2.9 Laboratory Hibernation and Closing

Closing Out a Laboratory

Any researcher leaving the University needs to properly close out his/her lab. If the principal investigator does not take proper care to cleanup the laboratory, then the department for which they worked under becomes responsible. We strongly encourage departments to develop administrative controls to prevent this from happening. A good tool to use is the laboratory closeout checklist available on the HSRM website. As an additional resource, HSRM offers laboratory chemical cleanup services for an hourly fee.

Laboratory Hibernation

In the event of a planned lab hibernation (e.g. summer field work, PI hiatus, etc.) or a University closure (e.g. severe weather, flu pandemic, etc.), labs must review critical operations and temporary shutdown guidance. Principal investigators are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all lab operations have been accounted for and that any hazardous materials/equipment are secured in the event of a planned or unplanned lab hibernation.

  • Update door/area comprehensive signage with current hazards and emergency contact information. See the Laboratory Comprehensive Signage webpage for templates and guidance.
  • Review the Lab Hibernation Plan and discuss critical operations that would need to be reduced or stopped in the case of a University shut down or a planned lab hibernation. Identify primary and secondary contacts responsible for processes that cannot be stopped in the event of an unplanned University closure.
  • Include shutdown procedures and lab emergency contact information (including primary and secondary contacts) in lab SOPs and safety documents. Be sure that all members of the lab have access to this information by either posting it inside the lab or on an online lab drive.
  • If lab monitoring is needed during a planned hibernation, post the “Hibernation Notice” included in the Lab Hibernation Plan on your door or on your lab bench.
  • Cancel/postpone regularly occurring shipments of lab materials (e.g. supplies, chemicals, gas tanks, etc.)
  • Labs using radioactive material must complete a routine contamination survey of your space and document it within IsoTrack. Once work has resumed, a post-hibernation survey must be complete. Then notify Radiation Safety ([email protected]), who will help reconcile your reports.

Contact Health, Safety, and Risk Management (612-626-6002) or your Research Safety partner with questions.