Laboratory Closeouts and Relocation Guidelines

It is not uncommon for research groups to relocate from one lab location to another in the same building, to a different lab building, or to a new institution. In each case, it is necessary for the vacated lab to be decontaminated and decommissioned prior to reassignment.

UTD has developed this procedure as a guideline to help minimize hazards to University personnel and maintain compliance with all applicable Federal and State regulations during a lab relocation.

Notify the Office of Research Compliance

Contact the Office of Research Compliance Chemical Safety Officer at (972) 883-5457 as soon as you learn of your move, as some processes and procedures for preparing your lab take longer than others. The scope of your move, including the materials being relocated, will determine the type of services you will need.

Please also keep in mind:

  • All chemicals and hazardous materials must be transported by authorized individuals
  • Special procedures exist for moving radioactive and biological materials

General Guidelines

  • The University moving crew is not permitted to move any chemical, biological, radioactive, or hazardous material.
  • All laboratory personnel must wear safety glasses, lab coats, and appropriate gloves while handling chemicals.
  • This is a good time to go through your chemical inventory and dispose of old and unneeded chemicals. Do not move chemicals into a new lab that should be classified as a chemical waste.
  • Do not move chemical, biological, or radioactive waste. Contact us for a pick-up if you need waste removed from the lab: Hazardous Materials Pickup
  • DEA controlled substances cannot be removed from the UTD campus.
  • DEA Licensee should request a change of address to reflect his new space on campus as soon as possible. Licensee must move the DEA items.
  • For closeout of spaces where radioactive materials were used, the space must be wipe tested/surveyed for contamination.
    • The Radiation Safety Officer must sign off on the closeout.

Moving Chemicals or Hazardous Materials within a Building

  • There are special procedures for moving radioactive and biological materials.
  • Ensure your chemical inventory is accurate.
  • Replace any illegible labels and check that all containers are labeled to accurately describe the contents (no abbreviations or trade names).
  • Check containers for damage or cracks and replace or dispose of any damaged containers.
  • Segregate chemicals into the following categories/hazard classes:
    • Inorganic oxidizer
    • Flammable liquids
    • Inorganic acids
    • Inorganic bases
    • Organic acids
    • Flammable solids
    • Organic compounds without the previously stated hazards
    • Inorganic compounds without the previously stated hazards
  • Transport chemicals in the boxes or bins according to the above categories. Use sufficient packing material to prevent the bottles from breaking.
  • When chemicals arrive at the new locations, lab personnel will need to check contents for breakage/damage. Chemicals will need to be removed from boxes and placed in their designated locations within the laboratory.

Moving Chemicals or Hazardous Materials Requiring Transportation/Moving Outdoors

  • Package each category of chemical hazard class into separate, sturdy cardboard boxes, or plastic tubs/bins. Single layer only. Use paper or other cushioning material between bottles to prevent breakage during handling and transportation. Do not pack boxes/tub too heavy, maximum 25 pounds total weight per box. EH&S can loan plastic tubs.
  • Label the outside of each box/tub with the following:
    • Principle investigators name and contact phone number
    • The new facility’s Laboratory Number where chemicals are to be taken
    • Hazard Class of chemicals located in box
    • Attach inventory list of each chemical placed in box along with container size and physical state (ex. Acetone – 1 gallon – liquid)
    • Attach note stating the following: This box contains chemicals and must be moved only by the Office of Research Compliance or an Research Compliance-approved third party vendor.
  • At time of chemical transfer, we will need laboratory personnel in the lab where the chemicals are being moved from, as well as in the lab where chemicals are being moved to in the new facility.
  • When chemicals arrive at the new facility, lab personnel will need to accept boxes and check contents for breakage/damage. Chemicals will need to be removed from boxes and placed in their designated locations within the laboratory.

Note: Boxes without an accurate inventory list will not be moved.

Clean and Decontaminate

  • Next, your lab will need to be prepped, cleaned, and decontaminated before you can receive a certificate of decommissioning, which states that your lab is ready to be vacated.
  • Equipment to be moved must be decontaminated by laboratory personnel or a third party vendor prior to the Office of Research Compliance approving transport.
    • Please contact Research Compliance at x 5457 for assistance with decontamination, referrals to third party vendors, or approval to move equipment.

Schedule an Inspection/Certification

  • To complete the closeout process, please contact the your Safety Specialist to schedule a closeout/move inspection.
  • Please complete the lab closeout certification form and return it to your Safety Specialist. The form will need to be signed by the Department Head or the Dean in the case of a Department Head lab closeout or move. Your lab will not be certified as completed until the inspection is completed, all findings are corrected and the lab closeout form is completed with signatures.

Support

For general questions, please contact us at (972) 883-5457 (x5457 on campus). Please contact us with questions regarding safety training requirements or offerings at labsafety@utdallas.edu.