Environmental Health & Safety
Laboratory Safety Unit
Policy on Visitors to Laboratories or Shops
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Visitors to Laboratories or Shops
- PERSONNEL AFFECTED
Unsupervised volunteers and visitors can create a risk for injury and additional liability on the University. EH&S recommends that a responsible person be appointed by the Laboratory Director or shop supervisor to supervise all visitors or volunteers when they enter a laboratory/shop for a visit.
This policy applies to all academic, clinical, and service units involved in University of Rochester operations.
- Host - the person(s) bringing in the visitor(s) and who accepts responsibility for the visitor's actions and safety.
Laboratory - any part of a building used or intended to be used for scientific or technical activities that may store or use hazardous agents, including teaching laboratories, research labs or clinical laboratories at on-and off-campus locations.
Responsible Person - any person approved by a Lab Director, Department Head or Shop Supervisor to oversee and/or supervise the activities of a visitor in the particular location.
Shop - any part of a building used or intended to be used for tooling, cutting, or other fabrication of materials or equipment, or storage of those materials.
Visitor - any person not employed by or associated with the University who enters a student, research or clinical laboratory, a shop for a service call, a tour, or observation of activities in the applicable location.
Visitations to laboratories must be under the direct supervision of an authorized faculty or staff member or part of a formally organized guided tour, or supervised educational program.
The organizational unit chair/director, shop supervisor, or laboratory principal investigator bears primary responsibility for ensuring that University students, faculty, and staff members under their direction are aware of and adhere to this policy.
To protect the visitor and reduce the risk to the University, the following parameters for visitors to laboratories and/or service unit or shops should be followed at a minimum.
Applicable to all visitors regardless of age:
- The host must have full knowledge of all potential hazards and how to implement an emergency plan for the area.
- The host assumes full responsibility for the safety of each visitor.
- The host assures that all safety training pertinent to the laboratory or shop is given to the visitor.
- The host must ensure that no other laboratories/shops or operations in the area pose a threat or risk to the visitors' safety.
- All safety requirements apply.
- All visitors must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment or clothing including, at a minimum, but not limited to, ANSI approved eye protection and gloves as dictated by the activities in the lab.
- Shorts or short sleeve shirts, or shoes (of material suitable for the environment) that do not entirely cover the foot are not allowed.
- Visitors must have long hair tied back, no strings or other materials dangling from clothing, and no outerwear in labs (bulk coats can knock things over).
- Each visitor must be accounted for and accompanied during the entire visit.
- The visitor(s) will touch nothing in the lab/shop that is not pertinent to the visit.
- Ensure no equipment with unguarded moving parts or unprotected chemical reactions are active in the lab or shop.
- No spilled, uncovered or unprotected chemicals are in the area.
- No unshielded or otherwise unprotected radioactive materials are in the area.
- All hazardous material is protected in such a manner that poses no hazard.
- Anyone having direct contact with animals must be identified on a UCAR protocol.
- Visitors to a lab where animal research is taking place but not having contact with animals must comply with procedures per the department's risk assessment.
- The visitor(s) will thoroughly wash hands, and other exposed skin upon leaving the area.
- Children of University students, faculty, or staff members are not authorized to be in laboratories or shops on either an attended or an unattended childcare basis.
Signed parental/guardian consent forms and liability waivers are required for all visitors under 18, and must be obtained prior to the visit. The sponsoring faculty or staff member, or Program Director must keep the completed form on file for at least three years. This form is found under "Administration" in this document. Additional minimal requirements for minors visiting labs or shops are:
- The host ensures that the presence of minors in a research laboratory has a clearly defined educational purpose.
- The host must obtain the written permission as indicated for each visitor under 18 from that person's parent or guardian, including that the University will not be held liable for any mishaps.
- Visitors under 18 are should not be allowed in laboratories where select agents or explosives are used.
- Any group of minors visiting the University for educational purposes must have at least one adult for three minors under the age of 14 years, and at least one adult for four minors' ages 14 - 17 years.
QUESTIONS or COMMENTS?
Contact EH&S at (585) 275-3241 or e-mail EH&S Questions.
This page last updated 10/3/2018. Disclaimer.