JSMBS Move Frequently Asked Questions

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Get guidance for Principal Investigators for moving labs to the new Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building.

Prior to each PI vacating labs on the South Campus, all hazardous wastes and unwanted chemicals, biological agents, regulated medical waste and radioactive materials must be removed.  They must be identified, labeled and a pick up request form submitted to Environment, Health & Safety prior to or at the same time as the move.  No hazardous materials are to be left behind at the old location. The move may not occur if this is not done.

JSMBS Move FAQs

How do I get started to move my lab?

For Chemicals:
  • Lab groups must provide UB EH&S with chemical inventories of ALL chemicals/hazardous materials to be moved at least 2-3 weeks prior to your scheduled move. 
  • EH&S will then review list and provide packing guidelines according to compatibility.
  • EH&S will meet with each PI/lab group individually to explain how to correctly pack chemicals according to hazard class and compatibility.
  • Each PI/lab group will be responsible for packing chemicals into EH&S supplied totes/boxes based supplied compatibility guidelines.

For Biologicals:

  • Lab groups must provide EH&S with a list of organisms Risk Group 2 and above at least 2-3 weeks prior to your scheduled move
  • PIs can request to meet with EH&S to go over packing procedures prior to the move date.
  • Each PI/lab group will be responsible for packing biological materials. 

For Radioactive Materials:

  • Review the Radioactive Material (RAM) Lab Close-out Detailed Guidelines document.
  • EH&S will transport radioactive samples (including standards and check sources), inventory, and small contaminated items.
  • EH&S will move portable survey meters, dosimeters, and Radiation Protection binders - Do not pack these items.

How will I know when my lab is scheduled to be moved?

The SOM will determine PI order of move. Any requests for changes in the order must be made to and approved by SOM move coordinator.

How long will the move take?

Expect EHS to be able to move average of 4-6 PIs per week. Schedule can be mutually agreed upon between SOM and EH&S based on EHS staff availability, vehicle availability, EH&S workload, etc.

When do I have to have my old lab cleaned out?

PIs and lab groups need to be aware that your vacated lab may be backfilled by a new lab group shortly after the move and new occupants should not be saddled with cleaning up a potential mess left behind. To that end, following are procedures for final cleanouts of vacated labs:

  • All unwanted lab reagent chemicals, hazardous materials, hazardous wastes, radiation waste, biohazardous wastes, etc. must be purged and removed PRIOR your planned move date. This has been discussed at length and instructions have been provided to all lab groups.  Chemical lab reagents are either to be purged and disposed through UB EH&S or moved downtown.
  • If lab equipment is going to be left behind, it must be cleaned and decontaminated per UB EH&S guidelines located on this web page. This may be done after the initial move.
  • General lab cleanout of drawers, cabinets, shelves, etc. may be completed shortly after the move. Although the preferred option is to have these cleaned out prior to the move date, we understand scheduling and time constraints may not make this possible. Thus, arrangements can be made by PIs and lab groups to return to vacated labs to complete the cleanout and dispose of all remaining materials that were left behind.

EH&S recommends lab groups not wait until after the move to begin the final cleanout.

How do I pack my chemicals?

EH&S will supply each lab totes/boxes for transport of reagent chemicals. Packing of totes will be based on compatibility. EH&S will provide guidance on which chemicals can be packed together.

Note that the number of totes is limited. PIs will be asked to unpack totes in a reasonable time frame so they can be reused for the next lab group.  Other containers such as cardboard boxes, etc. may be used if previously approved by EH&S.

Can I move my chemicals/biological samples in my car?

No! Under no circumstances are any chemicals, microorganisms, biological material, radioactive material, controlled substances or like materials to be moved from the South campus in private vehicles. Specific State and Federal regulations do not allow this; these materials must be packaged and shipped properly by qualified staff. In some cases, USDOT shipping papers are required; additionally chemicals will need to be properly packed and segregated according to compatibility. Note that NO LIQUID cultures will be moved, only frozen stock vials will be transferred. UB EHS has the expertise for this task and will oversee the move nof this material.

How will my chemicals be delivered to my new lab?

EH&S will assign personnel to drive the vehicles between campus locations, unload the totes, and then deliver them to the new location at JSOM.

