Frequently Asked Questions

General Laboratory Safety

Decontaminate equipment with a 10% bleach solution or another EPA approved disinfectant. Then, complete the EH&S Equipment Decontamination Form found on our website. Once the form is submitted, EH&S will come within 3 business days to tag your equipment as safe for disposal or relocation.

A: If a fume hood is not working, place a work order to Facilities Management. Please contact EH&S if there are any other questions in reference to chemical fume hoods.

A: The minimum required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff, students, or volunteers in a laboratory includes lab coats, gloves, ankle-length clothing, closed-toed shoes, and safety glasses or goggles. This equipment should be supplemented, when necessary, with other PPE such as UV glasses, heat resistant gloves, and respiratory protection.

View our guide on fire extinguisher checks here.

If a laboratory would like to update the hazard information, emergency contacts, or other information on posted signage, contact EHS with the desired updates.

Eyewash stations must be inspected weekly to ensure proper function in the case of a true emergency. To perform this inspection, fully activate the eyewash and allow water to flow for 1-3 minutes. Note the water temperature, water clarity, flow rate, and the physical condition of the eyewash. If you have any concerns about the functionality of your eyewash submit a work order to facilities management.

Labs are responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own sharps containers. If your lab would like guidance on what to purchase contact EHS

Training and Administrative

To add or remove workers from EHSA, fill out the worker registration form found on the home page. Reach the web portal by clicking “Chem & Bio Portal” on the EH&S website.

Register for training by completing the EH&S online Training Registration Form. Specify which trainings you would like to be added to. All lab workers are required to complete General Laboratory Safety training.

Several EH&S trainings are recurring and must be completed routinely to remain in compliance. Initial General Laboratory Safety training is required prior to working with hazardous materials, Autoclave training is required every 2 years, IATA training is required every 2 years, and BBP training is required every year. An email notice from EH&S will be sent at the beginning of the month when training is due.

EH&S does not require lab workers to provide training certificates. If a lab worker desires a training certificate, their P.I. or Lab Manager can generate the certificate by opening the “Training” menu on EHSA, searching the lab worker’s name, and clicking the green “Georgetown Certificate” button next to the training record.

Biological Safety

BSC’s are required to be certified on an annual basis. If a BSC needs certification, contact an outside vendor to complete the service. EH&S does not certify biological safety cabinets.

EH&S has Biohazardous Waste Collection days on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. EH&S will have staff collecting bags at the NRB loading dock. There will also be a red tote available for dropping off sharps containers. Bag must be secured (tied or taped shut) and not overfilled. Always wear appropriate PPE while transporting waste; transport on a cart and never leave unattended.

Chemical Safety

 A Particularly Hazardous Substance (PHS) is any substance that is a Class 1 or 2 select carcinogen, reproductive toxin, or a substance with a high degree of acute toxicity. For more detailed information please review the PHS webpage.

SOP’s must be renewed every five years. If an SOP is nearing it’s expiration date, ensure that the SOP is updated to the newest template, make any necessary updates to the form, and review hazard information, training, and waste disposal processes. Finally, submit to EH&S for approval.

File the SDS for the chemical alphabetically, enter the chemical into your lab’s EHSA chemical inventory, and check if it meets any of the Particularly Hazardous Substance criteria listed above. If the chemical classifies as a PHS, create an SOP for it.

To dispose of chemical waste, complete a Chemical Waste Pickup Request on EHSA (the EH&S web portal found on our main page). Empty chemical containers (including brown glass) must be triple rinsed and then disposed of in general waste or in appropriate glass waste containers. Remove the disposed chemical from the chemical inventory and remove the SDS sheet from laboratory records, if applicable.