4.21 Laboratory Security4.21 Laboratory Security
Laboratories need to take specific actions in order to provide security against theft of highly hazardous materials, valuable equipment, and to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations. EHS encourages each unit (college, department, and research group) to review and develop procedures to ensure the security of all hazardous materials in their area of responsibility.
Many laboratories already implement various means of security, including requirements to lock up controlled substances, syringes and needles, and radioactive materials. EHS recommends you review and assess the hazardous materials in your laboratory and consider security issues in protecting those materials. The intent is to minimize the risk of theft, especially targeting the five-minute window when the lab is left unattended.
4.21.1 Security Guidelines4.21.1 Security Guidelines
The following are guidelines designed to minimize opportunities for intentional removal of any hazardous materials from your laboratory:
- Recognize that laboratory security is related to, but different from laboratory safety. Security is preventing intrusion into the laboratory and the theft of equipment or materials from the lab.
- Develop a site-specific security policy. Make an assessment of your laboratory area for hazardous materials and particular security issues. Then develop and implement lab security procedures for your lab group and train lab group members on security procedures and assign responsibilities.
- Control access to areas where hazardous chemicals are used and stored. Limit laboratory access to only those individuals who need to be in the lab and restrict off-hours access only to individuals authorized by the Principal Investigator.
- Be sure to lock freezers, refrigerators, storage cabinets, and other containers where stocks of biological agents, hazardous chemicals, or radioactive materials are stored when they are not in direct view of workers (for example, when located in unattended storage areas).
- Do not leave hazardous materials unattended or unsecured at any time. Most importantly, close and lock laboratory doors when no one is present.