What do I do with lab equipment to be left behind?

If lab equipment is going to be left behind, it must be cleaned and decontaminated per UB EH&S guidelines located on our web page. This may be done over the course of 2 weeks after the initial move.

How are my Nitrogen dewars to be moved?

EH&S will move nitrogen dewars as requested.

How will my freezers be moved?

-4 Freezers and refrigerators to be transported by professional movers.

However, if they contain hazardous materials/samples, these are to be removed and transported by UB EH&S. EH&S will move the contents of -80 freezers if necessary, as follows:

  • EH&S will provide 48 quart coolers to labs which are to be used to pack the contents
  • Dry ice will be obtained and used to keep the materials frozen. Exact location of dry ice and how to obtain is still be worked out by Med School
  • Once packed, lab will notify EH&S and we will transport the coolers downtown.
  • A member of the lab group must meet EH&S at the new downtown location so we hand off the cooler
  • Coolers will be collected shortly thereafter so we may use them for the next user. 

How to I pack my biological samples?

Frozen microorganisms & biological samples are to be packaged as follows:

  • EH&S will provide labelled 48 quart coolers, absorbent pads, & plastic bags to labs
  • Freezer boxes are to be placed inside larger plastic bags with an absorbent pad
  • Seal the bags by tape or tie
  • Dry ice will be obtained by each laboratory (Biochem. stockroom will provide Dry Ice)
  • Once packed, the lab will notify EH&S 
  • EHS will transport the coolers downtown
  • A member of the lab group must meet EHS at the new downtown location to accept and empty the cooler
  • Coolers will be collected shortly thereafter for reuse by other labs

EHS has developed visual guidance for packaging stock vials of organisms to be transferred (see transporting specimens poster)

How do I package my radioactive samples?

Review the Radioactive Material (RAM) Lab Close-out Detailed Guidelines document.

What do I do with my flammable cabinets?

Existing flammable cabinets are not to be moved downtown. The new building has been designed according to NYS fire code specifications with built-in flammable cabinets located in lab spaces. These built-ins will hold maximum flammable volumes permitted by the code.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

For Chemicals

For Microorganism/Biological Material 

For Radioactive Material

General Laboratory Safety

Moving Guidelines for Labs and Equipment

Follow these checklists when moving or releasing laboratory equipment or facilities on campus.

Laboratory Equipment Release Checklist

In order comply with applicable federal and state regulations, laboratory equipment used with hazardous chemicals, biological agents or radioactive material must be decontaminated prior to servicing or being released for unrestricted use. Refer to the Laboratory Equipment Release Policy for more detailed information.

If the equipment (e.g., refrigerators, freezers, hoods) contains hazardous chemicals or biological agents, determine what can be disposed of (check for items, which might have significant chemical degradation). Process disposal paperwork and have chemical wastes removed by EH&S. Follow your department’s procedures for disposing of Regulated Medical Waste for biological or medical waste.

Complete the following checklist before releasing any laboratory equipment.

