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Laboratory Security

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Guide LS-004

This document shall provide standards for laboratories with respect to the security of equipment, property, and hazardous materials.

Effective Date: 05/01/2017
Revision Date: 07/24/2017

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This document shall provide standards for laboratories with respect to the security of equipment, property, and hazardous materials.

Scope and Applicability

This standard addresses security for work with hazardous substances (including biological agents) and export control. Personal safety and security is not specifically covered in this document.

This document shall apply to students, staff, and faculty in laboratories that contain hazardous materials or for labs that fall under the campus Export Control Program.

Abbreviations and Definitions


CFATS: Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standard -from the Department of Homeland Security

EHS: Environmental Health and Safety

PI: Principal Investigator


Responsible Unit: department head, research center director, facility supervisor or college as appropriate.

Policy Statement (Roles and Responsibilities)

Environmental Health and Safety shall:

  • Review and revise this policy and guidance when necessary.
  • Disseminate information regarding this document through appropriate channels of campus communication.
  • Consult on the topic of laboratory security upon request. This role may be delegated by EHS to the UT Police Department or appropriate responsible unit.

Responsible unit shall:

  • Ensure that appropriate facilities and equipment are available to meet the security requirements.
  • Ensure that any security concerns or occurrences are communicated to the appropriate campus entities.
  • Ensure that principal investigators (PIs) and/or laboratory supervisors carry out their roles and responsibilities.

Laboratory Supervisors and Principal Investigators shall:

  • Ensure students and employees are oriented to the relevant components of this guide and how they are applied in assigned lab spaces.
  • Ensure students and employees follow this guide.
  • Report any incident involving theft, unauthorized entry, vandalism and similar events to the UT Police Department.
  • Be responsible for establishing security procedures for the laboratory

Employees that work in laboratories shall:

  • Participate in any orientation or training related to lab security
  • Be familiar with the basic security requirements for the lab in which they work
  • Report any deficiencies or breaches in security to the lab manager or PI


See attached appendices for additional guidance


University of Tennessee, Environmental Health and Safety (Safety Manual) Documents

LS-030 Controlled Substances for Research

LS-021 Chemicals Requiring Approval for Use

EC-004 Chemical Inventories


General security shall be covered with new students, faculty, and staff during orientation. Appendix A may be used to fulfill this objective.


There are no specific recordkeeping requirements for this policy outside of standard training recordkeeping.


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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