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K-State Today

May 8, 2018

Laboratory checkout procedures

Submitted by Christina Aguilera

Departing researchers and staff responsible for laboratories should go through a laboratory check out process to ensure that hazardous substances and regulated materials in their labs are properly managed upon departure. It is the responsibility of department heads to ensure this process is conducted during the planning of, or upon separation of faculty and student researchers.

Incoming faculty and graduate students should not face the potentially hazardous task of identifying and cleaning out legacy chemicals and biological materials left behind by others before they can begin their work. Materials left unmanaged can become unstable and potentially dangerous. Equipment may contain hazardous materials or radiological sources, which are regulated and must be properly managed for disposal.

Please use the optional laboratory checkout form to ensure research and laboratories are properly decommissioned. Failure to properly manage this process can lead to additional disposal costs, laboratory costs to identify unknown materials, high-hazard disposal contractor costs, regulatory fines, and delays in starting new research activities. While disposal of hazardous waste is not charged to research and academic programs, special costs may be incurred by a department for abandoned materials and equipment — e.g., high-hazard disposal, unknown materials sampling, labor for decontamination and clean out activities. It is important to begin working with Environmental Health and Safety early to avoid unsafe conditions and costs.

Maintaining a current chemical inventory aids in this planning process. Inventories also assist when research is transferred to other personnel or locations and in preparation for shipping. The K-State Policies and Procedures Manual stipulates that active chemical inventories be maintained in the university centralized chemical inventory system. If your department or laboratory maintains an inventory in another system, Environmental Health and Safety can assist with the transfer of your records.

Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 785-532-5856 early to plan a laboratory clean out as there can be a 60-day lead time before materials are removed. Additional personnel check-out information is provided in the clearance procedures at separation policy, PPM 4950.

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