipment includes: laboratory fume hoods, built-in autoclaves, and built-in hazardous material storage cabinets.


Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) will conduct and document a laboratory closeout survey to verify all close-out activities defined in this policy have been completed appropriately. Location(s) will be Green Tagged by EH&S once all close out activities have been completed, indicating a final disposition of a safe and secure environment. Red Tags will be used by EH&S to indicate additional actions remain necessary for complete closeout.


The University is committed to the repatriation of Native American remains and cultural items in accordance with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), its accompanying regulations, and the California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA). All faculty and staff who work with human remains,and/or cultural items are expected to know, understand, and follow the UC Native American Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation Interim Policy.





Deans, Provosts, Directors and Department Chairs are responsible for safety in their areas and for ensuring departments and other units under their supervision have effective programs to meet their safety obligations. This includes responsibility for the safe and secure opening, closing, relocation, renovation and vacation of laboratory spaces and for completion of all administrative requirements.  


Each person acting in a supervisory or management capacity in a laboratory is responsible for adherence to the applicable laboratory opening and closing policies, practices, and procedures, as set forth in the BLINK website (http://blink.ucsd.edu/ehs).


Individual laboratory employees are responsible for complying with applicable safety policies and guidelines as outlined in the BLINK website (http://blink.ucsd.edu/ehs).


Upon laboratory closure, EH&S is responsible for conducting and documenting a laboratory closeout survey to verify all close-out activities defined in this policy have been completed appropriately. EH&S will consult with the Principal Investigators (PI) or Supervisor to ensure proper transfer, shipping and disposal of hazardous materials and equipment occurs in accordance with regulatory requirements and ensure that lab areas are cleared of all hazards.





Procedures: https://blink.ucsd.edu/safety/research-lab/laboratory/resources/index.html





List any related forms and link if possible.





A.    Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)


B.    California Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (CalNAGPRA)


C.    UC Native American Cultural Affiliation and Repatriation Interim Policy


D.    New Laboratory Setup & PI Requirements - Blink


E.     How to Close or Relocate a Laboratory - Blink










09/17/2021       New policy issued.



Addendum 1


Laboratory Opening and Close-Out Process



New Laboratory Set-Up and PI Requirements


·       PI must complete PI information form.

·       PI must attend New PI orientation before establishing a lab

·       Complete required Safety trainings  

·       Apply for authorizations



How to Close or Relocate a Laboratory


·       Notify EH&S of your intended move or lab closure thirty (30) days prior to your moving day.

·       Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

·       Contact and work with the Controlled Substances Program Manager to remove, transfer or ship-controlled substances.

·       Chemical, radioactive, and biohazard inventory: Follow specific steps below for transferring, shipping, or disposing of research materials.

o   Chemicals – Transfer usable surplus chemicals to new owners or donate them to Chemcycle.

o   Radioactive materials – Read How to Transfer Radioactive Materials before transferring or moving radioactive materials.

o   Biohazardous materials – Dispose of biohazard waste, including sharps, according to the proper procedure for your building. Check with your lab manager for instructions.

o   Shipping – Read How to Ship Hazardous Materials if you will be sending any of the following materials off campus to a new destination:

§  Hazardous materials

§  Radioactive materials

§  Diagnostic specimens

§  Infectious substances

o   Hazardous waste – Request a hazardous waste collection for hazardous chemical and radioactive materials that can no longer be used.

·       Decontamination and Housekeeping

o   Chemical contamination

§  Contact your EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist if there are any special circumstances or challenges regarding hazardous chemical usage that could make the clearance process more difficult. If perchloric acid has been used in the chemical fume hood, notify the EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist for your building.

§  Remove bench coat, disposable liners, and covers from work surfaces and fume hoods.

·       Cut out any visible contamination (i.e., stains) from disposable material and bag it separately for hazardous waste disposal.

·       Discard the remaining uncontaminated material in the regular trash.

§  Decontaminate thoroughly any visible chemical contamination.

§  Request an EH&S Decontamination Clearance for equipment or facilities that may have come in contact with hazardous chemicals.

o   Biohazard contamination

§  Disinfect all work surfaces and biosafety cabinets.

§  Contact your EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist if you have questions regarding decontamination.

§  Request an EH&S Decontamination Clearance for equipment or facilities that may have come in contact with biohazardous materials.

o   Radioactive contamination

§  Perform a meter survey and wipe test of work surfaces and equipment to confirm decontamination.

§  Use the Laboratory Survey Sheet (PDF) (Word file) to document the results.

§  Place a copy of the completed survey in the laboratory survey book.

§  If non-removable contamination is found, contact EH&S Radiation Safety, (858) 822-2494.

§  Request an EH&S Decontamination Clearance for equipment or facilities that may have come in contact with radioactive materials.

o   General housekeeping

§  Follow instructions for properly defrosting a research freezer (PDF), if applicable.

§  Wash lab benchtops, equipment, and fume hoods with soap and water.

§  After the lab is empty and clean, run water into sinks and floor drains to fill traps.

§  Request hazardous waste pick up for hazardous materials, refrigerators, and freezers.

§  Request an EH&S Decontamination Clearance before disposing of or sending equipment to Surplus Sales.

o   Important: Never abandon unwanted or damaged equipment or hazardous materials in the lab or hallways.

·       Final Clearance

o   Contact the EH&S Research Assistance Program specialist for your building to schedule a clearance survey.

o   EH&S will post a green clearance tag on the door when the facility is cleared of hazards.

o   Red Tags will be used by EH&S to indicate additional actions remain necessary for complete close-out.

Note: Responsibility for leaving vacated laboratories ready for occupancy or renovation falls on the PI and department. 


Research Assistance Program