Relocating? Laboratory Safety Requirements You Should Know

Laboratory Safety Requirements for Lab Clean-Outs

When relocating or cleaning out your lab, there are specific safety requirements to keep in mind. Below, we’ve shared critical laboratory safety tips to follow to ensure your lab clean-out is as safe and seamless as possible.

General Tips

During lab clean-outs, everyone present must wear appropriate PPE, which will vary depending on the types of materials you will be moving or disposing of. It is also imperative that normal lab operations do not resume while the clean-out is happening. Besides being inconvenient for those cleaning the lab, it is also unsafe to continue operating in the lab mid-clean-out.

Additionally, a general rule for laboratory safety is to clean beginning with the least dirty areas and ending with the dirtiest locations. Throughout the cleaning process, frequently change out cleaning materials to help avoid any re-contamination. While cleaning out the lab, do not clean any areas with dry dusting or sweeping. Dry cleaning techniques can inadvertently create airborne particles, so it’s best to clean using only damp methods. In addition, when disinfecting surfaces, make sure you check and adhere to the contact/kill time for the specific disinfectant you are using—this way, you can ensure thorough disinfection for proper laboratory safety.

Any biosafety cabinets in the lab must also be thoroughly decontaminated, and all chemical and biological contamination must be removed from equipment surfaces—including centrifuges, incubators, refrigerators, and freezers—before they are removed from the lab.

Removing Chemical, Radioactive, and Biological Materials

It’s imperative to properly remove all chemical, radioactive, and biological materials from the lab. If any materials are being left behind in the lab or relocated to a new laboratory location, you must certify that these materials are free of surface contamination and have been appropriately disinfected and stored. Once the materials have been relocated to your new laboratory space, you must update the lab’s chemical inventory promptly and accurately to ensure laboratory safety in your new location.

If you are relocating your lab and moving any chemical, radioactive, or biological materials on public roads, they must all be correctly labeled and documented according to Department of Transportation standards. This includes any gas cylinders you may be relocating.

In addition, any chemical, radioactive, or biological materials that you are not relocating must be processed for appropriate disposal depending on each material type. If you are attempting to dispose of any unknown materials, either liquid or solid, they must first be identified and analyzed so they can be discarded appropriately based on material type.

How Vision Environmental Can Help with Laboratory Safety

When moving out of a lab or relocating to a new one, laboratory safety is paramount. All staff, technicians, and anyone else involved in the lab clean-out must know how to safely and efficiently clean out the laboratory space. Vision Environmental can assist with hazardous waste services for lab clean-outs and provide health & safety compliance training for laboratory safety requirements. For expert assistance and environmental services, contact us today!