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Non-University Personnel Working in UTK Labs

UTK Environmental Health & Safety Plan LS-100

Effective Date: 03/30/2020
Revision Date: 04/12/2023

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Define environmental health and safety (EHS) expectations for operations involving non-university personnel working in laboratory spaces owned by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK).

Scope and Applicability

This plan applies to all non-UTK personnel working in UTK-owned laboratory spaces. Non-UTK personnel include adjunct faculty, joint faculty, visiting scholars, volunteers, companies, and entrepreneurs who are working in collaboration with or independently of the talent at UTK. Non-UTK personnel are typically granted permission to work in UTK laboratory spaces through written agreements that include but are not limited to appointment letters, contracts and facility user agreements. The procedures for establishing these agreements for adjunct & joint faculty, visiting scholars and volunteers are defined at the links provided in the references section of this plan. Approval to utilize UTK space is provided by the University Space Committee.

Roles and Responsibilities

Sponsoring Department or Organization

The sponsoring UTK department/organization has primary management oversight responsibility for ensuring adjunct faculty, joint faculty, visiting scholars and volunteers working in UTK-owned laboratory spaces comply with EHS requirements/expectations.

UTK Landlord/Facility Manager

The designated UTK landlord/facility manager of the leased space has primary management oversight responsibility for ensuring companies and entrepreneurs leasing UTK-owned laboratory spaces comply with EHS requirements/expectations.

Principal Investigator (PI)

The primary responsibility for creating and sustaining a safe work environment and for ensuring compliance with all applicable Federal, state and UTK safety requirements within his/her assigned laboratory space(s). For non-UTK personnel, the PI is the person who applies for and is assigned a laboratory space on behalf of himself/herself or the external organization that he/she represents. The PI is responsible for ensuring that all personnel working in a laboratory space assigned to him/her comply with the EHS expectations provided below.


The EHS Department will provide core EHS services, oversight, and waste disposal to Non-University personnel working in university owned laboratory spaces.

Non-University Personnel in UTK-Owned Laboratory Spaces

(EHS Expectations for Non-University Personnel Working in UTK-Owned Spaces)

All Non-UTK entities receiving approval to work in UTK-owned laboratory space shall:

  • Comply with EHS requirements defined in the UTK Safety Manual. This also includes adopting University procedures for Radiation Safety, Biohazardous Materials/Agents, Research Engagement, Access Management, Emergency Response, animal studies and the Export Control Act.
  • Review and follow University policies, procedures, plans and/or regulations pertaining to the safe use and occupancy of UTK-owned Facilities and Equipment, all rules and directions from the University sponsoring department or organization, and University EHS personnel regarding safe use of the UTK-owned Facilities and Equipment.
  • Comply with all applicable federal and state laws, orders and regulations and policies relating to their performance in UTK-owned facilities and they will not at any time take any action which would cause UTK to be in violation of any such laws, orders, regulations and, policies.
  • Complete a Laboratory Commissioning checklist and submit it to EHS Laboratory Safety Services for review prior to starting laboratory activities.
  • Develop a laboratory-specific Chemical Hygiene Plan for planned research activities
  • Coordinate activities with UTK EHS staff for any new research activity that introduces unreviewed hazards and/or hazards not explicitly covered in the UTK Safety Manual.
  • Set-up your laboratory space in UTK’s designated safety management system. Note that all laboratory users are required to participate.
  • Be subject to periodic EHS inspections by the UTK EHS Department. Copies of the inspection reports shall be provided to the Department Head/Facility Manager, Department/Facility Safety Officer and the designated supervisor for the UTK laboratory space assigned to the non-UTK entity.
  • Be responsible for costs associated with maintenance and periodic inspections/certification of non-UTK-owned equipment used in the laboratory space.
  • Be responsible for EHS costs incurred that are not included in UTK EHS core services. Examples include required personal protective equipment and ergonomic assessments. Monitoring equipment such as radiations badges will be provided by the University and funded by the non-UTK entity unless otherwise stipulated in associated appointment letters, contracts or facility user agreements.
  • Consult with the UTK Hazardous Waste Manager for disposal of their hazardous waste. The issues to be evaluated are cost for unique/difficult to dispose of materials and whether the Company’s hazardous waste might potentially adversely affect the University hazardous waste permits. Company hazardous waste that is covered under current University waste profiles will be disposed of at no cost to the Company.
  • Coordinate with UTK EHS to complete a Decommissioning Checklist prior to exiting a UTK-owned laboratory space.

References and Links


General Offices and Websites

Specific References



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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