Laboratory Equipment Release Checklist
For Equipment Containing Hazardous Chemicals or Biological Agents
Done Not Applicable
1. Remove and properly store any hazardous chemicals to be saved. In some cases, material may not have to be removed for servicing if it will not come in direct contact with service providers.    
2. Equipment must be empty of all hazardous chemicals and biological materials. Chemical residues, stains, or deposits on or in the equipment must be removed, neutralized, or otherwise rendered non-hazardous to human health or the environment using appropriate chemical and physical methods.    
3. The equipment may not contain any Select Agent(s) (neither organisms nor toxins or materials of biological origin), viable organisms that must be handled at a Biological Safety Level (BSL) of 3 or 4; or any toxins that have an LD 50 (oral) of <100 ug/kg. For a list of applicable materials see the CDC website or contact EH&S.    
4. Decontaminate all surfaces (internal and external surfaces or void spaces) of the equipment with appropriate decontaminating solutions (for biological agents, those known to kill the organisms that may be present or inactivate the hazardous substances of biological origin).    
5. If decontaminating agents may leave a corrosive or otherwise harmful residue, the surfaces must be rinsed clean of hazardous deposits.    
6. If gaseous disinfectant (e.g. formaldehyde) is used, appropriate precautions must be taken to prevent a release of the material that may cause adverse effects to humans or the environment.    
7. Hazard labels must be removed or defaced when the respective hazards have been removed from equipment.    
8. Affix a Laboratory Equipment Release Certification form to the exterior of the equipment in a prominent location and certify that the equipment poses no hazard to human health or the environment. If appropriate, indicate any restrictions that may apply (e.g. do not open refrigerator).    
Additional Requirements for Servicing Equipment Containing Radioactive Materials
For Equipment Containing Hazardous Chemicals or Biological Agents
Done Not Applicable
1. If servicing equipment in the lab, move equipment to a low background radiation area.    
2. Survey equipment inside and out using both an appropriate survey meter and wipe survey.    
3. Verify that the wipe survey results show less than 3 (three) times background count rate.    
4. Verify that the survey meter survey results (taken at distance 0.5 cm) shows less than 3 (three) times background count rate.    
5. Remove radioactive material label(s) before sending for repair.    
Additional Requirements for Releasing Equipment Containing Radioactive Materials
For Equipment Containing Hazardous Chemicals or Biological Agents
Done Not Applicable
1. Survey equipment inside and out using both an appropriate survey meter and wipe survey.    
2. Verify that the wipe survey results show less than 3 (three) times background count rate.    
3. Verify that the survey meter survey results (taken at distance 0.5 cm) shows less than 3 (three) times background count rate.    
4. Remove radioactive material label(s)    
5. Contact EH&S Radiation Safety to formally survey and tag any item    

Contact an Expert

EHS avatar

Environment Health & Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3301

Email: ehs@facilities.buffalo.edu

Laboratory Facility Release Checklist

In order comply with applicable federal and state regulations, your laboratory must be decontaminated prior to your move to make it ready for the next occupant. Implement the checklist below and prepare your laboratory prior to the move. Refer to the Laboratory Facility Release Policy for more detailed information.

Complete the following checklists before releasing any laboratory facilities.

Checklist For Labs Not Containing Radioactive Material

Plan on stopping all laboratory work one week prior to your move. This will give you time to perform all necessary decontamination and inventory procedures.

Laboratory Facility Release Checklist
For Labs Containing Hazardous Chemical, Biological Agents or Materials of Biological Origin Done Not Applicable
1. Review your chemical and biological materials inventories (including contents inside refrigerators and freezers) and see what can be disposed of (check for items which might have significant chemical degradation). Process disposal paperwork and contact EH&S to remove wastes. Follow your department’s procedures for disposing of Regulated Medical Waste for biological or medical wastes.    
2. Empty or full chemical containers that are saved must be checked for and cleaned of external contamination. If the saved materials are to be transported over roadways, contact EH&S for information on the US Department of Transportation regulations for packaging and labeling items to be shipped. If you need to borrow totes to transport chemicals for an internal move, contact EH&S.    
3. All chemical and biological samples in beakers, flasks, test tubes, culture dishes or vials (liquid or solid) must be labeled with the chemical or agent name (symbols are acceptable if name is uncommon or very lengthy), preparer’s name, and hazard information, if known. Any agents, toxins or other materials currently on the CDC/NIH Select Agent List must be handled according to strict transfer rules with appropriate documentation. Contact EH&S for the agent list and guidance in handling these items.    
4. All hazardous chemicals and biological materials must be removed from all laboratory surfaces (benches, shelves, cabinets or hoods) prior to moving from the laboratory. In addition, chemical residues, stains or deposits on all laboratory surfaces must be removed, neutralized, or otherwise rendered non-hazardous to human health or the environment using appropriate chemical and physical methods.    
5. Decontaminate all internal and external surfaces with appropriate solutions that are known to kill the organisms that may be present or inactivate the hazardous substances of biological origin.    
6. If decontaminating agents may leave a corrosive or otherwise harmful residue, the surfaces must be rinsed clean of hazardous contaminants.    
7. Research Equipment (hoods, refrigerators, freezers, analytical instrumentation or centrifuge): Complete the Laboratory Equipment Release Checklist form and affix an Laboratory Equipment Release Certification form to each piece of equipment in the laboratory.    
8. Hazard labels must be removed or defaced when the respective hazards have been removed from equipment.    
9. Final Lab Survey. After all items are packed, do a thorough lab survey of benches, hoods, floors, shelves, waste areas and equipment. Decontaminate all surfaces before movers arrive. Hazard labels on the exterior door must be removed or defaced when the respective hazards have been eliminated from the laboratory.    
10. Affix a signed and dated Laboratory Facility Release Certification form to the exterior of the laboratory door to certify that the laboratory poses no hazard to human health or the environment.    

