Skip to main content

Laboratory Close-out Procedures

Proper laboratory close-out procedures promote safe conditions in labs when they are vacated or relocated. At Auburn University, the proper disposal of all hazardous materials used in laboratories is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator (PI) to whom a laboratory is assigned. Disposal is required whenever a PI vacates their assigned lab.

Risk Management and Safety (RMS) provides guidance on the lab close-out processdecontamination needswaste disposal or other safety-related issues.

It is the responsibility of the department chair / unit head to ensure that all PIs understand their responsibilities and follow the procedures outlined here when they vacate a lab. The department will be responsible for any fees and /or costs resulting from improper lab close-out. The department chair / unit head also assumes full responsibility of the vacated lab. The PI or department chair is responsible for notifying RMS of their intent to close their laboratory at least 30 days prior to closure and / or relocation.

Follow the outlined lab close-out guidelines below so that the lab space is left in an appropriate and safe condition upon being vacated.

Laboratory Close-out Process – Important Guidelines:

  1. Notify RMS at least 30 days in advance of intention to vacate a lab.  Please complete the Lab Close-out Request Form to notify RMS. 
  2. Meet with RMS representatives for an initial survey of the lab(s).  RMS will initiate the meeting. A customized close-out plan is developed during this initial meeting to note any critical datelines and safety issues.
  3. Review the Laboratory Close-out Checklist and address all the items on the list. NOTE: RMS can be contacted anytime during this process should there be any questions.
  4. Following completion of the closeout, the Laboratory Close-out Verification form will need to be signed. RMS representatives perform a final survey of the lab(s) to verify that all laboratory equipment and items that may pose a potential chemical, radioactive, biological or other hazard to individuals or the environment have been removed, decontaminated, and/or properly disposed of. The Laboratory Close-out Verification form should also be signed by the department chair to verify that all close-out activities have been completed or that the lab was closed improperly.

The department chair will be notified of improper close-out activities and any possible fees or costs associated with improper lab close-out.