Safety Clearance Procedure

Laboratory and Non-Laboratory Equipment Clearance

Laboratory and Non-Laboratory Relocation & Decommissioning

Cold Room Clearance for Move and Repairs

Laboratory and Non-Laboratory Equipment Clearance

The information here applies to any laboratory equipment items that are used in a laboratory for the purposes of research. This also includes any item that presents an exposure hazard to non-laboratory personnel that will be handling the item.

A. All equipment must be cleaned and decontaminated

  1. Laboratory personnel must decontaminate equipment that has been used in experiments involving biological materials with a 10%  bleach solution prior to handling for disposal or relocation.
  2. In general, other laboratory equipment can be decontaminated with 70% of alcohol solution.
  3. Any equipment that contains oil or any other chemicals, must be properly drained of its contents prior to disposal. The owner of the equipment must drain the oil and/or chemicals and collect them for disposal through EHS hazardous waste disposal program prior to disposal or relocation of the equipment.
  4. Drain all incubators of water and remove standing water from defrosted freezers.
  5. Deface or remove all radiation and/or biohazard stickers.
  6. In general, all BSC units must be professionally decontaminated prior to relocation, if they have been used to culture human cell lines, as this presents an infectious (blood borne) pathogen hazard.

B. Submit a Safety Clearance Protocols and Request Form

  1. Equipment/Area Description—List the name of the equipment, including the brand name
  2. Disposition—Reason for clearance request (Decommission, disposal, relocation, repair, return to vender, work, sold and being shipped, cleaning needed, work/modification in Olin machine shop, and donation).
  3. Building and Room—Location of the lab/area where the clearance is needed
  4. PI—Primary Investigator
  5. Person Sending Clearance Phone—if different from PI and/or Laboratory Contact
  6. Laboratory Contact, Phone
  7. Name and contact information of the person responsible for handling any questions or requests regarding the area/lab space. The laboratory contact will be held responsible for the decontamination of equipment and removal of all hazardous materials from that area prior to the clearance
  8. Speedtype, —Account number
  9. Item List, Comments, Special Consideration —any other special information can be placed in this section regarding the lab/area

C. Post a sticky note with a note that can be identified by EHS; i.e. “for disposal”, “to be relocated”, “for EHS”. Include the item number if multiple.

D. Clearances should be sent at least a week in advance. However, in case of emergencies (cold room goes out or equipment breaks), EHS will try to accommodate the laboratory.

E. Clearances will be placed in the order in which they are received. Please allow a minimum of 5 days to process and complete the clearance.

F. EHS will contact individuals responsible for disposal. However, we do not schedule movers or know when disposal will place.


Safety Clearance Request Form

Laboratory and Non-Laboratory Relocation & Decommissioning

The information here applies to laboratories that are going to be relocated or decommissioned. This also includes any non-laboratory areas on campus that use or store hazardous materials including waste, or areas that pose a risk of exposure to these hazardous substances.

A. Notify EHS in writing at least 3 weeks in advance of your departure and/or laboratory relocation.

B. A letter from the institution receiving your equipment and chemicals stating acceptance of your inventory must be included in your letter to EHS, if your relocation is to an external organization.

  1. If applicable, EHS should receive a copy of your faculty departure checklist and a copy of capital equipment that will be taken or purchased by the lab.
  2. EHS will not clear any equipment items for relocation until we receive this documentation.

C. The U.S.D.O.T. requires that all chemicals are packed and moved by professional chemical movers for chemicals being relocated on and off campus.

D. Ensure all Radioactive Active Material (RAM) inventory and all chemicals not taken to your new location are disposed of by EHS or transferred to another PI or AU. Contact Radiation Safety for RAD decommissioning instructions. Obtain an acceptance letter from the recipient of any transferred material. This is the exclusive responsibility of the Primary Investigator, per requirements of the Faculty Handbook of Case Western Reserve University.

  1. Chemical Waste: List all unwanted bottles of chemicals and their quantities separately on a Hazardous waste disposal form available from EHS Chemical Safety (368-2907).
  2. Make sure to include an account number on the Disposal Listing for Hazardous Waste and Unwanted Chemicals form. Submit this form as soon as possible.
  3. Autoclave all microbial infectious waste before disposal.

E. Decontaminate the lab and all equipment before relocating (Please view the General Clearance Procedure for Laboratory Equipment for instruction)

  1. BSC units must be professionally decontaminated prior to relocation, if they have been used to culture human cell lines, as this presents an infectious (blood borne) pathogen hazard.
  2. -20 & -80 Freezers - These types of freezers normally have no material in liquid form present inside and most items are secured with freezer racks to prevent movement during transport. In these cases, only the outside of the freezer is required to be decontaminated. Any liquids must be secured or removed prior to transportation. Door must be locked shut if possible, or taped securely closed.
  3. Refrigerator/Freezers – In the event that these items are being relocated what is considered by the Safety Specialist, a short distance, refrigerators/freezers do not need to be completely emptied. All items must be condensed to one or two shelves in the refrigerator/freezer. After consolidation, packing paper or a similar material must be placed on the shelf to secure items. Liquids must be secured or removed prior to transportation. Door must be locked shut if possible, or taped securely closed.
  4. The Safety Specialist has the final say in all matters involving the safety of non-laboratory personnel relocating items.

F. Fill out a clearance form for each equipment item to be relocated, disposed of, or otherwise handled by outside personnel. (Please view the General Clearance Procedure for Laboratory Equipment for instruction).

G. Once your laboratory space is clear of chemicals, samples, laboratory equipment, and supplies, please contact EHS for a final laboratory decommission.

  1. The drawers should be cleaned out completely of all laboratory items. Laboratory desk spaces should be cleared of all personal items. There should be no residual items on the shelves or otherwise throughout the laboratory space or on the floors. Wipe down all counters, remove residue, and clean up any spills.


Safety Clearance Request Form

Cold Room Clearance for Move and Repairs

This procedure applies to all cold rooms at Case Western Reserve University that need to be repaired by campus facilities or off-campus personnel. Each laboratory using the cold room should complete the instructions below prior to a clearance being posted.

A. If your cold room is in need of repair, EHS will need to be contacted to post a clearance prior to being worked on by outside repair persons.

  1. You can contact customer service with repair requests.
  2. You can also contact EHS and request a clearance prior to ordering a repair. This may prove easiest if you have temperature sensitive materials in your cold room.

B. Before a clearance can be posted, the cold room should be cleared of all laboratory samples and equipment items.

  1. If there is an issue with the ventilation system or cooling system of your cold room, it is important for each PI to understand the process of repair. - To the right you can see the flow of air that is typical of most cold rooms. - Often, repair people will use the countertops as leverage to access hard to reach ducts in the ceiling.
  2. Remove all items from the countertops and carts from the interior of the cold room.
  3. Experiments should be stopped until the completion of the repair.
  4. The PI is responsible for
  5. Clean up all spills from the interior of the cold room. This includes the countertops and floors.
  6. Wipe down countertops with 10% bleach solution if you conduct experiments involving biological materials. Otherwise, wipe down counters with 70% alcohol solution.

C. Once the cold room has been completely cleared of laboratory items, EHS can be contacted to post a clearance. a. The EHS safety specialist is the final say in all matter involving cold room clearance b. The cold room should be completely empty


Safety Clearance Request Form