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Lab Door Placards

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Policy LS-010

This document shall provide standards for laboratories with respect to the posting of signs indicating hazards present in the lab.

Effective Date: 01/01/2009
Revision Date: 03/21/2018

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Purpose

Laboratories often contain hazardous materials, equipment, and processes that could endanger first responders. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that responsible units and laboratory owners provide emergency responders with posted signage outside of laboratories that adequately identify and communicate significant hazards.

Policy Statement

It shall be the policy of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville to provide emergency responders with information regarding the hazards in campus laboratories via a door placarding system facilitated by Environmental Health and Safety and with the participation of laboratory responsible units and principal investigators. The information shall use common and understandable terms and identifiers. They shall be completed in English.

Scope and Applicability

This policy shall apply to all laboratories on campus that contain or appear to contain hazards. That is, a decommissioned lab may require lab door placard posting if it can reasonably be perceived to be a laboratory by emergency responders. The decision to post or not is at the discretion of EHS. Some labs may be identified best by room number; some may be best identified as a suite of rooms. This assignment of what a laboratory space is, is made at the discretion of EHS.

Abbreviations and Definitions

Abbreviations

EHS: Environmental Health & Safety

PI: Principal Investigator

GHS: Globally Harmonized System of Hazard Communication

PPE: Personal Protective Equipment

SDS: Safety Data Sheets

Definitions

Responsible Unit: The campus organizational unit responsible for an area, the most common example being an academic department.

Roles and Responsibilities

EHS shall:

  • Administer a program that provides Principal Investigators a mechanism to create door placards for their labs.
  • EHS will review and then post the received door placard documents.
  • Summarize door placard data as necessary for emergency response and reporting.

Responsible Units (e.g. departments) shall:

  • Ensure that laboratory spaces under their control are in compliance with this policy.
  • Ensure that laboratory spaces, for which there is no assigned principal investigator, have complete door placards posted with the identity and contact information of an appropriate representative for the department.

Principal Investigators (PIs) or Responsible Person (assigned by the responsible unit) shall:

  • Be responsible for accurate information being placed on the door placard, according to guidance in Appendix A: Door Placard Guidance.
  • Ensure that the door placard is completed in a timely manner consistent with Laboratory Decommissioning & Commissioning procedures (Safety Manual LS-003).
  • Submit the door placard information or form to EHS for processing and posting. (EHS will review and then post the document; please do not print your own unless advised to do so by EHS.)
  • Serve as an emergency contact for their laboratory.

References

Laboratory Decommissioning & Commissioning (Safety Manual LS-003).

Disclaimer

The information provided in these guidelines is designed for educational use only and is not a substitute for specific training or experience.

The University of Tennessee Knoxville and the authors of these guidelines assume no liability for any individual’s use of or reliance upon any material contained or referenced herein. The material contained in these guidelines may not be the most current.

This material may be freely distributed for nonprofit educational use. However, if included in publications, written or electronic, attributions must be made to the author. Commercial use of this material is prohibited without express written permission from the author.

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