Laboratory & Shop Reopening Checklist

Purpose:

This document outlines the safety considerations when reentering laboratories and shop spaces. It also identifies the procedures that should be implemented to restart activities in on campus laboratories or shop spaces.

Procedures to Implement When Returning to Lab/Shop Operations:

  • Minimize the spread of the virus by following the below guidelines:
    • Wear the University provided disposable face coverings while working inside University laboratories within 6 feet of other individuals or when you have the potential to be within other individuals. Individuals are not permitted to wear the UP provided cloth face coverings in laboratories due to potential for cross contamination. See guidelines on Face Coverings in Laboratories (add hyperlink)
    • Minimize in-person interactions of lab workers
    • Minimize the use of shared surfaces and materials
    • Frequently wash hands
    • Frequently clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and equipment (see UP Guidelines on Cleaning and Disinfection –add hyperlink-)
    • Set up procedures for cleaning equipment before and after usage
    • Wear University provided disposable face coverings while working inside University laboratories within 6 feet of other individuals or when you have the potential to be in close proximity of other individuals such as in shared spaces like shops, cold rooms, autoclaves rooms, freezer rooms, etc. Individuals are not permitted to wear the UP provided cloth face coverings in laboratories due to potential for cross contamination. See Guidelines on Laboratory Masks here (add hyperlink)
  • Establish social distancing protocols. Lab personnel must maintain 6 feet of distance when possible. Consult the University Protocols on Space Guidance (hyperlink) and work with the COVID-19 Operations Committee and EHS to establish and develop plans that:
    • Implement schedules for shared equipment
    • Implement directional paths inside lab spaces and shops.
    • Implement occupancy levels for shared labs or shops; Identify maximum personnel for workspace according to optimal density
    • Create plans for how shared spaces will be occupied. Some possibilities include working in shifts or developing schedules for lab equipment sign up and use
  • Prepare for supply chain disruptions and limited availability
    • Recognize that order placement may be slower as the volume of requests increases
    • Plan for limited sales of high demand items
    • Plan for limited Personal Protective Equipment availability including N95’s, face shields, and gloves for general laboratory use.
    • Plan for some reagents to have limited availability
    • Plan for some consumables to have limited availability
  • Avoid Sharing PPE:
    • All laboratory spaces currently using shared PPE should develop a plan to determine how to provide staff and faculty with individual PPE or disinfect PPE between use.
    • If PPE required for certain tasks is difficult to disinfect, these tasks may be designated to specific individuals in order to manage public health considerations.

Safety Considerations When Returning to Laboratories:

  • Survey the laboratory for unsafe conditions
    • Mitigate any chemical or biological leaks, spills, or releases
    • Cleanup/put away chemicals, supplies equipment, glassware, and other items left out during the shutdown
    • Secure, correctly label, and/or request a pickup for hazardous waste
  • Check and verify all equipment is operational
    • Verify emergency equipment such as eyewashes, safety showers, sprinkler heads, fire extinguishers, and pull stations are visible and not obstructed.
    • Pour water down water down dry traps/floor drains to mitigate sewer gas smells
    • Power up electrical equipment slowly and one at a time. Potential exists to overload electrical circuits.
    • Check all fume hoods to ensure properly operational
    • Check Biological Safety Cabinets to ensure properly operational
    • Review start up procedures for any compressed gas cylinders
  • Conduct a hazardous material inventory to ensure no loss of material (chemicals, radioactive material stocks, toxins, controlled substances, etc.). Assess chemicals that may have become unstable during the shutdown and manage any expired, outdated, peroxide-forming, self-reactive, or other reagents with a limited lifespan appropriately. Notify EHS if any chemical containers appear to have bulged or have imploded.
  • Clean any surfaces or areas that may be unsanitary, contaminated, or in poor condition

(updated 7/28/2020)