Laboratory and research
The laboratory safety program minimizes the risk of injury or illness to laboratory workers by ensuring employees and students are trained and equipped with the information and equipment to work safely in the laboratory. EHS provides support and guidance to faculty, staff, laboratory supervisors and managers, students, and other Arizona State University community members. We assist with the development and implementation of appropriate lab safety practices and procedures. In this section, you will find supporting documents and information to accomplish this mission in your laboratory.
A laboratory is a facility or room where potentially hazardous chemicals, biological agents, or sources of energy are used and scientific experimentation, research, or education occurs. See policy EHS 104. Each laboratory at ASU is required to complete a laboratory registration with EHS and renew annually.
EHS will conduct inspections to determine individual compliance with local and federal regulations. Annual Laboratory and Fire inspections will be conducted in all research and teaching labs. EHS will also conduct annual Biosafety, Animal Biosafety, or Machine Shop and regular Radiation Safety inspections if your lab contains these materials. You will receive a notification prior to inspection. To help prepare for future inspections, please review the inspection checklists below and perform self-inspections on a regular basis.
- Biosafety level 1 and 2 inspection checklist.
- Lab inspection checklist.
- Lab self-inspection checklist.
- Radiation inspection checklist.
Lab close-out or move
Starting a new lab
EHS must be notified before a laboratory is newly occupied. EHS will assist you with the lab start-up in accordance with the EHS 405 Laboratory Start-up/Close-out policy and provide guidance and assistance to ensure that all hazardous materials regulations and EHS policies are addressed.
Closing out or moving a lab
If you are closing out or moving an existing lab, moving or transferring a piece of equipment or disposing of equipment:
- EHS must be notified prior to a laboratory or equipment move, relocation or vacancy for any reason.
- EHS will inspect your lab at the time of the move and complete a Lab closeout inspection form.
- More information is available at EHS 405 Laboratory Start-up/close-out.
- Use the Preparing for a lab or equipment move form to assist with ensuring that all hazardous material regulations are satisfied.
Email EHS with questions or call 480-965-1823.
Students less than 18 years of age who plan to spend time in ASU labs are required to provide the university information regarding their activities and attend specific safety training courses. To protect minors from potential hazards in laboratories or areas where hazardous processes occur they must follow the approval process prior to entering the laboratory. Please visit our visitor and volunteer webpage for instructions.
Find more information on the EHS training webpage.
Laboratories are required to be registered on an annual basis following these instructions. The Principal Investigator, PI, or their designee completes the registration process. If you are a new or existing Principal Investigator, the method for registering your lab spaces will be the same. Please log into CEMS with your ASURITE and password.
Once logged in:
- Locate and click the Registration form tab, then
- Fill out the form by clicking new record and following the prompts.
If you are a new PI, EHS will reach out to conduct a startup consultation shortly after submitting the Registration form.
Chemical inventory management
Principal Investigators or their designee can manage chemical inventories online. CEMS has tutorials and additional information on purchasing, managing and disposing chemicals.
Green Labs program
The ASU Green Labs program is important because laboratories are responsible for disproportionately high energy use, often consuming 3-8 times more energy per square foot than other office buildings. Lab operations involve increased ventilation requirements for occupant safety, longer operating hours and energy intensive equipment needs such as chemical fume hoods, autoclaves and clean rooms. The Green Labs Program assists in reducing energy use and implementing other sustainable practices through education and alternative solutions such as the fume hood “Shut the Sash” energy conservation program which reminds researchers to shut the fume hood sash when it is not in use. Other reasons to make your lab Green include:
- Certification earns recognition on the lab safety registration placard and individual certificates.
- Green Labs certification may help increase the likelihood of receiving grant funding.
- Help support sustainability at ASU by reducing waste and conserving energy in labs.
- Most Green Labs practices are straightforward and may be activities the lab staff is already performing.
Steps to attain Green Labs certification
- Verify your lab has a current EHS Laboratory Safety Registration.
- Verify the lab group shares agreement to pursue ASU Green Labs Certification.
- Designate a Green Lab Coordinator for the lab.
- Complete a PDF version of the application and email Green Labs.
The ASU Green Labs program was honored in 2014 with the ASU President’s Award for Sustainability.
- ASU green programs and how you can get involved.
- Chemical exchange program.
- Green labs: cutting costs and carbon emissions.
- Order recycle bins.
- Ultra-low freezer recommendations.
Employees who work with hazardous materials in academic and research labs are required to complete applicable training courses. Use the training determination tool to determine the applicable courses for your job function. At a minimum, you are required to complete the following courses depending on your actual work performed in the lab, or other courses depending on the hazards in your work area.
- Biosafety and bloodborne pathogens.
- Fire Safety and Prevention.
- Hazardous waste management.
- Laboratory safety.
- Radiation safety.
Visit the EHS training webpage for more information on training details, times and locations.
Visitors and volunteers
Non-ASU employees such as volunteers and visitors who plan to spend time in ASU labs are required to provide the university information regarding their activities and attend specific safety training courses. Visit our visitor and volunteer webpage for instructions, or check out the EHS training webpage for more information.