Health & Safety Programs

Lab Deactivation Responsibilities

Lab Deactivation
> Responsibilities
> Requirements
> Planning
> Packing and Transportation
> Equipment Moving
> Summary Sheet
> Deactivation Checklist
> Lab Deactivation and Moving Guidelines

Principal Investigator (PI): is responsible for ensuring the laboratory and associated equipment is deactivated, decommissioned, and decontaminated according to the requirements of the chemical, biological, and radiological safety programs, guidelines, and protocols prior to vacating the lab. The PI is required to remove the hazards associated with his/her work and to provide information about potential hazards (or lack there of) remaining in the space.  The PI is responsible for ensuring the removal of all chemical, radioactive, and biohazardous materials and their residues from the labs in which their work was conducted.  The PI may delegate tasks to lab staff and colleagues appropriate to their level of training, knowledge, and ability to address them; however, in all cases, it remains the PI’s responsibility to assure tasks are completed satisfactorily according to the guidelines and specified protocols.

Project Manager: is responsible for seeing that all aspects of a project are carried out. For departmentally managed projects, this person may be a department employee and for Facilities projects this person may be a Facilities employee.  Either entity may contract for project management services; if they do, then it is this individual who assumes responsibility for assuring project tasks are completed according to established plans and schedules.

Department:is responsible for overall support of deactivation tasks and is represented by an administrative staff employee. If a PI leaves a lab and cannot be contacted or otherwise held accountable for their responsibilities, the department assumes responsibility for assuring all tasks assigned or required of the PI are completed by other means.  The department will become the contact if there are any questions and is responsible for addressing any uncompleted PI related deactivation tasks. The department may need to acquire and expend funds to complete certain required tasks in the absence of the PI or other appropriately trained and experienced personnel. In no case shall administrative staff be asked or expected to undertake tasks for which they are not fully qualified by training and experience or that are not within the usual scope of their job duties.

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S):is responsible for advising a Department, PI, or Project Manager on EH&S related aspects of lab deactivations and moves.  EH&S provides advice regarding EH&S related tasks assigned to non-EH&S roles.  EH&S provides specific services described in the guidelines.  EH&S participates in deactivation responsibilities planning and verifying deactivation is completed after the lab is vacated.  EH&S can perform an advisory inspection of the research area before the decontamination project is started. The EH&S advisory inspection should be arranged by the PI, Department, or Project Manager.

Moving Company:usually moves only equipment and materials from the laboratory and not hazardous substances. The project manager may choose to hire an outside moving company or use the facilities labor shop to move equipment and non-hazardous materials such as glassware, books, computers, etc.

Facilities: includes craft and labor shops who may be assigned responsibilities for deactivation tasks during deactivation responsibilities planning.

Lab Deactivation Responsibilities Matrix: It may be helpful in planning to use the lab deactivation responsibilities matrix. This matrix lists all of the tasks and activities involved in the activation process and indicates which people could be assigned each responsibility. Then, as part of the planning, these responsibilities will be assigned and agreed to by all involved. The lab deactivation responsibilities matrix is included in this booklet. The shaded regions signify which tasks could be assigned to a role such as PI or Project Manager.


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