Skip to main content

4.21.1 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.
Note: If staff work alone and use the buddy system with someone outside of the research group, allowing access for that individual will need to be addressed prior to the initiation of working alone.