Contact an Expert

EHS avatar

Environment Health & Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3301

Email: ehs@facilities.buffalo.edu

Checklist For Labs Containing Radioactive Material

For Radioactive Materials labs, EH&S Radiation Safety will assist you in the move from your old laboratory to your new space.  

Plan on stopping radioisotope work one week prior to your move. This will give you time to perform all necessary survey and inventory procedures.

Laboratory Facility Release Checklist
Radioactive Materials Inventory Done Not Applicable
1. Go through your inventory and see what can be disposed of (check for items which might have significant chemical degradation).    
2. Isotopes that are saved must have inventory disposal sheets, and be checked for contamination. All stock vials must have their inventory or disposal sheets before being moved. Box stock vials separately. Shipping containers must indicate isotope, activity on shipping container. If you need additional shipping containers, contact Radiation Safety.    
3. All radioactive samples in beakers, test tubes, culture dishes (liquid or solid) must be identified as to activity, isotope, and be checked for contamination. These must be properly packaged with isotope and activity listed on the shipping container. Notify Radiation Safety of any radioactive item that needs to be moved.    
4. Radiation Safety will deliver all radioactive materials to new locations. We can provide storage space to store stock vials until laboratory has moved to its new location.    
5. Go through your inventory and see what can be disposed of (check for items which might have significant chemical degradation).    
6. Isotopes that are saved must have inventory disposal sheets, and be checked for contamination. All stock vials must have their inventory or disposal sheets before being moved. Box stock vials separately. Shipping containers must indicate isotope, activity on shipping container. If you need additional shipping containers, contact Radiation Safety.    
7. All radioactive samples in beakers, test tubes, culture dishes (liquid or solid) must be identified as to activity, isotope, and be checked for contamination. These must be properly packaged with isotope and activity listed on the shipping container. Notify Radiation Safety of any radioactive item that needs to be moved.    
Radioactive Labeled Equipment (refrigerator, freezer, centrifuge, microfuge, pipetters or glassware) Done Not Applicable
1. Perform a wipe survey inside and outside of all labeled equipment for contamination before packaging for the move. Do not defrost any freezer that is contaminated with radioactive material, call Radiation Safety for assistance. Save all survey results in your yellow binder.    
2. If equipment cannot be decontaminated, notify Radiation Safety for assistance.    
3. Labeled equipment must be tagged with a Radiation Safety supplied notice to inform the mover that the equipment is not contaminated and is safe to move.    
4. Prepare your LSC Counter for shipping by contacting your service representative. Certain parts may need to be secured to prevent damage during the move.    
5. Final Lab Survey. After all items are packed, do a thorough lab survey, benches, hoods, floors, shelves, waste areas, equipment, etc. Decontaminate before movers arrive.    
Radioactive Waste — All waste containers will be transferred to your new lab by EH&S Radiation Safety Done Not Applicable
1. Empty all scintillation vials.    
2. Any beakers, test tubes, microfuge tubes that may have radioactive waste should be disposed of in proper waste containers.    
3. Perform a wipe test all waste containers, decontaminate if necessary.    
4. Empty all scintillation vials.    

Contact an Expert

EHS avatar

Environment, Health & Safety Radiation Safety

Service Building, 220 Winspear Ave.

Phone: 716-829-3281

Email: radsafety@facilities.buffalo.edu

JSMBL Move Packet Cover

This packet contains documents describing how the move to the new medical school labs will take place.

Contact an Expert

Head Shot of Anthony Oswald Hazardous Materials Manager

Anthony Oswald

Hazardous Materials Manager; Chemical Hygiene Officer

Environment, Health & Safety

Phone: 716-829-5681

Email: acoswald@buffalo.edu

View the JSMBS Move Fact Sheets

Download the Moving Equipment Guidelines

Download the Moving Labs Guidelines

Download the JSMBS Move Guidelines