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Environmental Health & Safety

Photography and Media in Laboratories

A printable version is available using Adobe Acrobat Reader - pdf version of Photography and Media in Laboratories Guidelines


To advise photographers in the best practices for photographing research in clinical, student, and research laboratories in a safe yet effective manner, that conveys images of our safety-focused research environment.


These guidelines apply to photography in all clinical, student, or research laboratories.


For Photographers:

  1. Know the hazards of the laboratory before entering. This means being advised of all chemical, biological, radiological, and physical hazards present. The door will be labeled with the major hazards identified.
  2. Consult with the Principal Investigator (PI), Supervisor, or Lab Manager of what Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required prior to entering the room.
  3. Photographer must wear the same level of PPE deemed necessary for the laboratory staff and environment.
  4. Know what surfaces are contaminated or considered contaminated. Do not set any equipment down on any surface without verifying with the laboratory staff that it is safe to do so. Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) advises the use of a clean cart for all of the necessary equipment.
  5. When leaving the laboratory, take off all PPE and wash your hands before exiting the laboratory. Wipe down all equipment that came into contact with any potentially contaminated surface with the appropriate cleaner (disinfectant, Rescue, soap and water, etc.).
  6. All photographs should be reviewed by the Principal Investigator or Supervisor before use or release.

For Principal Investigators:

  1. Principal Investigators or Lab managers must be present for the entire photography session in order to advise and consult with the photographers regarding hazards, equipment, and precautions.
  2. It would be highly beneficial to perform a self-inspection for safety before any pictures are taken. Inspection checklists are available either through Chematix, or by contacting the EH&S Laboratory Safety Unit.
  3. No active research should be conducted during the photoshoot in an effort to mitigate risk. If this is unavoidable (Clinical/Automated Lab), all possible measures must be taken to mitigate risk (hierarchy of controls, distance, shielding, PPE, etc.) for all involved parties.
  4. All photographed individuals must be appropriately dressed.
    1. This means completely covered legs and feet. Long hair, ties, and lanyards must be secured or removed.
    2. If lab coats are necessary, please ensure that lab coats are fully buttoned or snapped close, and that no skin around the cuff is showing (use sleeve protectors, extended cuff gloves, or cuffed lab coats).
  5. If photographs will be staged, all precautions must still be followed as if the hazards were still present (fume hoods, shielding, PPE, etc.).
  6. The use of PPE is critical. PPE must be in good, clean, working condition, and must be appropriate for the hazards present (safety glasses vs. safety goggles vs. face shield, standard cotton lab coats vs. flame resistant lab coats, etc.).
  7. If fume hoods will be shown ensure the following:
    1. That the fume hood is clean and uncluttered.
    2. The sash is at or below the working height.
    3. That work is being done at least 6 inches into the fume hood to ensure adequate capture of fumes/vapors.
    4. That no part of the face or head enters the fume hood.
    5. If hazardous waste is also in the fume hood, ensure that it is labeled, capped, and has secondary containment.
  8. Ensure that your laboratory is clean, uncluttered, and displays proper storage for chemicals, biological and radiological materials, compressed gases, sharps, waste, and equipment.
  9. All photographs must be vetted by the Principal Investigator or Supervisor before use or release.


If you have any questions please contact EH&S. You may submit your photographs to for our review prior to publication. If you need immediate assistance, please call our main line at 275-3241. If a large photoshoot, or media campaign is schedule, depending on availability, someone from our office may be able to attend the session to offer on site assistance. Please call the Laboratory Safety Unit at 275-3241 to schedule.

Date: 10/11/2017
Number: LS-G004
Revision #1

Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.

This page last updated 8/21/2017. Disclaimer.